Marking the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade: 20,000 Young Catholics and Bishops from Around the Nation at Rally and Youth Mass for Life

January 19, 2007

Weather alert: All events will go on as scheduled, with no delays.

Over 20,000 Catholic teens and young adults, Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl, dozens of bishops and hundreds of priests from around the nation will fill Washington’s largest sports arena for a Rally for Life and Youth Mass marking the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the United States:

Monday, January 22, 2007
Verizon Center
601 F Street, NW, Washington, DC

8:00 a.m.: Sacrament of Confession
8:45 a.m.-9:45 a.m.: Rally featuring three bands
10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.: Mass

(Media notes: Enter at F Street; TV platform/audio mult located on floor of arena. Contact Susan Gibbs/301-853-4516 for credentials.)

Christian recording artists and composers Steve Angrisano, Janelle and the ONE80 Band, and the “Who Do You Say I Am?” Band will get the crowd onto its feet during the rally while nearly 100 priests will hear confessions in the Acela Club Restaurant.

After the rally, Archbishop Wuerl will be principal celebrant at Mass, joined by cardinals, bishops and priests from around the United States. The homilist will be Rev. Bill Byrne, Catholic chaplain for the University of Maryland. Music will be provided by the rally bands and the Mt. St. Mary’s Schola.

Following the Mass, many of the bishops and youth will participate in the National Rally and March for Life, starting at noon on the National Mall (4th Street). Archbishop Wuerl also will participate in the annual Vigil Mass for Life, Sunday, January 21, 8:00 p.m., Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 400 Michigan Avenue, NE, Washington, DC.

The Verizon Center’s doors open at 7:00 a.m. for this free event. Bus drop-off is on F Street; Metro stop is Gallery Place/Chinatown. Food is available from concessions and nearby restaurants.

The Archdiocese of Washington held its first rally and Mass for Life over 12 years ago, adding locations around the city as demand grew. In 2004, the event was moved to the Verizon Center, the city’s largest venue. Yet hundreds of youth had to be turned away when the center reached capacity last year. To accommodate the growing crowds, a second, smaller rally and Mass celebrated by Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia will be held at DAR Constitution Hall, 18th and D Streets, NW (times are the same).

Media requests: Susan Gibbs, 301-853-4516. Participant information: 301-853-4555 and online, along with priest/deacon registration.

Susan Gibbs
Director of Communications
[email protected]