They came from near and far, and even from Down Under, united in prayer and in standing together for life at the Archdiocese of Washington's annual Youth Rally and Mass for Life, held Jan. 18 at the Capital One Arena in Washington.
The estimated crowd of 18,000 came from the Washington area and from across the country and were joined by young adults from Sydney on their way to World Youth Day in Panama.
A "Season of Healing" for sexual abuse survivors began in the Archdiocese of Washington with a Sept. 14 Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.
Parish priests in the Archdiocese of Washington -- on the front lines dealing with the fallout of the church sexual abuse crisis this summer -- have stressed the need to listen to and pray with their parishioners.
Addressing the clergy abuse crisis in the church will require "wider lay engagement, more realized accountability and evident transparency," said Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl at the end of a Sept. 2 Mass in Washington.