For leading examples of allegiance to a vital cause, Jann Armantrout points to longtime participants in the March for Life.
Armantrout, the diocesan life-issues coordinator, said several Catholics from this area have been involved with the march over its entire 40-year history.
"That sort of dedication, regardless of diocesan direction or parish support or personal gratification, is remarkable because you’re talking 40 years and that’s a whole bunch of time," Armantrout said, adding that many regular March for Life attendees also have logged considerable hours organizing local buses.
Armantrout noted that diocesan March for Life participation is on the rise, having increased from three bus contingents 12 years ago to eight such groups currently planned for the march on Jan. 25 in Washington, D.C. Most of the buses are scheduled to leave in the late evening of Jan. 24 and return home approximately 24 hours later. Several of the groups offer reduced rates for youths as well as financial assistance for those who cannot afford the trip.
According to information provided to the Catholic Courier, openings for the public are currently available on six buses leaving from various parts of the diocese:
* St. Pius Tenth Church, 3010 Chili Ave., Chili. Call Nancy Schwalm at 585-469-2728.
* St. John of Rochester Church, 8 Wickford Way, Fairport. Contact Janene Loughran at 585-586-6632 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Church of the Holy Spirit, 1355 Hatch Road, Penfield. Contact Sandy Giannavola at 585-387-0993 or email@example.com.
* St. Leo the Great, 167 Lake Ave., Hilton. Contact Mary Lou Rosien at 585-594-2621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
* St. Mary Our Mother Church, 816 W. Broad St., Horseheads. Contact Steve Spaulding at 607-739-9282 or email@example.com.
* St. Mary Church, 90 N. Main St., Canandaigua. Contact Francis Flugel at 585-924-7051 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
There also will be two private buses from the diocese for young people. One is being coordinated by Rochester’s Holy Apostles Parish for city youths in grades 8-12. Sponsorship donations are appreciated and can be made by calling Holy Apostles at 585-254-7170 or contacting Betsy MacKinnon at email@example.com.
Meanwhile, a bus sponsored by Ss. Isidore and Maria Torribia Parish in central Steuben County will transport that area’s youths to the March for Life. The bus is an initiative of FBI (Faith by Interaction), a Catholic youth service group that sent 43 participants to the 2012 march. While in Washington, both the Steuben and Holy Apostles groups plan to attend a youth Mass and rally and take part in other life-related discussions and activities.
The march itself will begin at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 25, proceeding from the National Mall to the Supreme Court building on Capitol Hill. Armantrout — who will attend the march as well as a U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops liturgy one day earlier — encourages all diocesan Catholics to consider attending the March for Life, whether they join a bus group or furnish their own transportation. Meanwhile, many parishes in the Diocese of Rochester will acknowledge the march by conducting prayer vigils.