More than 10,000 people packed into the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington on Thursday, Jan. 18, for the opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life. The liturgy that is celebrated annually on the eve of the March for Life. Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, was the main celebrant and homilist at the Mass. Here is a slide show of images from the evening. Photos by Gregory A. Shemitz
Seminarians Matt Browne, left, William Cassese and Jonathan Pham, who are studying at Theological College in Washington, pose outside the basilica.
Students, chaplains and campus ministers from Adelphi, Hofstra, LIU-Post, Stony Brook and Holy Trinity Diocesan High School, Hicksville, along with young adults from the diocese, gather after touring the basilica.
Acolytes lead the opening procession.
Msgr. Frank Caldwell, pastor at Cure of Ars Church, Merrick, smiles as he participates in the opening procession.
Bishop Peter Libasci, left, of Manchester, N.H., who previously served as an auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, approaches the sanctuary.
New York Cardinal Dolan smiles as he arrives to celebrate Mass.
Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl addresses the assembly.
Cardinal Dolan prays over the gifts.
Young people pray the Lord's Prayer.
Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley distributes Communion.
Cardinal Dolan processes from the sanctuary at the end of Mass.
Father Michael Duffy, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Malverne, participates in the closing procession.