University of Mary Sending Largest Contingent to March for Life Since Leading it in 2017

Students walking at the Marching for Life

The event is part of Life and Dignity Week starting Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, with Powwow, MLK Day, Community Learning Day, and March for Life

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The words “for Life” that often follow the name University of Mary, isn’t just a slogan, a tag line, or advertising jargon the private Catholic school in Bismarck uses to identify itself. But it is an intentional belief the college honors as part of its mission and practiced by its students, faculty, and staff on a regular basis.

One such event is the participation in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., Friday, January 21. This year, nearly 230 students and faculty — five full buses — are making the 60-plus hour roundtrip. That’s the largest Mary contingent since leading the March for Life in 2017, when over 600 attended.

That event coincides with the second annual North Dakota March for Life January 21, beginning with Mass at 10:30 a.m., celebrated by Bishop David Kagan at Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, followed by the march to the steps of the North Dakota Capitol for the rally at 12:30 p.m.

“We will leave Tuesday, January 18, 2022, around 9:30 p.m., and return late evening on Sunday, January 23, 2022.,” said Ed Konieczka, assistant director of University Ministry at Mary. “We’ll attend Mass on the way to Washington, D.C. at Notre Dame, and again on the way back at the Cathedral in St. Paul. The National March and the ND March for Life are both scheduled to take place on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022. We will be marching to the State Capitol the same time that our students in D.C. will be marching to the Supreme Court building — I love that we will be marching at the same time.”

“The right to life is a human right,” states the national March for Life webpage. “Our defense of that right is a joyful witness to the beauty and dignity of every human person. The March for Life is an inspiring, peaceful, vibrant, and joy-filled rally of women, men, young people, and children from all across the country. Every year, tens of thousands of pro-lifers converge on the National Mall and march on Capitol Hill on the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v Wade ruling which legalized abortion in all 50 states. It’s the largest annual human rights demonstration in the world. But this is not just a protest. Together, we gather to celebrate ‘life.’ We celebrate each and every life, from the moment of conception. We envision a world where every life is celebrated, valued and protected.”

The March for Life on Friday caps off the first ever Life and Dignity Week celebration at the University of Mary that begins Sunday, January 16 with the second annual Mid-winter Powwow in partnership with United Tribes Technical College (UTTC). The Powwow marks the first day of the University of Mary’s new Week to Celebrate the Life and Dignity of the Human Person, “Life and Dignity Week.” The week continues Monday with the celebration of Martin Luther King Day. The University of Mary is honoring the civil rights leader’s famous speech with an “I Have a Dream” art contest for students, sponsored by the Black Student Union. Bishop Joseph Perry, auxiliary bishop of Chicago, will give a keynote address at the Monday Morning Mission event. Bishop Perry is the postulator for the cause of Fr. Augustus Tolton – a former slave and the first African American to be ordained a priest. Bishop Perry will also join for the solidarity dinner held that evening. The week continues with a Community Learning Day on Wednesday with discussion of various social topics through the lens of Catholic social teaching.  

“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate life than to designate a special week to it every year, like we are doing here at the University of Mary,” added Konieczka. “Our devotion to providing a voice for the unborn and celebrate the life and dignity of every human person is as strong as ever.”

For more information regarding the North Dakota March for Life, visit For more information about the national March for Life, visit For more information regarding the Mid-winter Powwow, visit

About the University of Mary

True to its motto “lumen vitae” — The Light of Life — the University of Mary offers education for the whole of life through cutting-edge professional programs and graduate programs animated by moral courage and leadership in chosen professions and service to the community. A private, co-educational Catholic institution, the University of Mary welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds.

 A Christian, Catholic, Benedictine institution founded in 1959 by the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, Mary offers nearly 60 bachelor’s, 19 master’s, and five doctoral programs—in business, education, nursing practice, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. The 19-sport Athletic Department adheres to its Greatness Through Virtue mission under the governance of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) conferences. With more than 3,800 students, Mary has locations in North Dakota, Montana, Arizona, Rome, Italy, as well as vibrant online offerings.