Old St. Pat's youth group chartered a bus to Washington, taking their place in the battle to save our nation's unborn. Blaise and Regina were our marchers this year. I have not seen an official count, but observers believe the number of participants broke all records. The pro-lifers are a joyful lot in spite of their grim task. The youth group always has a marvelous time!
Youth Mass at the Verizon Center. Youth, priests and religious make a mighty army.
Blaise demonstrating the incorrect way to wear the official OSP shamrock scarf.
We want to teach our children that each life has value and deserves care and respect. One's dignity comes from God Himself, not from the circumstances of our birth or how vital we are in our old age or infirmity. It is easy in the daily demands of life to forget that each person is created in the image of God. Especially when the person in front of you is being difficult, rude, is dirty, has not done their duty, is making life harder for you... If we can remember to see our antagonist as we should, perhaps we could deal more kindly, patiently and prudently with them. And perhaps hearts will soften towards life. When we fail in this, we must try again. I'm trying.
Heavenly Father, in Your love for us, protect against the wickedness of the devil, those helpless little ones to whom You have given the gift of life. Touch with pity the hearts of those women pregnant in our world today who are not thinking of motherhood. Help them to see that the child they carry is made in Your image - as well as theirs - made for eternnal life. Dispel their fear and selfishness and give them true womanly hearts to love their babies and give them birth and all the needed care that a mother alone can give. We ask this through Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever, Amen.
Lent was filled with the usual Lenten illnesses and appliance breakdowns. God really knows how to keep us clinging to Him by our fingernails. :) We are learning to praise Him in all things.
There were also some exciting opportunities to be a teensy part of defending life and liberty.
Monica was invited to attend a dinner featuring our Lt. Governor as the main speaker. She was joined by a lively table of young republicans and he graciously spent time talking with them.
Lt. Governor Calley is in the center, Monica is in the back row, far left.
The HHS mandate that will force Catholics and others to violate their conscience on life issues, resulted in rallies across the country. One of the very best speeches from our rally was given by a Deacon from a local parish. Well worth the read.
Our parish youth group chartered a bus to take 36 teens and their chaperons to the March for Life in Washington DC. They stopped for Mass at the gorgeous St. Paul's Cathedral in Pittsburgh. They spent time in the Smithsonian, visited the monuments, and a Franciscan Monastery. They attended the vigil Mass at the Basilica and the youth rally and Mass before the march.
And they marched. For the babies. For the sanctity of life. The media ignores the march. But Washington cannot, (in spite of the stealth technology employed by pro-lifers.) The official attendance estimate is 500,000. For 39 years this march has been growing and the marchers getting younger. There are other marches for life around the country. Our young warriors will never forget this trip and will go on fighting till Roe is overturned and every baby has a chance at life and love.
Kevin J. was there with Christendom College who led the march. Alex and Monica were there with our youth group. I have been going through hundreds of wonderful pictures trying to chronicle this experience for them. I know it strengthened their faith and their resolve. And they had a very good time. :)
I do not have any pictures of Kevin, he is somewhere in the back of the Christendom crowd. Being a true Catholic gentleman, he ignored his mother's directive to push and shove his way to the front to get in the photo for blogging purposes.
I love this picture of the Hasidic Jewish Rabbis marching with the college kids.
The Youth Group
the steps of St. Paul's Cathedral in Pittsburgh
Fr. Gerald leading prayers on the bus
heading into the monastery
So many beautiful pictures, the monastery should be a post by itself, but here is St. Francis.
Alex's group at the monuments.
Tebowing. Alex is second from the left, you can tell by the big boats boots.
This is why I could let my kids go. Better chaperons you will not find anywhere. Even Fr. Gerald... as over protective as any parent! All the adults spent plenty of time just counting kids.
the woman who deserves the credit for a great, safe trip, Miss R. the youth group director
Youth Rally before the March
This was taken at one of the Masses, not sure which one but I like the picture. :)
on the metro
When you are from Old St. Patrick's parish, you wear shamrock scarves of course.
"I've noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born."
Pray, fast and fight for the preborn! Love each other in Christian charity.
Bright and early on Memorial Day morning we participated in a 5k run for the unborn to benefit Priests for Life. Well, the kids ran, Kevin J. even came in first. Kevin and I walked at a sedate elderly pace with other parents and strollers at the end of the runners. The very end. As in so far back we couldn't see them and by the time we arrived at the finish, the kids were already at he playground.
Regina and Lydia waiting for the old folks.
Dad did great with a lot of pain killer afterward!
Marshall, who just began his running career was impressive. He ran the course twice making it a 10k.
Kevin J. and Ethan with plenty of time to rest waiting for the others to run in.
It was a very busy weekend, Maria fell asleep eating her oatmeal for lunch.
I was so proud of our parish's Knight of Columbus Council yesterday. They raised over 800.00 from a pancake breakfast to contribute towards an ultrasound machine for a local family health center. In a nearby city, a similar center has one donated by K of C funds and they credit the machine with saving 18 babies. The moms came in contemplating an abortion and when they were able to see the images of their unborn children on the ultrasound, they decided to give them life.
We are a small, country parish with many families struggling in these tough economic times. The amount that the Knights raised is truly the widows mite.
A couple of our boys worked with Kevin from early morning to late afternoon cooking food, serving and cleaning to help make this pancake breakfast possible. They wanted to work to help unborn babies and they worked HARD. Good job men.
(Warning: Some of the pro-life sites linked have graphic images.)
Kevin and I attended the Citizens for a Pro-Life Society Pro-Life Summit. What an encouraging day and what marvelous leaders we heard! The venue was packed, in spite of a snow storm, and was well attended by religious.
Dr. Janet Smith and Al Kresta, of Ave Maria Radio, gave the first talks. We missed most of those because we were working feverishly at the registration table.
Our new bishop, His Excellency Bishop Boyea, spoke on "Dignitas Personae and Pro-Life Action." He exhorted us to change hearts beginning with our families. What a blessing to have his presence and leadership.
Joe Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League has long been a favorite of pro-lifers for his energy, zeal and boundless joy.
Joe Scheidler assured us that the election of Obama has reactivated the pro-life movement. He told us that we cannot be moderate Catholics because we are the Church Militant. We are Christ's army. Can you imagine moderate militants? As militants we are going to be wounded. All good soldiers are wounded. But it is a glorious battle in which we will eventually see victory.
Deal Hudson, Inside Catholic, has been a Catholic consultant in high profile politics. He reminded us that in this last election cycle over 100 bishops spoke up to defend Church teaching and Church documents. He believes we are at the beginning of a new era of Catholics in politics, that our priests and bishops are the key and they are taking up the charge.
With fire and brimstone, Fr. Frank Pavone, of Priests for Life, told us that "The days of legal abortion in this country are numbered." and "The problem will not be that Obama is sitting in the White House, it will be that we are sitting in our houses." He said we are winning because of the massive numbers of young people who attend pro-life events. They know they are survivors. Father said the men and women who have lost children to abortion are finding mercy and new strength and are becoming strong witnesses for the unborn. He counsels abortion providers who have come to terms with the horror of their actions and are working to promote life. These forces cannot be stopped.
Joe Scheidler used an exert from the St. Crispin's Day speech at the Battle at Agincourt to rally his listeners, and rally he did.
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they
were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's
Today is St. Crispin's day. Fight with us for the unborn.