Remarks at Celebrate Life Rally: Mark Rohlena

by Mark Rohlena, Executive Director of Napa Institute
Published In June 27, 2024

It is a great honor to be here today, with so many amazing leaders in front of the Lincoln Memorial

A memorial which serves as a reminder of the long struggles our nation has undergone for the sake of human dignity.

In 2022, on that great day when the Dobbs decision struck down legalized abortion at the national level, we did not finish a great work on behalf of the unborn.

We began a new chapter in a continuing battle.

And there have been victories and setbacks since, no doubt. There will certainly be more of both in the days ahead.

For great efforts like this which span generations, Abraham Lincoln reminded that: “The fight must go on. The cause of civil liberty must not be surrendered at the end of one, or even one hundred defeats.”

And I’d add that the fight must not end even after amazing victories.

And so, I am reminded of the many battles I have been blessed to join with so many of you –

  • On the sidewalks outside of abortion mills in prayer;
  • Founding a pregnancy center across the street from one such terrifying mill, to give an alternative filled with hope to women and men who deserve the truth;
  • Working with women in post-abortion trauma to heal, and in some cases find a voice to advocate, through the memory of the dear life that was killed, for unborn children everywhere;
  • With loving families seeking to give a beloved child of God a home through adoption;
  • And, fighting to preserve life in law at the federal policy level.

And now as Executive Director of the Napa Institute, which has this amazing vantage point – where we get to see and support so many amazing groups and individuals giving their lives to help others understand and honor the human person at every stage of life, from the first moment to the last breath and beyond.

In each of these settings, I stood both next to and on the shoulders of giants.

Every phase of our pro-life movement has included those who gave so much, knowing that they would not see the full fruits of their labors.

We are asked to honor these people today.

To take the new beginning made two years ago and push as we are called to in our moment—this very moment now—toward the victory that we know is certain, through our faith in a good and active God.

And we must do this in hope.

We must, in all the amazing ways you defend life each day, stay on the battlefield.

Stay to fight, though some days we may be weary.

Remain in the fray, though the money, and the odds, and the talking heads may tell us we are outnumbered.

Not give into any kind of discouragement because we are a people of hope, and God is on our side in the defense of the unborn.

You know, St. John Paul II, in addressing the Italian Prolife Movement, once said something that can be said today, right here in this place, he said:


“Your presence, in large numbers and with great conviction, is an encouraging sign which nourishes the hope that truth will triumph over the false justifications given for abortion. The truth is that every human being has a right to life from his conception until his natural end.

For the faithful the hope that this truth will prevail finds its basis in Christ, who died and rose again, and who sends his Spirit into the world to instill courage and to raise up tireless defenders and witnesses of truth and life.”


And so, dear friends—dear witnesses of truth and life from all traditions and backgrounds—may we remain tireless in our work.

May we carry on the great task given to us by God in our moment right now on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves in the face of the worst kind of evil.

For—to quote St. Joan of Arc—we must join the battle, that God may provide the victory.

And He will.

Thank you and God bless you all.

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