Order of Malta

2020 Pilgrimage for Life

The Pilgrimage for Life is chaired by Nancy and Dr. Robert Graebe and Dr. Joseph Dutkowsky.

Dr. Joseph Dutkowsky, Co-Chair of the American Association’s Pilgrimage for Life, told the crowd gathered at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, DC, that his late wife Karen, who started the Association’s Pilgrimage for Life because “we need to be there”, hoped that the pilgrimage would grow to 200 people. The Association’s numbers have grown steadily over the years. This year, the numbers grew to over two hundred people when Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, Conventual Chaplain from Upstate New York, Bishop of Albany (and now additionally the Administrator for the Buffalo Diocese) was joined by a large contingent from his diocese for the March.

Members have been encouraged to participate to give witness to their Faith, part of the charism of the Order and this year, more responded than in any year since the Pilgrimage for Life began in the Association. It is much more than a March although the March is an important component of the overall schedule. The Pilgrimage is a spiritual journey, an extended moment of prayer for the unborn and all those affected by the crisis of abortion.

On Thursday, a highlight was the talk delivered by Sister Cecelia Rose, SV. She generously provided a copy of this talk which can be found here. She was joined by Katy Feeney who led the group through a beautiful version of the Stations of the Cross.

The Vigil Mass for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception was attended by a standing room only group of people committed to the cause of life. Most Reverend Joseph F. Naumann, Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas and Chairman of the USCCB Pro-Life Committee, was the chief Celebrant and Homilist. Archbishop Naumann summed up the current environment succinctly, “Sadly, in many ways for pro-lifers the days have grown darker. In recent years, abortion advocates have abandoned their slick slogan of choice. The former proponents of choice now seek to coerce Pro-Life Americans to become complicit in the killing of unborn children as evidenced by demanding tax funded abortions, compelling ministries like the Little Sisters of the Poor to provide abortifacients in their health plans, and efforts to force Catholic hospitals to provide abortions.”

On Friday, Bishop Scharfenberger said Mass for the group, joined by several hundred students who provided the face and the voice of the tens of thousands of students that walked in the March in the afternoon.

No one knows for sure how many people participated in the March this year but one hundred of them were from the American Association and more than one hundred more joined the American Association with Bishop Scharfenberger. A visit from the President and a few drops of rain added their own backdrops to a march that spoke a million prayers and hymns over the course of several hours in the Capital of the country. Surrounded by so many people committed to make a loud roar out of a relatively short walk, one could sense that the energy of that day would be carried home to every corner of the nation.

Order of Malta

American Association, U.S.A
St. Patrick’s Cathedral Parish House
14 E 51st Street
New York, NY 10022
(212) 371-1522