Liv's Life

Liv's blog on changemaking, travel, and faith in search of true beauty

  • Olivia R. Colombo

Marching for Life & Speaking on Relevant Radio

At the end of last week, I attended the March for Life in Washington D.C. with the Archdiocese of Boston. Early Thursday morning I piled on a bus with other passionate teens, and we set off for D.C. After a long day of sharing a memorable bus drive with plenty of adventures, we unloaded into a beautiful parish for Mass with all of the Boston priests. Then, we set off for the "Life is Very Good Rally" at George Mason University for some amazing talks, confession, a great concert, and Adoration with the new bishop of the Diocese of Arlington. One of my favorite speakers and human beings, Mark Hart, was there and I was so excited! We were exhausted and ready to sleep, but we were filled with the joy from the sacraments and from our companions, and excitement for the next day.

We got up early the next morning with about 4 hours of sleep. (This would be why we have a chant in the Archdiocese that goes, “This is a pilgrimage, not a vacation, and one doesn’t complain about anything on a pilgrimage!”) We had a gorgeous Mass with Cardinal Seán O’Malley at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart, and then we went to march! We went sightseeing briefly around the Lincoln Memorial, and then our group got to see Kelly Anne Conway, Mike Pence, and Cardinal Dolan speak at the base of the Washington Monument. We marched for a few hours, praying, singing, chanting, shouting, and praying the rosary. I can hardly come up with words for the emotions I felt. I was overwhelmed. Emotions of passion, anger, peaceful prayerfulness, determination, anxiety, joy, and sadness swept over me as we marched with 800,00 people, mostly young people, to the Supreme Court. I was proud to be there, but devastated by the fact that I was marching for the 1/4 of my generation that is missing. However, all those negative emotions vanished once we made it to the top of the hill, and we looked back to see how many people were behind us. Fr. Matt and Mother Olga prayed with the Boston pilgrimages. Our teacher looked at me and said, “Do you want to meet Mother Olga? Let’s go meet her.” He knows that I look up to her, and I have a deep love and longing to be like her. She is one of my holy heroes, and perhaps one day I’ll join her and the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth. The look in her eyes was the love of Christ. I felt at peace as she hugged us and held my hands, asking for prayers.

We left the March, cold and exhausted, but feeling accomplished. We went to yet another parish for a night of confession, Adoration, and debriefing. The next morning we got up, went to Mass at St. Paul Chung celebrated by Fr. Matt, and then spent a few hours at the Air and Space Museum in Virginia. We hopped back on the bus and started our journey back home.

On the way home our bus chaplain, Fr. Sinisa, called me up to the microphone at the front of the bus to play “devil’s advocate” with the students and prepare them for common pro-choice arguments that they will encounter as they return to school. As a pro-life speaker, I enjoyed helping my peers learn how to proceed with compassion, know their facts, and stand strong in their convictions, as Fr. Sinisa pummeled me with pro-choice arguments and had me combat them on the spot. After I had attempted to demonstrate a range of tactics for common arguments like “my body, my choice,” I had the chance to play devil’s advocate and question them from the front of the bus, putting what Fr. Sinisa and I had just taught them into use. They all did an impressive job parroting back what we said, but I reminded them of a quote from Thursday night’s "Life is Very Good Rally" at George Mason University. Mark Hart, the vice president of LifeTeen, is one of my role models, as a speaker and as a human. Nicknamed the “Bible Geek,” he is an amazing, hilarious, prayerful, and knowledgeable speaker. I have had the opportunity to hear him speak multiple times before, but the rest of the students heard him for the first time Thursday. He stated, “You may be the only one in your classroom or in your friend group who knows what is right and is bold enough to defend the Catholic Church or to defend life. When you don’t think you know enough, and you’re shaking and your knees are knocking, just remember that beneath your knocking knees is a Church two thousand years old and two thousand years strong, and that rock ain’t moving!”

I had an amazing experience at the March for Life, and I came home determined as ever to continue to fight for life from womb to tomb and to make sure that everyone knows that they are beloved children of a Heavenly Father.

When I stumbled into school on the Monday morning after the March, I was so excited to hear that I was going to be speaking on the radio show, Morning Air, on the Catholic station Relevant Radio along with one of my classmates Ted and teacher Mr. Concannon about our experience at the March for Life. I was thrilled and grateful for this opportunity, and they were so glad to have us!

To listen to our clip on Relevant Radio, forward to 30:30 mark here:

(They also replayed me speaking at the beginning of the next hour 48:00 here!)

More photos from our adventures can be found here.

Thank you to everyone who continues to support me in all that I do. Much love.

God bless,