This weekend, close to half a million souls descended upon Washington D.C. Teens stayed up all night Saturday, praying and praising in our national Shrine. Housewives from the south stood next to university presidents from the north in the freezing cold, while businessmen from the east mingled with college students from the west, all rallying for a cause they hold in common: the sanctity of all human life. Celebrities, politicians, and children were there together, uniting prayer with action.
And if you turned on your television, you likely didn’t hear a word about it.
The mainstream media traditionally offers just the briefest of sound-bytes and perhaps a shot of a scuffle or two about the March for Life on network news.
But the good news is that we don’t need traditional media outlets to follow and take part in the March for Life and other pro-life, faith-focused events. Now more then ever, social media tools can give us a front row seat for such events and help us unite our prayers with those who will be braving the elements.
If you’re looking for a truly first-hand account of the March for Life (and its west coast counterpart, the Walk for Life in San Francisco), you’ll find some amazing social media resources online to keep you connected to all of the events:
- Official March for Life presence online — Website, Twitter Feed, Facebook Group
- West Coast Walk for Life — Website, Facebook Page, Twitter Feed, YouTube Channel
- Twitter Tags to follow — #MarchforLife, #ProLife, #WalkforLife
- March for Life 2012 Tumblr
For those of us who couldn’t be physically present at the March for Life and the related prayer events, social media gives us an excellent way to be in touch with the events. But we can also pray and witness along with those marching but taking time to pray for the dignity of all human life. Consider attending an extra Mass, making a Holy Hour, or having a special family prayer time together. Also, it’s not too early to begin planning your participation in the upcoming 40 Days for Life campaign, which begins on February 22 in many communities around the country. Learn more about the campaign at 40DaysforLife.com.
Finally, I feel it important to remind myself that during these days of prayer and activism, it’s important that we pay close attention to the tone and tenor of our witness in the social media and that our messages err on the side of love and unity, rather than hate and divisiveness. It’s likely that non-Christian and pro-choice contacts will encounter the messages you share on your Facebook page or Twitter feed. When they do, will they be moved by the love and compassion with which you share your convictions?
In reading the #MarchForLife hashtag on Twitter this morning, I was especially touched by our young high school and college students. What clearly rang forth in their messages was their brilliant faith and the joy they felt about being able to be a part of this journey. These young men and women set the tone for what was undoubtedly be a weekend of miracles.
While I wish I could have been there with them physically in D.C. this weekend, I’m so glad that through social media initiatives online, we can all join them in spirit.
Copyright 2012 Lisa M. Hendey