Mary Ann Cortese ’17.

Simply put, Mary Ann Cortese ’17 loves to dance. She recently danced her way through Saint Viator’s production of Bye Bye Birdie and followed up with a featured role in the spring Orchesis show, both as a choreographer and senior dancer.

However, what really drives her is serving others, and more specifically serving as a passionate pro-life activist.

Back in January, Mary Ann participated in the March for Life in Chicago—with a delegation from Saint Viator led by Br. Peter Lamick, CSV—and on Jan. 27 in the March for Life in the nation’s capital, which drew more than 500,000 people.

“Together, Saint Viator students, parents and Viatorians gave witness to the sanctity of human life,” Br. Peter said about the Chicago march, “as we advocated for the protection of the natural rights of the unborn who are vulnerable and voiceless.”

With marches taking place in countless cities, it is the largest pro-life rally in the world. It takes place every year near the anniversary of legalized abortion, which took effect Jan. 22, 1973.

“These trips ignited a passion in me to truly stand up for what I believe in, which is the dignity of human life,” Mary Ann says. “Being an active Christian youth in this movement is exciting, as change is in the air and the movement is starting to leave its impact on our nation.”

As for her advice to classmates thinking about service: “Please do not hesitate to get active in service or something that you are passionate about. Your time is now, while you are young, to foster new relationships and engage in something you feel called to do.”