Local faithful prepare for 2013 March for Life
40th annual event is set for Jan. 25 in Washington, D.C.
There is a tradition in southwestern Pennsylvania that ensures a pilgrimage to Washington, D.C., at the end of January. Young and old descend on the nation's capital to stand up for the sanctity of human life.
Every year, local Catholics board buses sponsored by their parishes, schools and organizations to participate in the March for Life and lobby their legislators to join the pro-life cause. Leading and cheering them on is Bishop David Zubik.
"We walk together today in our faith that holds every life as sacred from the moment of conception until natural death," he said in a 2012 letter to his fellow March for Life pilgrims. "We walk together today in hope that our nation will once again protect the most vulnerable of human persons -- the unborn baby in his or her mother's womb.
"We walk together today in love for every person made in God's own image. We walk together today in prayer for the unborn, for all expectant parents, for our nation's leaders, for women and men scarred by the spiritual and emotional wounds of abortion, that they may experience the mercy that flows from the tender heart of Jesus," he wrote.
The 40th commemoration of the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 rulings allowing abortion on demand nationwide is set for Friday, Jan. 25.
The following list of Catholic parishes and other groups sponsoring buses to the March for Life in Washington was provided by People Concerned for the Unborn Child (www.pcuc.org). There may be other buses heading to the march; check with your parish.
St. Alexis, Wexford: Claudia Berthold, 724-799-5904.
St. Alphonsus, Wexford: Mike Shipe, 412-302-0603.
Ancient Order of Hibernians, Green Tree/Monroeville: Pat Clark, 412-761-3897.
St. Bernadette, Monroeville: Sue Knechtel, 412-370-0181.
Dr. Brian Donnelly, Wildwood: 724-444-8045.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Carnegie: Mary Kay Smith, 412-276-1011 (youth rally).
St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Pleasant Hills: Beth Svirbel, 412-885-4410; Donna Canovali, 412-653-0972 (youth rally).
St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin, Whitehall: Patty Hamil, 412-853-8130.
Holy Child, Bridgeville: Sister Barbara Anne Quinn, 412-221-4720.
Holy Trinity/St. Columbkille, Robinson Township/Imperial: Mary Berry, 412-787-1453.
Holy Wisdom Latin Mass Community, Pittsburgh's North Side: Barb Lewis, 412-487-0227.
St. James, Sewickley: Tom Hajdukjewicz, 412-741-7631.
SS. John and Paul, Franklin Park/Marshall Township: Joy Allen, 412-741-1106.
St. John the Baptist, Unity: Joanne Giuffre, 412-793-1617 (youth rally).
St. Joseph, Verona: Joyce Doyle, 412-795-5114.
Knights of Columbus, West Mifflin, McKeesport, East McKeesport: Celeste Palcsey, 412-672-6222.
St. Louise de Marillac, Upper St. Clair: Andy Lucas, 412-914-0639.
St. Mary of the Assumption, Glenshaw: Carol Loiselle, 724-443-7398; Keith Loiselle, 724-443-7398 (youth rally).
St. Maurice/Word of God, Forest Hills/Swissvale: Father John Skirtich, 412-271-0807.
North American Martyrs, Monroeville: Lauren Gates, 412-445-6570 (youth).
Our Lady of Grace, Scott Township: Marie Milburn, 412-279-7070.
St. Paul Cathedral, Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood: Father Michael Roche, 412-621-4951.
St. Richard, Richland Township: Joanne Merhaut, 724-443-6186.
St. Scholastica, Aspinwall: Mary Scanlon, 412-781-6550 (youth rally).
St. Sebastian, Ross Township: Dot Lydic, 412-301-0420.
St. Teresa of Avila, Perrysville: Dianne Machesney, 412-366-7869.
St. Thomas More, Bethel Park: Carolyn Sopher, 412-257-0780.
St. Ursula, Allison Park: Paul Francis, 412-366-8031.
Christ the Divine Teacher, Chippewa: Mary Schweitzer, 724-846-7540.
Our Lady of Fatima, Hopewell Township: L. Domitkovich, 724-378-8020 (youth rally).
SS. Peter and Paul, Beaver: Jason Theobald, 630-251-5675.
St. Ferdinand, Cranberry Township: Bill Slusser, 724-772-7962.
St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Meridian/Lyndora: Ray Ferguson, 724-282-4298.
St. Gregory, Zelienople: John Healy, 412-724-5444.
Holy Sepulcher, Glade Mills: Gretchen Cararie, 724-898-2529.
St. Joseph, Cabot: Amy Buchwald, 724-353-9114.
St. Mary of the Assumption, Herman: John Hinterlang, 724-352-9384.
St. Paul, Butler: Richard McLafferty, 724-282-1551.
St. Ann, Waynesburg: Kimberly Stoll, 724-499-5268 (youth rally).
St. Camillus, New Castle: K. Kouknas, 724-652-9471 (youth rally).
People Concerned for the Unborn Child, New Castle: Diane Marcella, 724-658-8662.
St. Benedict the Abbot, Peters Township: Janet Roberto, 724-941-9587, ext. 112 (youth); Vic Vandewater, 724-941-9749.
Immaculate Conception, Washington: R. Mancini, 724-222-0174 (youth rally).
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Meadow Lands: Janet Pecharka,724-503-4083.
St. Patrick, Canonsburg: Nicole Guyton, 724-745-4130 (youth rally).
COLLEGES and SCHOOLS
St. Anne, Castle Shannon: K. Grella, 412-561-0101 (students only).
Aquinas Academy, Gibsonia: Leslie Mitros, 724-444-0722.
Bishop Canevin High School, Pittsburgh's Oakwood neighborhood: Mark Lang, 412-606-9019.
Central Catholic High School, Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood: Joe Allen, 412-208-3440.
Duquesne University, Pittsburgh's Uptown neighborhood: Mary Caloric, 412-396-5093 (students only).
Oakland Catholic High School, Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood: Amy Farrell, 412-682-6633.
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Moon Township: Erin Stuvek, 412-264-5140, ext. 2005 (youth rally).
Quigley Catholic High School, Baden: Katie Patton, 412-259-8169.
Serra Catholic High School, McKeesport: Tim Crossen, 412-751-2020 (students only).
Seton-LaSalle High School, Mount Lebanon: Brian Klisavage, 412-561-3583, ext. 213.
Vincentian Academy, McCandless Township: J. Apple, 412-364-1616, ext. 204 (youth rally).