Thursday, January 22, 2009

And the Crusaders Go Marching In

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What a day! You really have to be proud of our students.
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Last night their plane was late in departing O'Hare airport, which meant that they were late arriving at Reagan National Airport. When the group finally got all of it's luggage together, a common mistake made in Washington, DC had them getting onto the Metro train going in the wrong direction. Even though they caught their mistake quickly, when they got off the train at the next station, they found out that they had just gotten off of the last train of the night. That meant the 38 people in the group were going to be stranded at an out of the way subway station, with no transportation to their hotel. A huge word of thanks has to go out to the WMATA, they sent a train just for the CMH group! Prayers can be answered.
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Even with all the delays the night before the dedicated members of the CMH Pro-Life Club got themselves out of their hotel beds at 5:30am so that they could be in line at the Verizon Center for the Youth Rally for Life and Mass. Over 20 thousand young people gathered for faith witnesses, pro-life testimonials, praying the Rosary, and celebrating the Eucharist. It was inspiring.
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From my perspective, a very powerful moment came just before the end of the youth mass -- Archbishop Wuerl of Washington, DC asked all the young men and women in the arena who were considering a vocation to priesthood or religious life to stand. The hundreds...let me say that again, the hundreds were applauded dramatically by all the youth gathered. Hopefully, those prayers will also be answered.
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After the mass, it was down to the mall to join the more than 200,000 other Marchers for speeches and music before the March on to the Capital and the Supreme Court. Many things about the afternoon were remarkable, but two things are worth noting: 1) No one, either present of mentioned in speeches, was booed by the crowd; 2) The group of thousands and thousands was disproportionately young, mostly high school and college-aged. Our prayers for the future are being answered.
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The evening ended with a dinner at Holy Rosary Parish, where I lived while I was getting my canon law degree at Catholic University. Joining our group were Archbishop Dolan and three seminarians from Milwaukee, a group of CMH alumni working in the DC area, and Congressman James Sensenbrenner. (Other legislators, of both political parties, were contacted but only Rep. Sensenbrenner was able to attend.)
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The leaders of our kids were great. They presented their own pro-life views, and discussed what needed to be done in the future and asked penetrating questions of the Representative. These young people are answers to prayers.
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Enough for tonight. More tomorrow!
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