Kayla Daugherty


“Madonna University Wants Life Respected.”

This is the mission statement of Madonna University’s Respect Life Club and what was captured on a screen shot of the March for Life on an ETWN broadcast. ETWN, a global Catholic News Network that provides news coverage from around the world, captured more than 60 students from Madonna University taking a stand for life in Washington, D.C. Jan. 25.

More than half a million individuals in total, stood and marched, shivering as snow fell making escape from the cold impossible. Cold and wet, they withstood the climate for hours, joined together for one purpose: to be the voice for the unborn.

Initiated 40 years ago by the recently deceased visionary, Nellie Gray, the March for Life is a peaceful protest witnessing to the sanctity of life at all stages.

Jan. 22 marked the 40th anniversary of the historic Roe v Wade decision.  Normally held the same day as the anniversary of the decision, this year the march had to be postponed due to the inauguration of the president.

Cathy Ligeski, the president of the Respect Life group on Madonna’s campus organized the 500-mile, red-eye trip to Washington, D.C.

“We left Thursday night at 7 p.m. and drove through the night arriving in D.C around 6:30 in the morning,” said Ligeski. “From there, we attended a wonderful mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception before heading over to the National Mall where the rally and March for Life took place.”

As a nursing student Ligeski appreciates and respects life throughout all its stages: from conception to natural death. Under her guidance, the Respect Life Club has a “Womb to Tomb” theme this year, showing that all stages of life should be respected.

The March for Life trip is a perfect example of how Madonna allows students to voice their beliefs. Before coming to Madonna, Sara Sabadosa never knew about the march. Now a sophomore at Madonna, she has participated the past two years. Though she is willing to go every year in the foreseeable future she hopes one day that it will be a celebratory march in which pro-lifers can rejoice in the over-turning of Roe v Wade.

The last two years at the March for Life have been significant for her, “What struck me as the most significant part of the March was when they revealed all the painful statistics regarding our country: one-third of my generation is missing; an abortion happens every 93 seconds; in the 40 years since the Roe v. Wade decision, 55 million babies have been aborted,” said Sabadosa. “There was an estimated 650,000 people in attendance. To think of that amount of people multiplied 85 fold would equal the number of people missing in our country due to abortion was mind-blowing.”

Freshman at Madonna, and rookie to the March for Life, Lawren Kathryn was also struck by how many people were in attendance.

“The best part of the trip was being able to be a part of such a huge, inspired movement. I couldn’t believe it when I got back and found out there were over 650,000 of us there, all marching for the same cause,” said Kathryn. “That was a pretty great feeling!”

Every year the number of Madonna students and faculty going on this adventure grows. Last year, there were less than 50. This year, more than 60 students and community members registered with Madonna. Next year Madonna’s Respect Life Club hopes to rent, and fill two buses; that is, 120 seats. 


Madonna students March for Life