People for Life’s March for Life in Erie, Pennsylvania draws record crowd
People for Life’s Erie March for Life attracted a record number of participants January 12, over 300 marchers, double the numbers seen in recent years. The theme of the March was “Protect every child!” Dozens of marchers carried that message on brand new signs, commercially screen printed just for the occasion.
The March received a boost from the Catholic Youth Ministry of the Erie Diocese. CYM made a concerted effort to advertise and promote the Erie March for Life throughout the Diocese, even holding a special hour-long prayer and adoration service for the young people in the chapel on the campus of Gannon University, just across the street from the starting point of the March.
We believe the new CYM initiative was responsible for increasing the size of the March by at least 50 or 60 while the remainder was due to a heightened sense of urgency in response to the reelection of President Obama and a renewed and strengthened resolve to carry the pro-life message forward.
We decided to invite a student group, Mercyhurst University’s Lakers for Life, to lead this year’s March. The students carried a brand-new “Erie March for Life” banner at the head of the March and definitely caught the attention of the local news media. The idea was so successful that we will certainly continue the practice, recruiting students to represent various local universities and high schools over the years to come.
The March began in Perry Square, the center of downtown Erie. It proceeded through the streets of the downtown area, passing both the County and Federal Courthouses, and returning after about 30 minutes to Perry Square.
The event concluded with a memorial service and “mini-rally” emceed by People for Life Director Tim Broderick. The memorial service featured opening and closing prayers by Rev. David Bousquet, the Pastor of nearby Cranesville Bible Church, and a brief message from Fr. Jason Feigh, a recently ordained Parochial Vicar of Our Lady of Peace Church here in Erie.