Aliceon Calta, 16, a parishioner of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Endicott and a junior at Windsor Central High School, was among the 205 young people who traveled to Washington, D.C., with the Diocese of Syracuse on a pilgrimage to the March for Life. Aliceon shared the following reflections on the pilgrimage with the Sun via email.
Catholic Sun: Was this your first time on the March or have you been before? What were your impressions?
Aliceon Calta: This is my second year going on the March for Life. This year, the March was on the second day and last year it was on the last day. This time, I feel like I was able to prepare myself for the March for Life by attending Mass at the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Shrine [in Maryland, a stop on the pilgrimage]. Later that evening, we went to the extraordinary Life is Very Good Evening of Prayer! So, you go to the March full of faith and ready to celebrate life.
CS: What did you see and feel during the March?
AC: When I looked behind me, there was a sea of beautiful lives! I saw infants to elders, and a whole lot of teenagers! Some came all the way from Louisiana and Nebraska! There were groups of people on the sidewalks that were giving out pro-life information and videotaping the March. Then, there were groups that were pro-choice, which we prayed for as we walked by them. Deep down, we are all there to accomplish one goal: To end killing of beautiful lives.
CS: What were some other memorable moments?
AC: On Thursday, before the March, because this is the year to celebrate the Jubilee of Mercy, we learned about the path toward the seven works of mercy. The [St. Elizabeth Ann Seton] Shrine is an amazing place. We celebrated Mass and visited the basilica. By the end of the day, even though we may be tired from traveling, we can’t wait to sing and pray together.
I love the talks at the Life is Very Good Youth Rally. Oh and, the beautiful bands are always amazing! Adoration prepares us to be closer to God and is very powerful and brings me closer to my faith.
During the March for Life on Friday, I was interviewed by Father Matthew Schneider from Washington, DC and he posted my interview on Twitter [visit thecatholicsun.com for the link]. I told him that “I could not imagine ignoring the unborn.” I told him “the unborn cannot live, laugh and love like I can today.” Most of all, we had fun marching with our group. My parents watched the live feed from home. They heard our group announced but there were SO many people, they couldn’t pick us out!
CS: What are you taking away from the trip? What made the biggest impact on you?
AC: The biggest impact on me is just looking behind me and seeing all of the people marching for the miracle of life! What I take away is that we need to live, laugh, and love with the Lord by our side because the unborn can’t. You see Jesus in so many forms; I saw Him when Mrs. [Jackie] Francois Angel [a national speaker and singer-songwriter] told us why men genuflect to propose for marriage: Women are walking tabernacles holding the fruit of the sacred life, so men are proposing for life!