Bishop Paul leads opening prayer at fourth annual March for Life-Chicago January 15
CHICAGO, IL [Orthodox Christians for Life-Chi-cago/Priest Andrew Bartek] — On Sunday, January 15, 2017, March For Life-Chicago held its fourth annual event. March For Life-Chicago started four years ago with about 1,000 participants. This year saw approximately 10,000 people attend. It has grown into a very significant event.
Priest Andrew Bartek, Rector of Saint Panteleimon Church, Summit, IL, is a March For Life-Chicago board member. He has represented the Orthodox faith there for the last three years.
“Gathering together in a peaceful way to give voice and raise awareness to the sorrowful effects of abortion and its legalization is very important,” said Father Andrew. “This is the mission of March For Life-Chicago and it is a mission the Orthodox Church can support. This year definitely was the most successful march, in terms of the number of people. The weather was the warmest it has been in years. Despite last year's weather with a wind chill factor at -25 degrees, about 5,000 people came out to march. This year the temperature was near 40 degrees. People from Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio and of course Illinois were there.”
His Grace, Bishop Paul of Chicago and the Midwest was present for the third year in a row. He opened the March in prayer.
“We are so grateful for His Grace’s presence and participation, and the speakers were tremendous,” said Father Andrew, who expressed how refreshing it was to see thousands of young people attending the event. Each year the Orthodox presence has slightly increased, though Father Andrew would like to see it really expand. “Though the attendance of Orthodox is getting better, we have a bit of a way to go to having a great voice at this event.”
Father Andrew will be working with Priest Nicholas Finley, Rector of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary Church, Madison, IL and Priest Benjamin Tucci, Associate Pastor of Saint Mary Cathedral, Minneapolis, MN to develop a diocesan youth event for the 2018 March For Life-Chicago event, which will take place the weekend of January 13-14, 2018. Further information will be forthcoming.