March for Life 2013 – Day 3

The day of the March. After hanging out late the night before, 5 AM came way too early. We were on the bus by 6 and because it is the DOW we were on time leaving a little before 6:30. (What’s a half hour.) We actually made it to the Verizon Center in a decent amount of time. The Mass was awesome. Twenty-five thousands youths, over a hundred priests, and about 30 or more bishops. Wow! The last time I was at the Verizon Center for the March for Life, after Mass, when I came out of the bathroom, I ran into Father Benedict Groeschel. However this time was special because I got to concelebrate. Our Winona group were way up at the top of the arena. Even so, they claim they found me.

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After Mass, we met up with Bishop Quinn and then made our way down to the Mall. I ran into some great priests from Detroit and Winona (from other diocese). It was amazing seeing all of the young people there standing up for life. It was just a sea of people. When we go home, we may feel we are alone in this fight for life, but the March for Life reminds us that we are not. We need to pray to have the strength to stand up for what is right in all situations, even when we are by ourselves. However, we are communal beings. Numbers bring comfort and hope. Seeing 400,000+ others marching for the same cause gives us hope that tomorrow we can be a cultural of life instead of a culture of death.

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In science one talks about potential energy and kinetic energy. At each moment of conception, no matter how the child came into existence, is full of potential. The “blob of cells” is a human person. The “blob of cells” has the potential to be a fully functional human adult person; nothing else. This is evident because if it is left to the miracle of nature, the “blob of cells,” is born and then is protected by the laws of society. Why then should location (inside the womb or outside of the womb) and desire (the child is wanted or the child is not wanted) determine whether the “blob of cells” is a human person or not? The short answer is it doesn’t. It does not make logical sense. A woman has a right to her body, but every cell in her body has the same DNA. The DNA of the child in his or her mother’s womb is different. Therefore, a child in a mother’s womb is a separate person, a person with the same inalienable rights as any other person outside of the womb. The reason why abortion is legal is because people want an out from the responsibility that is theirs. Abortion, murder, does not make sense in itself. It is only makes “sense” in the context of needing a way out of certain situations. In a world of instant gratification, it only makes sense that when the conception of human person, a person who will live for an eternity in heaven or hell, interrupts our own pre-laid plans, we, in our fallenness, make up all sorts of excuses to justify what is inherently evil. Those who were born after 1972 are the survivors of the greatest holocaust the world has ever seen. We need to wake up and see the evil right in front of us.

In an attempt to warm our toes and refill our stomachs, we stopped at Cici’s again this year (like we did last year).

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To finish the day we went to an amazing Matt Maher concert. Chris Stefanick gave a wonderful talk. What an awesome blessed day. God is good. God willing we will be back next year to celebrate the nation’s embracement of the culture of life. But if not, we will be back, stronger and bolder, to fight for that day to come.

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March for Life 2013 – Day 2

As of Thursday morning we were still on the bus. A little past noon we arrived at the Blessed Pope John Paul II Cultural Center. I got to say Mass with Frs. Melvin and Thompson and the seminarians in the chapel at the Cultural Center. They had a great exhibit detailing Blessed JPII’s life called “Be Not Afraid.” What a great message for us at the beginning of our time in D.C. There are a lot of things we could be afraid of. We could be afraid to speak the truth about the sanctity of life from conception to natural death. We could be afraid of being labeled intolerant, bigots, sexist. Being a faithful Catholic is not popular. But truth is not relative. It is not decided by popular vote. It is decided by God.

Then we stopped by the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for just a bit. What a beautiful place. Then we went to lunch at the student cafeteria area. I had Chick-fil-a to support them. It was better than I anticipated. Then we went back to the hotel for a much desired shower.

I ditched the group and met up with my friend Mary Acosta at a great little French restaurant called L’Enfant Cafe & Bar. My steak was delicious. I got to meet Mary’s very cool friends Julia Sullivan and Eric Forrest. Then we went to a concert where Mary’s friend Meghan Whittier sang beautifully. Don’t tell her, but I nodded off a little. I was working on two hours of sleep on bus. But great time. Then we went to Estadio, another great little restaurant to celebrate Meghan’s concert. Then Mary and Eric took me back to the hotel.

What a great day. My day had been influenced by hundreds of people. From the people from our diocese, to my new friends Julia and Eric, to the person at the counter at the Chick-fil-a. We all have a role, a place in this world. The individual, but also the world, is at a detriment when people are not there that should be. We are all wanted. We are all precious. Human life is so very precious. It is only when a society respects and understands the dignity of the human person that true sacrifice, true heroism is understood. Our heroes should be the saints (Blessed JPII, Maximillian Kolbe, St. Francis, St. Catherine of Sienna, St. Theresa of Avilia), not Le Bron James and Justin Bieber. If you want to see true heroism, look at a Crucifix. “This is my Body given for you.”

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March For Life 2013 – Day 1

Today, we met up at St. Pius Catholic Church in Rochester, MN at noon. We boarded a coach bus and headed for Winona. We picked up some more people in Winona and were joined by a second bus full of all of the seminarians from Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary. What a glorious occasion. Two full buses from the lowly Diocese of Winona going to DC to support life from conception to natural death.

To get  us in the “mood,” we watched the movie October Baby. Wow! What a great movie. Right up there with Belle. If you have time, watch one or both of these movies.

As some of you know, and some of you will find out in the February Courier, this issue is close to my heart. See, I myself was found on the doorstep of the police station in Mokpo, South Korea when I was about one. I don’t know what the situation was. Maybe a teenage mother. Who knows. I was “unwanted.” However, that is a lie. We are all wanted. Isaiah 49:15 – “Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I (God) will never forget you.” We all have a mother who loves us very much. After Blessed Pope John Paul II lost his mother, in prayer he told the Blessed Mother Mary, “Now you have to be my mother.” Jesus gave His Holy Mother, Mary to each of us. (John 19:26-27) Every child, no matter what the situation is, is wanted by God and by Mary, even if they are not wanted by the father and mother.

Totus Tuus, Ave Maria. (Totally yours, Holy Mary.)