Chicago March for Life an All-Around Positive Event
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
January 25, 2018
CHICAGO – Respect of life is a serious cause, and it seems strange to say this, but the March for Life Chicago on Jan. 14 was fun.
“It’s a little closer than D.C.,” said Ken Konetzky with a grin as a bus headed out from the parking lot at St. Patrick Parish in St. Charles for downtown’s Federal Plaza. Konetzky is a member of the parish Respect Life Committee, which chartered the bus. 
St. Patrick parishioner Karleen Olson said she was attending the Chicago March for the second time. She recalled how deeply cold the previous year had been, but added, “People were hyped up and enthusiastic. It was a lot of fun.”
Deacon Tom Elms, of St. John Neumann Parish, also in St. Charles,  and his wife, Clare, were ready for the day. Deacon Elms said he has attended the  Chciago march and rally “many times,” and added that he sees the annual event as “an opportunity for all of us to make a statement on life issues.”
More than one multi-year participant recalled a double-decker bus filled with youths and yellow balloons that pulled up for the rally last year and parked right in front of the protesters gathered across the street from the plaza. 
A lot of the fun of the Chicago March has to do with the youthful energy of the hundreds of prolife teens who attend. The youths who led the March on its path were one example. 
The Chicago March follows a square of city streets, from the Federal Plaza north on Dearborn Avenue, west on Randolph, south on LaSalle and east on Jackson back to the plaza.  
On Jackson, the young March leaders held an impromptu gathering a block or so from the plaza. They and other young people waved signs and chanted phrases like, “We love babies, yes we do! We love babies, how ’bout you?” as they danced to music provided by high school band members in a playful back-and-forth celebration.
Farther back in the long line, Mount Carmel High School drummers kept marchers pepped up and waving signs of all sizes filled with life-affirming messages.
The march followed an opening rally where youths and adults alike cheered speakers that included Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich and the Diocese of Gary’s Bishop Donald J. Hying. 
State Rep. Jeanne Ives, who chastised Gov. Bruce Rauner’s willingness to use taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions, drew plenty of supportive yells and sign-waving from the crowd that packed into the square. 
A woman explained how prolife activists helped her before and after her child’s birth, and the young vice president of Loyola Students for Life talked about the challenges she’s faced among some of her abortion-supporting peers. 
Ramona Trevino, a former Planned Parenthood director, roused the crowd, and an Orthodox bishop and the interim pastor of Moody Church in Chicago provided some reflections on standing up for life from the Protestant ranks.
Relevant Radio’s Sheila Liaugminas introduced them and a handful of other speakers, including Pat McCaskey, co-owner of the Chicago Bears.
Yes, it was cold, but those who embraced the multi-layer look fared just fine. And hand warmers provided by bus trip organizers were gratefully used by the nearly 40 people of all ages — Catholic and Protestant — who were part of the St. Charles group.
The bus driver welcomed them back by putting “Honolulu” as the destination on his bus’s marquee — a whimsical end to the life-affirming event.