Newman University students and staff members from Campus Ministry and Alumni Relations met with the unexpected, when Winter Storm Jonas hit the area on its trip to the March for Life at Washington D.C., extending the trip by two days.
The group of students, University Chaplain Fr. John Fogliasso, Administrative Assistant to Campus Ministry Monica Borger and Director of Alumni Relations Sarah Cundiff flew out of Wichita Wednesday, Jan. 20. The plan was to spend time in the nation's capital on Thursday, to March on Friday, and to head back Saturday. Due to the storm, however, the group was snowed in for two extra days.
At first glance, this may be seen as an inconvenience, but Borger described the trip as a “blessing.”
“We were lucky enough to be with the Diocese of Wichita that helped provide three meals a day, activities, there was a talent show, swing dancing, [and] adult coloring books," she said. "It ended up being a blessing to slow down and spend some time together. It was a change in plans for sure, but from my perspective it was a blessing because we plan our lives out so much and this was God saying ‘I have other plans for you.’”
Borger said the storm started the minute the March for Life began and that it sparked more media attention than usual.
“One of the speakers said it best as to why we march,” she said. “If we don’t march, that’s the one year they won’t report on it and think we don’t care anymore. In a way, the blizzard was a blessing because the media usually doesn’t really cover it or underplays it, but because of the storm, there was so much more coverage than usual.”
The March For Life is an annual pro-life rally that is held each year on Jan. 22 in Washington D.C., on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. Marchers protest and rally against abortion and for the right to life.
“For me it comes down to a lot of different things,” Borger said. "But at the end of the day, I feel like this is a very basic right and I feel like if we can’t honor life, then how do we honor rights for women or minorities? A lot of attention right now is being put on our rights as individuals. If we can’t guarantee the right to life, then I feel like we’re only going to continue to [be] set backwards in securing rights for every person.”