16th Annual March for Life St. Augustine

For the 16th consecutive year, people from across the diocese, state and country will gather to peacefully rally on behalf of those who cannot do so for themselves: the unborn. March for Life St. Augustine begins on Friday, Jan. 14 with a kick-off event at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche in St. Augustine with 5 p.m. adoration, 6 p.m. Mass and a 7 p.m. living rosary. After Mass, there will be speakers, live music and information booths. The march to the Plaza de la Constitucion in the center of historic St. Augustine begins at 11:10 a.m.  The Knights of Columbus Council #611 will host a spaghetti dinner from noon to 4 p.m. at the Cathedral Parish Life Center, 267 St. George Street. This year’s theme is Heal Our Wounded Culture: Choose Love… Choose Life.

Dr. Monique Ruberu is this year’s keynote speaker on Saturday. Dr. Ruberu is a practicing pro-life OB/GYN and owner of Natural Women’s Health clinic in Philadelphia, Pa., 40 Days for Life campaign leader, pro-life author, speaker and advocate, and wife and mother. She describes herself as a “cradle Catholic who evolved into a cafeteria Catholic, and then into a convinced Catholic,” when she renewed her faith in 2012 after God saved her failing marriage.

Along her pro-life journey, Dr. Ruberu has witnessed the up-close and personal tragedies and obstacles abortion presents. The majority of women who turn to abortion come from low-income, broken families, she said.

“Leaning in and walking with these women is not an easy thing,” she explained. “You have to have a willingness to give up preconceived notions about these people, to truly see them as children of God and get to the root of the issue.”

It’s not as simple as donating a box of diapers. Ultimately, it’s about showing up.

“If the sidewalk outside of an abortion clinic is empty, it sends a loud and resounding message that no one opposes what’s going on,” she said. “We have to make sacrifices and be prepared to walk with these women.”

Other speakers include Sara DeJulio, an advocate for the abortion pill reversal process, Pam Stenzel, an international chastity speaker, director of Community Pregnancy Clinic in Gainesville and founder of Enlighten Communications, and Andy Secola, the Florida regional coordinator for Students for Life of America.

Questions about this year’s March for Life St. Augustine? Visit https://www.marchforlifestaugustine.com/ or contact May Oliver at moliver@dosafl.com or (904) 262-3200, ext. 159.