Archbishop Aquila to lead Denver pilgrims to national March for Life

Archbishop Samuel Aquila will participate in events during the Jan. 22 March for Life in Washington D.C., along with many pilgrims from Colorado, who will head to the nation’s Capitol to publicly and prayerfully witness against the evil of abortion.

At 6:30 p.m. Jan. 21 Archbishop Aquila will concelebrate the opening Mass for the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at 400 Michigan Ave. N.E. in Washington, D.C. The all-night prayer vigil is held on the eve of the March for Life each January since 1979. More than 20,000 pilgrims from across the country will pray through the night for an end to abortion and a greater respect for all human life.

The main celebrant and homilist for the opening Mass will be Cardinal Sean O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap., chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities. It will be broadcast on EWTN. Visit www.ewtn.com for details.

Archbishop Aquila will celebrate Mass at 9 a.m. Jan 22, prior to the march, which begins with a rally at noon, at St. Patrick Church at 619 10th St. N.W. The Mass was requested by the students and teachers from Denver’s Bishop Machebeuf High School who are also traveling to the district.

The March for Life is held yearly on or around the Jan. 22 anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion in 1973. Since that ruling 41 years ago, it is estimated 56.9 million babies have died nationwide through abortion. The march draws hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers, who stand up for the unborn.

Prior to the march, there will be events in Denver to memorialize lives lost and witness publicly.

At 12:10 p.m. Jan. 18, Archbishop Aquila will celebrate an annual Mass of Remembrance at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception at 1530 Logan St. in Denver. At 3 p.m. that day, he will preside over a gathering at Lighthouse Women’s Center at 3894 Olive St. in Denver, a block from Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. The remembrance will begin with song and prayer, followed by words from the archbishop, who will then bless the pilgrims heading to Washington, D.C. The event will end with a procession to Planned Parenthood. There, participants will place flowers along the fence that surrounds the facility and pray for children who lost their lives at that location. Attendees are asked to bring flowers.

For more information on the March for Life in Washington, D.C., visit www.marchforlife.org.

 

COMING UP: Team Samaritan cyclist goes ‘Everesting’ for the homeless and hungry

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When it comes to the daily sufferings of those who are homeless, there’s nothing like a 29,029-foot bike ride to keep things in perspective.

That’s exactly what Corbin Clement will be doing this Saturday, June 19, with a couple of his riding buddies as they attempt an “Everesting” ride to raise money for the Samaritan House homeless shelter in Denver. Starting at Witter Gulch Road in Evergreen, the three riders will climb Squaw Pass Road to a point in Clear Creek County and ride back down the hill for over eight laps, which amounts to roughly 190 miles in distance and the equivalent of the elevation of Mt. Everest in terms of vertical climbing – hence the name “Everesting.” Their goal is to complete the feat in 20 hours or less.

Oh, and they can’t sleep. It is, indeed, just as crazy as it sounds. Those who aren’t avid cyclists might be wondering, “How in the world do you train for something like this?” 
 
“For training, it’s been just more or less ride as much as possible,” Clement told the Denver Catholic. “The training is structured around endurance, and that’s of course what Everesting is. It’s just a lot of peddling. So, a lot of my training so far has just been trying to ride as much as possible and ride longer high elevation rides.” 

In March, an Irish cyclist set the world record for Everesting when he completed the feat in six hours and 40 minutes. Clement isn’t trying to set a record, but regardless, it’s quite a feat to undertake, even for a seasoned athlete like him, whose pedigree includes snowboarding and rock climbing. 

“Our ride will be the same thing, but it’ll be pretty different,” Clement said. “We don’t have any sort of special bikes or super focused diet or a really regimented plan or a crew that’s very well-instructed on how we’re going to tackle this. I’ve read a couple of things to just kind of make it into a party — have friends come out to support you, get people to join you on certain laps…that’s kind of the approach we’re taking.” 

Clement has already raised $5,200 for Samaritan House, with a current goal of $8,000. This is Clement’s first year riding for Team Samaritan, but his dad, Kevin, has ridden for the team for several years. When his dad offered to give him an extra kit and uniform, Clement accepted, but didn’t want to take it without doing something help the cause. He could’ve simply opted for a nice ride in the countryside, but he chose to do something a bit more challenging.  

Corbin Clement used to experience the challenges that homeless people face on a daily basis when commuting through downtown Denver to work on his bike. This Saturday, he will raise money for Samaritan House homeless shelter by “Everesting,” a 190-mile bike ride that is the equivalent of the elevation of Mt. Everest in terms of vertical climbing. (Photo provided)

“For some reason, the Everesting idea popped into my head,” he explained. “I think it’s one of those things that has a little bit of shock value for people who hear about it. It’s certainly something that’s gained more popularity and visibility in the last couple of years with endurance athletes. I wanted to choose something that would actually be a challenge for myself and something that I’d have to work towards.” 

Clement currently resides in Utah, but he used to live in Denver and commute by bike to work every day. During those rides to his office, which was located near Samaritan House, he would pass many homeless people and have conversations with them. This experience was also a motivating factor for his Everesting attempt for Team Samaritan. 

“It’s very different when you’re on a bike versus in a car because you’re right there,” Clement said. “If you stop at a stoplight and a homeless person is on the corner, whether or not they’re panhandling or something like that, you hear the conversations, or you’ll have a conversation with them. There are things you smell or you hear or you see that you just never would if you were in a car. So, it kind of made sense, too, with the biking aspect. It’s part of my community that I’ve lived and worked in for a very long time.” 

Clement’s Everesting attempt is one event in a series of endurance event’s he’s doing over the summer that culminates with the Leadville 100, a single-day mountain bike race across the Colorado Rockies. In that race, he will be riding to support young adults diagnosed with cancer by raising funds for First Descents.  

Both causes are near to Clement’s heart, and he said that while his Everesting attempt will be a form of “suffering,” it pales in comparison to what the homeless face day in and day out. This is ultimately why he’s riding and raising funds for Team Samaritan. 

“Any time we see a homeless person or people who have to live on the streets,” Clement said, “That is true suffering — true endurance — with no end in sight.” 

To learn more about Corbin’s fundraising efforts or to donate, click here.