Sunday, January 26, 2014

March for Life, 2014

This past week, I went to the March for Life in Washington, DC.  It is a protest march against the corrupt and unjust decision called "Roe vs. Wade" which was handed down by the United States Supreme Court in 1973.  This bad decision paved the way for the killing of nearly 60,000,000 unborn babies by abortion.  I was actually sick all week and decided to not attend the March for Life.  However, in my heart, I kept feeling that I had to go.  Since I was born after 1973, Roe vs. Wade meant that I and everyone in my generation, and everyone younger than us, did not have the right to life.  Well, every unborn child has the right to life, but the Supreme Court refused to recognize this right. This is a terrible injustice and I had to protest this.

We began our journey to Washington early in the morning. There was a big snowstorm the entire way there.  I was the chaplain for one of our busses.  Our journey was a real pilgrimage.  We prayed much of the time, and also spoke about the Gospel of Life.

On the bus, speaking about the Gospel of Life.

I, along with about 10,000 people - mostly young people - attended the Mass celebrated by Cardinal Sean O'Malley, OFM Cap. at the Basilica in Washington, DC.  In his homily, Cardinal O'Malley spoke about the need for us to show compassion and solidarity to women who are in difficult pregnancies.  He also urged us to be merciful to those who, for various reasons, had chosen abortion.  In this context, he mentioned Project Rachel, which is a very good program that helps such people experience healing.  This is the beauty of the Gospel of Life: we are to oppose abortion always, but we must also show that God is merciful.  Women and men who have had anything to do with abortion can still receive forgiveness from the Lord Jesus and begin again.  Here is the Cardinal's homily.  It is worth your time to listen to this:

The next day, our group had another Mass with our archbishop, Cardinal O'Malley.

In the sacristy, before the Mass.

I was so happy to see my friend Jon Niven at the Mass.  He is an awesome musician and really leads people to prayer, praise, and worship.  

Processing before the Mass.

Cardinal O'Malley

Here is a picture of our group from the Archdiocese of Boston.  As you can see, there was a lot of us there.

After this Mass, we went to the March for Life.  The wind chill temperature was near 0 degrees.  It was very cold, but that didn't stop us!

With Mother Olga of the Eucharist and her community.

There were hundreds of thousands of people at the March.

With some young people from our group.

I got to see some of my friends during the March.

With Jon Niven.

With the Vocation Director from our Archdiocese, Father Daniel Hennessey.

Cardinal O'Malley led our group in the March.

On the way toward the Supreme Court.  For me, it was a solemn experience as I thought about the countless members of my generation who lost their lives because of Roe vs. Wade.

At the Supreme Court, I prayed for the protection of all life.  I wanted to give the Judges a piece of my mind about justice.  That's the one thing they seem confused about!

At the Supreme Court, there were some men and women giving testimonies about how abortion had hurt them in life. They also talked about finding redemption in the mercy of God.  They belong to a movement called Silent No More Awareness.

This reminded me of the words of a song: "Young people speaking their minds, getting so much resistance from behind…"

That evening, our group had a prayer service in another church.  My friend Father Matthew Williams of our Office of New Evangelization (ONE) did a great job at leading us in prayer.  During the service, a number of us priests heard confessions for about 3 hours.  Even though we were all very tired at this point, it was a time of grace and truth!

The following day, we had another Mass, celebrated by Fr. Matthew Williams. 

With one of the groups from our Archdiocese, after the Mass. 

After this, I went to see some of the memorials in Washington, DC.  Then, we made the long journey back to Boston.  It was a real pilgrimage.  If you have never been to the March for Life, I suggest that you go.  Not only do we get to protest the injustice that is  Roe vs. Wade, but we are also able to witness to the dignity of human life and realize that, in this noble cause, we are not alone.  

Please work and pray to end abortion.  It is the greatest social problem in our country and the world.  But above all, please be a courageous witness to the dignity of human life in your present circumstances.  If you know any woman in a difficult pregnancy, please try to help her care for her child.  Every little thing you can do is helpful.  And finally, show compassion to men and women who have had anything to do with abortion.  For them, all is not lost.  They are hurting, but there is still hope and they can find healing and renewal in Jesus Christ the Lord. They can, once again, become a very great witness to the dignity of human life. 

God bless you.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

An Exchange of Gifts

Together with Cardinal Tagle of Manila, my friends and I have produced this video. This is to support the survivors of the typhoon in the Philippines.  Have a look and please share.