We headed out on a bus with our church before the sun came up on Friday. We arrived at The Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, which was just as striking to me as the times I have seen it in the past.
I didn't bring my camera because I was nervous with the forecast of snow, so all I have are some pictures from my phone!
The Basilica really is the most gorgeous church I have ever seen in my life. We didn't get much of a chance to explore because we got there with just enough time to use the restroom before mass, but that's okay because we weren't there for sightseeing anyways!
The mass was just as beautiful as the church. It was amazing to be joined together with thousands of other Catholics celebrating the mass. It was particularly appropriate that Friday was the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul. Saint Paul was once a murderer, but after converting he spent the rest of his life adamantly proclaiming the Gospel. The Bishop reminded us that God has the power and the right graces to change even the hardest of hearts. It was inspiring to hear a message full of hope when we are fighting against such a horrible thing. There IS hope for people's hearts to change about abortion.
The streets were PACKED, and it was awesome to be part of the crowd! It was so powerful to hear the people around us praying, singing, chanting, and talking about the beauty of life. Overall, I felt like the crowd was very joyful. Yes, we were walking to stand up against something evil, but there was still so much joy and hope in that crowd, a joy that only faith can bring from believing that God will answer our fervent prayers.
It was particularly encouraging to see so many young people from high school there. Many people at the march were holding up these signs, which gives me even more hope that we are the generation that will help to overturn Roe vs. Wade.
Later on in the march, we came across this group of women and men, and I was completely and totally moved.
I have recently been reading and watching videos of the stories of people who were born after their mothers were raped, and I thought it was amazing to see these women in person. I actually went up to Pam Stenzel because I wanted to tell her to keep sharing her story because I think it is so powerful. She probably thinks I am crazy because I babbled on like a fool unable to compose myself, but that's okay! I just think these women are such powerful witnesses because they show the humanity of the baby that is in the womb, and their lives are a testimony to the fact that God can take a horrible, tragic event and turn it around for his good and glory.
We marched on through the snow, and once we got to the end, we went over to a local Catholic church to wait for the bus. The people at the church were so welcoming, and they gave us all donuts and hot chocolate while we waited in their parish hall.
The fight for life does not end with the march. In case you can't read that quote, it says "Only with prayer - prayer that storms the heavens for justice and mercy, prayer that cleanses our hearts and souls- will the culture of death that surrounds us today be replaced with a culture of life." We must pray, and pray, and pray. Pray for life. Pray for crisis pregnancies. Pray for those working in crisis pregnancy centers. Pray for those who are adamantly pro-choice. Pray for Roe vs. Wade to be overturn. Pray for adoption. Pray for healing for those who have had their abortions.
But don't just stop at praying. Pro-life encompasses so much more than just being against abortion. Take a look at this article. What can you do this year to stand up for life?