CANADIAN KNIGHTS AND THEIR FAMILIES AMONG THE THOUSANDS PARTICIPATING IN CANADA’S ANNUAL NATIONAL MARCH FOR LIFE
Knights of Columbus members and their families joined the thousands who gathered in Ottawa for Canada’s 21st annual National March for Life, Thursday, May 10. Thousands more participated in local marches across the country.
Peacefully gathering on Parliament Hill, the marchers came together to demand that the laws of the nation once again uphold the most basic right inherent to all human persons: the right to life.
The 2018 theme for the march is “Pro Life —All In.” It encourages everyone to commit themselves to defending human life at all its stages and to speak the truth in the face of adversity, without exceptions, without excuses, without compromises.
Recent actions by the Canadian government make this year’s march even more relevant, said Supreme Director Larry Kustra of Manitoba. Joining Kustra were Supreme Director Graydon Nicholas of New Brunswick and Supreme Director Arthur Peters of Ontario.
“The government is requiring that agencies attest their support for abortion in order to qualify for the summer jobs program,” Kustra said. “This issue is front and foremost with many groups — Christian and non-Christian. Canada currently has no law which gives rights to pre-born children.”
The first official Canadian national march was held in 1998. Ontario State Deputy Daniel Heffernan, an organizer for this year’s event, has been part of the march since that time.
“At the 1998 march, we had about a thousand people. Last year, we had around 25,000,” Heffernan said. “Since the beginning, we have grown and grown. I see the march as a sign of our freedom. I don’t like the fact that we have to do this, to protest about something as clear as the importance of the sanctity of life, but I’m glad that we have the freedom to do so.”
The Knights, he added, are very involved in the march, helping to organize the event, acting as marshals and providing a Fourth Degree contingent of more than 150 Knights to lead the march. They also encourage people from throughout the nation to attend, and assist by funding bus trips.
The march began with a rally on Parliament Hill. After proceeding through the downtown streets, participants returned to hear testimonies and attend a prayer service.
“It is very crucial that the Knights are involved because of our Catholic faith,” Supreme Director Nicholas said. “In Canada, there are people of many other faiths besides Christianity who believe in the right to life and strongly oppose abortion and euthanasia.”
Canadians are strongly opposed to the new abortion requirement in the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program, and two-thirds would also limit abortion to — at most — the first trimester of a woman’s pregnancy, according to a recent Knights of Columbus survey.