The 14th annual March for Life will be held Jan. 21 at noon at the Defiance County Courthouse. The march is sponsored by Mother Teresa Respect for Life.

The purpose of the March for Life is for participants to walk and stand up for unborn children who cannot speak for themselves.

The local march will be held in conjunction with the 49th annual March for Life event, which will be held Jan. 21 in Washington, D.C.

Rev. David Cirata, of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Defiance, will offer prayer at the start of the march. A police escort will lead participants from the Defiance County Courthouse to the Monument of the Unborn on the property of St. John Catholic Church, located at 510 Jackson Ave.

Jamie Blank will host the march and lead a prayer for life at the monument. From there, the event moves into the church.

Colleen Hammons will speak to start the program. Hammons will speak about how Mother Teresa Respect for Life helped her control her voice, and she will share a pair of pro-life stories.

Andrea Macsay, a 17-year-old who attends Fairview High School, will follow Hammons.

“I’m a part of St. Isidore Catholic Parish, and I will be speaking about my perspective as a young person, and about my own generation’s action and abortion in general,” said Macsay. “In addition, I will speak about the importance of prayer, not tiring our efforts and trusting everything to God and Mary.”

Leah Maassell, community liaison for CPC Women’s Health Resource, will discuss the impact of pregnancy centers and the power of a tiny heartbeat first seen on an ultrasound.

Students from St. Patrick Catholic School in Bryan will give a pro-life presentation, and Ohio 82nd House District Rep. Craig Riedel of Defiance, will talk about current pro-life legislation at the Ohio Statehouse, and around the country.

Ed Sitter, president of Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio, an organization of pro-life groups in Ohio that stand united to advance a pro-life strategy in the state and beyond with protections for all and exceptions for none, will speak about why supporters need to be active in the defense of the unborn.

Rev. Cirata will close the event with prayer.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be celebrated at 8 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church, located at 715 Jefferson Ave, Defiance.

Following Mass at 8 a.m., there will be Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament at the church, ending with benediction at 11 a.m.

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