A Reflection on the Occasion of the 49th Anniversary of the Infamous Roe v Wade Ruling
Our Weekend at the Pro-Life Rally in Austin
On Saturday morning of January 22, 2022, after attending morning Mass at Sacred Heart in Richmond, several PAPA ladies and their friends drove to Austin to participate in the Rally for Life, remembering the 62 million babies who have lost their lives to the travesty of abortion that was institutionalized by the U S Supreme Court ruling of Roe v Wade on January 22, 1973. Thousands of pro-lifers gathered in the cold but sunny weather to process the mile to the steps of the Texas State Capitol. We gathered with people from all walks of life…nuns, priests, Knights of Columbus members and ordinary people…all carrying signs showing support for the unborn and for pro-life laws. Bundled up in heavy coats and scarves were Marilda Hugo, Linda Oldag, Josie Fuller and myself, walking together chanting pro-life messages with the crowd. Our big sign read “Yes to your Baby, Yes to Life”. When we arrived at the Capitol building, we noticed the many state police officers keeping watch for anyone who might protest our Rally. But it was very peaceful and the thousands of participants were exuberant! The first speaker was Gov. Greg Abbott, who not only encouraged everyone in their fight for the unborn but also told us that he had signed the Texas Heartbeat Bill into law a couple of days ago! This bill that went into effect last September has already saved the lives of thousands of unborn babies! Another speaker was a young lady who had survived an abortion but her twin did not! It was a very emotional speech! Two bishops were also in attendance…Bishop Vasquez of Austin and Bishop Sis of San Angelo (who Marilda got to speak with since she had known his family many years ago). As we were leaving the Capitol grounds we distributed the PAPA Pro-Life prayer books that we had brought. They were well-received, especially from several people who told me these books would be great for their prayer group! As we passed the state troopers we thanked them all for their service!
Next we drove to our hotel in Austin, the Fairfield Inn, where we spent the night since we were attending the Texas Right to Life “Boots on the Ground” convention the next day. Sunday morning began early at 6:30 am with Mass said by Bishop Joseph Strickland in the convention room of the Marriott. The Bishop began Mass by stating that the room we were in was not a Cathedral but we were making it one by bringing the Lord Jesus there in holy Mass. The moment of Consecration was beautiful...at the lifting of Jesus there was holy silence and worship! It seemed to last several minutes! After Mass, we all went into the other room for a delicious breakfast and question and answer session with Bishop Strickland and Pastor Rafael Cruz, the father of Senator Ted Cruz! The session began with a discussion on our U S Constitution, the issue of separation of church and state, and the current dismal condition of our culture and country. Pastor Cruz, who is an historian, gave a very profound and in-depth review of how our culture, by abandoning God and our Constitution, has enacted laws and elected people who oppose God. In 1933, the Humanist Manifesto was signed by many of our elitists. This Manifesto, which is almost a copy of the Communist Manifesto, is a list of objectives that would destroy our Judeo-Christian culture. Most of these objectives, if not all, have been accomplished and that’s why we see the devastation of our morals today…divorce, contraception, abortion, homosexuality, LGBTQ, and now transgender confusion. Pastor Cruz said we need to return to God and His Word, the Bible. Bishop Strickland agreed and added a more theological and philosophical view, bringing in the importance of Our Blessed Mother in this battle, prayer and action. He also spoke about the importance of living in the Divine Will of God which is in the center of the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” Afterwards, we spoke to the Bishop privately and Marilda asked him to pray for Father Michael. He also told us that on the drive from Tyler he had been listening to a tape of Daniel O’Connor explaining Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta’s revelations concerning the gift of Living in the Divine Will. He has been studying her writings and I asked him about a tweet he sent out a few weeks ago of a discussion on this topic between Daniel O’Connor and Father Mark Goring. Needless to say, Bishop Strickland is a wonderful, personable and faithful shepherd! And we are blessed to have him as a PAPA Bishop!
We then moved back into the conference room where we listened to three different and very informative talks, sponsored by Texas Right to Life and facilitated by Jackson Milton, TRTL Legislative Associate. These sessions were well attended by the youth, which is one of their primary audiences since many of them are pro-life facilitators on their college campuses. The first talk “Why Legalizing Assisted Suicide Threatens Your Life” was given by Alex Schadenberg, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Executive Director. The second talk “Brain Death and Organ Donation” was given by Dr. Joseph Eble, a Radiologist and President of the Catholic Medical Association in Tulsa, OK. He warned that donating your organs after being declared brain dead may lead to removing these organs when you are actually still alive in 50% of the cases. Brain death does not always mean that the person is dead. He showed a video of a person who had been declared brain dead and before they took his organs, they found him to be alive. He fully recovered, married and has children. Dr. Eble advised not to donate organs on your driver’s license. The third speaker was Abby Johnson, the former Director of Bryan/College Station’s Planned Parenthood and now the founder and Director of And Then There Were None. She is also the subject of the movie UnPlanned and her book of the same title. Her organization helps abortion workers quit and find other employment. She discussed the devastation of the mail order abortions, that is, ordering abortion pills and aborting in your own home. This has led to the death of many women and young girls. After speaking to Abby and collecting some of their materials, we left and checked out of our hotel. On the drive home, we discussed the many experiences and presentations we found so helpful and informative in combating the culture of death!
All in all, this was a very encouraging and rewarding weekend, especially when you are surrounded by so many active and faithful pro-lifers!!