By Tess Wahlmeier
LINCOLN (SNR) - All are welcome to participate in the Nebraska Walk for Life Saturday, Jan. 30, starting at 10 a.m. outside of the State Capitol building in Lincoln.
Mass will be celebrated prior to the walk, at St. Mary Church, 1420 K St., at 9 a.m.
“As Catholics,” he said, “we speak the truth about the sanctity of human life, but also a message of mercy for those who have been involved in abortion. The teachings of Christ, the teachings of the Church equip us to love both the babies and their mothers. This ‘both/and’ approach is needed in our society that has become so polarized. We can speak the truth and also offer mercy.”
The walk begins with a short program. Then participants will march down 14th Street to the UNL Student Union, where keynote speaker Sue Thayer, will give her personal testimony as a former director of Planned Parenthood. The program will conclude at about 1 p.m.
Nebraskans have been ‘Walking for Life’ since 1974, just one year after Roe v. Wade was passed. Almost 43 years later, families are still standing up together to advocate for the right to life. Last year, more than 5,000 people attended.
“There’s a very strong generational aspect to the Nebraska Walk for Life,” said Julie Schmit-Albin, executive director of Nebraska Right to Life. “Great-grandparents are there with grandparents, with kids and grandchildren, and they see across a generation. It’s a very strong emphasis on a family event and the need to pass the torch from one generation to the next, to carry on the fight, to restore legal protection to innocent human life.”
Schmit-Albin said many Catholic high schools send buses of students to both the National March for Life in Washington, D.C. and the Nebraska Walk for Life.
“There’s a lot of enthusiasm there,” she said. “Young people bring enthusiasm to the issue.”
The Diocese of Lincoln is taking five buses to the National March Jan. 22 with 236 students, 11 priests, and 33 other adult chaperones.
Nebraska Right to Life organizes and bears all expenses for the Nebraska Walk for Life, a total that reaches $10,000 this year because of event insurance, hiring police officers, renting the Union, setting up barricades, etc. Donation buckets will be circulated at the Walk and in the Union afterward, to defray the cost of the Walk.
Inside the Union, there will also be information tables set up from other pro-life organizations, as well as a bake sale and warm beverages. Donations of baked goods can be brought to the Union at 8 a.m. Jan. 30.
Related slideshow: Nebraska Walk for Life 2015
Related video: March for Life 2015