By Kristi Anderson
St. Cloud seminarian Mark Botzet was amid the crowds of people affected by the winter storm following the March for Life Jan. 22 in Washington, D.C. He and 16 seminarians from St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul were snowed in at a hotel in Silver Spring, Maryland, but not before they enjoyed many of the planned festivities.
Botzet, from St. Nicholas Parish in Belle River, toured the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and the National Art Gallery prior to the opening Mass for the March for Life. But the main reason for being in Washington, he said, was to attend the Mass at the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and to attend some of the talks on the National Mall.
Botzet was especially inspired by the homilies of Cardinal Timothy Dolan from the Archdiocese of New York and Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Cozzens of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
“Their homilies reminded me in the future to preach about God’s true love that will overcome the culture of death,” he said.
They also marched from the Washington Monument to the Capitol and to the Supreme Court House.
“The best part of the experience is seeing people from all over the country come together to celebrate Mass,” he said. “You really get to experience the Universal Church.”
Botzet also reconnected with other seminarians whom he knew from minor seminary.
“Seeing them at Mass with me, I felt a real brotherhood and community of being united for the March for Life events,” he said.
“As a Catholic seminarian,” he said, “I realize the church needs to be aware of couples and young families, especially single-parent families that are expecting a child that might not have been planned, to tell them there are other options available that support life. Also to encourage those families to have the child even if they have been told to end the pregnancy due to the child being born with a disability. Every child is a creation from God, and we must be open to receiving that gift.”