Tuesday morning after Mass I headed to campus for my first organ lesson which went very well. (Or at least I thought so.) Then after getting back to the seminary we left for our annual March for Life pilgrimage in DC as a seminary. 12ish something hours later we made it to Gaithersburg where we stay in a hotel and then had the day free before Mass tonight.
The Opening Prayer Vigil Mass for Life in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is always a superb and amazing experience for all involved. The opening procession literally can take around 45 minutes. With around 600 seminarians this year (not sure on any other numbers) it can take a while. Dr. Peter Latona and all involved with music at the Basilica always do an amazing job and the music truly shows our Catholic musical heritage in all it’s beautiful glory! It’s great to see how “big” the church actually is at gatherings and celebrations such as these. The Basilica is packed from wall to wall with everyone, seminarians get shoved in random places to sit. This year I was in the beautiful Blessed Sacrament Chapel.
On the way processing into the sanctuary I was looking to the left and right to see if I would see Sister Elizabeth Grace from the Sisters of Life. Sister Elizabeth Grace is the sister to one of my dear friends from camp Molly Rhodes. When I looked to the left and her gaze caught mine my heart leaped for joy! I haven’t gotten to see her for almost 3 years! Sister Elizabeth Grace became a dear friend when I worked at camp and has prayed for me as I journey throughout seminary. I offer my rosary for her every Tuesday and pray for her regularly as well. After Mass I devested as quick as I could and raced up the stairs and through the Basilica, just in time to visit with her for a few moments before she had to leave. It’s a slightly blurry selfie, but I’m quite proud and happy that I got to see her and that she is doing well. It’s always a great thing to have a beautiful sister sister in Christ praying for you! I also got to see Sister Faustina of the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal. Another great sister!
Cardinal Archbishop O’Malley of Boston with his booming deep voice was the principal celebrant and homilist at Mass. His homily was great as always, from talking about Oprah calling him, to the man in the Gospel, to why we march and the statistics showing that abortions are going down and pro-lifers are the new norm in the US, it was a beautiful homily, challenging us to take to heart the pro-life message and turn towards God.
I give thanks this week for the gift of my life that my parents gave me. Their love inspired my creation and they saw it through to my birth, giving birth to not just my life but also those of my brothers and sister. (I’m a triplet with two other brothers) Tomorrow I march in thanksgiving for my life. For the gift of beautiful friendships, and spiritual family. I march in thanksgiving for so many young people excited about the church and so many future vocations at Mass tonight. I march for life, for a greater respect of it and for an end to abortion and other sins against life in our country and our world. I march for a nation who will grant freedom, liberty, justice, and peace, to all its’ citizens, born and unborn. I march because Christ came to free us from our bondage to sin and give us the awesome gifts of everlasting life! I march that every life may walk this beautiful earth and experience the beauty God has given us. I march for life, because every life is a gift from God.
Why do you march?