Nearly 25% of Christendom College’s student body recently gathered at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Silver Spring, Md., for the semesterly “Mega Shield” event — a function of Christendom’s pro-life student group, Shield of Roses. Students, faculty, and staff prayed numerous rosaries and sang Marian hymns as “pro-choice” escorts looked on, bearing witness to the power of prayerful protest in our troubled times.
Participants of Shield of Roses, led by sophomores Mary Schneider and Michael Mazzara, drive an hour and a half into Maryland every Saturday morning during the academic year to protest the evils of abortion and to counsel those seeking it. The group began visiting the clinic in Silver Spring this semester, after the Washington, D.C. clinic they previously protested at for years closed down this past spring.
“Shield provides an opportunity for students to step outside of their comfort zone and meet the issues and problems we as Catholic leaders are called to face,” said Schneider.
“In all we do as Shield of Roses, whether it is quietly praying outside the clinic or sidewalk counseling, we strive to be a witness of Christ’s love and mercy. Our goal is to change the hearts of the mothers before and after abortion, in the hopes of saving the soul and life of both the child and the mother,” said Schneider.
Shield of Roses is Christendom’s oldest student-run group, founded the first year of the college’s existence in 1977. Advised by the history department’s Dr. Brendan McGuire, Shield of Roses has featured numerous inspiring leaders over the years, many of whom have been awarded “Volunteer of the Year” awards by the Diocese of Arlington.
The group protests at the same clinic each Saturday morning during the academic year, but normally only around twenty-four students make the trek into Maryland on a weekly basis. Once a semester, however, the group’s leadership organizes a “Mega Shield” event and encourages as many of the members of the College community as possible to participate.
To learn more about Shield of Roses, please watch the video below.