Friday, January 28, 2005

Reflections on the March For Life...

On the steps of the Supreme Court Posted by Hello

This past weekend, I had the chance to travel to Washington DC for the March For Life with the super fabulous peeps from Western Washington University. Being adopted as a little wee one, the right to life has always had a special place in my heart, but I had no idea how incredible this weekend would turn out to be.

Just arriving into DC was a journey - given the extreme cold (wind chills near zero) and a huge dumping of snow over the Northeast just a few days earlier. When all was said and done on Saturday the 22nd, seven of us arrived into Washington DC and checked into the Red Roof Inn (which ironically, had a green roof) for the weekend.

Sunday morning we woke up and walked across the street (literally) to St. Mary's, where I attended my first Latin Mass - complete with the altar rail, readings in both English and Latin, and head coverings for the women (well, all the women but Val, Lindsey, and me!). It was a beautiful Tridentine Mass that Nellie Gray (the founder of the March For Life) and Pat Buchanan attend. Gives you a great appreciation for both the old school and new school (pre- and post-Vatican II) rites of the Mass.

Following the Mass, we walked all over DC in an effort to find the Hyatt Regency. The Hyatt hosted the Convention for the March and the youth's mini-convention of Rock For Life ( by the American Life League. ALL did an incredible ad in the Washington Post (check it out at exposing our not-so-Catholic congressmen and women. Not only did it include the photos of the "Catholic" congresspeeps, but it included the phone numbers/email addresses to their Bishops and Archbishops! Talk about accountability!

The most powerful moments came for me on Sunday afternoon when Norma McCorvey (aka Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade) spoke, along with the women from Silent No More Awareness ( Hearing her speak out about her own experience in the life and law changing Roe v. Wade decision was so moving. Knowing that she's now petitioning the Court to overturn the decision gives such hope! Also speaking was a daughter of Catholic Saint Gianna Molla - really, how OFTEN do you get to hear from the child of a real saint?!? Her mom's story is amazing...dealing with her pregnancy and diagnosis with cancer...

Silent No More was launched as a joint project by the Anglican church and the Catholic "Priests For Life". The women from Silent No More spoke with incredible courage about their own abortions and how it's affected their lives. These are the stories the media doesn't want to share, because they tell the the haunting truth of women and their pain following the abortion. My prayers are with them as they continue to speak out and share their stories, because in a world that glorifies choice and convenience and a self-focused "me first" attitude, it often overlooks the aftermath of decisions made from this perspective. Listening to them made me feel an incredible appreciation for my birthmom (as well as Mike's) who by the world's standards should have aborted both of us. And a special thanks to my mom and dad - who said YES to adopting us! You two are the best!

Sunday night, we journeyed to Catholic University of America, to the Basilica for the Vigil For Life. We arrived 2 hours early, and every seat was already taken. It was more crowded than any Christmas or Easter Mass you've seen! We ended up on the side of the altar, on the marble floor, with an incredible view of the altar. There were over 8000 in attendance, with hundreds of priests, seminarians, 20+ bishops, a few cardinals, and even a Papal Nuncio! (Tyler, who was with us, was thrilled that we recieved the Eucharist from him...considering it to be like he was receiving from the Pope! :) ) Cardinal Keeler's homily was powerful and straightforward - for the deets, go to . Wow!! The vigil continued throughout the night, with groups praying nonstop until the March For Life festivities began the next morning.

Early Monday morning, we headed to the Hyatt to help prepare the Red Roses for delivery to the US Congressmen and women. (A special THANK YOU goes to Kathy McEntee, who helped the Western students be part of this) As George Griffith said, the red rose is beautiful, delicate, full of life and needs care to survive - like the tiny pre-born in the womb. The students delivered the roses to representatives from all over the country. We stopped by the offices of Tacoma Congressman Norm Dicks and Bellingham Congressman Rick Larsen to let them know we were here from Washington State for the March and to encourage them to protect the lives of the unborn. Go figure - both were not working that day of the pro-life infiltration...I want a job with Mondays off!! :)

The March began at noon at the Ellipse. The streets were filled with happy, joyful peeps - albeit chilly ones that were almost popsicles! The wind chill was 2 that day...and you were fine as long as you kept moving, but when you stopped, you could feel the cold in your bones! Nearly two hours after the March began, the procession began heading down Constitution Ave. We joined in and headed towards the Supreme Court. It was amazing, there were very few "shock" photos exposing the horrors of abortion (which we all know are true) but rather many, many loving signs, faces, and people who are there to change minds and hearts. An estimated 250,000 people were part of the 2005 March For Life, and there was much hope as to the future. The Knights of Columbus rocked - you saw their "DEFEND LIFE" signs everywhere. They were marshals in the March, helping nearly everywhere, and turning out people in huge numbers. We have an incredible group of Catholic men in the Church!

As we headed up the last blocks to the Supreme Court, the snow began falling again. We reached the Court building, and prayed together as a group for an end to abortion and a change of hearts for those who haven't yet embraced the Culture of Life. Just an FYI - the young people from Western are amazing, and I was humbled to be part of their group. As we turned to head back to Union Station, the snow began falling much harder, covering us as we tried to get in from the cold! By that point, we'd spent nearly six hours outside throughout the day! Our signs provided by American Life League ( were something else - and caused quite a stir throughout Union Station and on the subways...check them out in the PhotoShow!

Speaking of...if you've read this far...why don't you check out my photos from the weekend? Click on the link for the PhotoShow!

This weekend gave me a better understanding of the Culture of Life, as well as a deep appreciation for my birthmom, my mommy who raised me, and those women who are facing a surprise pregnancy...let's pray for a greater respect for life in all it's ages and stages!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I appreciate this first hand acct of the courageous "average Americans" who braved the elements to stand up for and speak out for the most undefensible of our society, the unborn. Thank you for sharing.

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