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March for Life 2010 Recap January 16, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic.

We just got back from the 2010 March for Life, lamenting 37 years of legalized abortion in the United States.  Prior to the March, there was a Memorial Mass for the victims of abortion.  I’ll go into the Mass more in another post, but I thought Bishop Farrell’s sermon was generally pretty good.  I do think the chancery needs to make plans to acquire a larger venue in the future, in spite of the costs involved.  The Mass and the March are tied together, and if Bishop Farrell wants to meet his stated goal of having 10,000 Catholics March for Life next year, they will need a bigger facility to house the many thousands that will want to celebrate Mass.  

Suffice it to say, due to overcrowding and what may have been an overzealous fire marshal, many were forced to stand outside during Mass. 

That was not the biggest problem, however.  Last year, the March for Life was done in conjunction with the First Baptist Church of Dallas and Christ for the Nations, an evangelical group.  This year, it did not appear that the protestants were as formally involved.  I don’t know if First Baptist’s lack of involvement was the reason, but this year, as opposed to last, we had to march on the sidewalks, instead of down Ross, Griffin, and Elm streets downtown as we did last year.  This was problematic, to say the least.  Squeezing 5,000 marchers onto narrow downtown sidewalks caused the crowd to stretch out almost the full 3/4 mile distance between the Cathedral and the Cabell Federal Building.  From my point of view, having attended the March both last year and today, this sidewalk March both decreased the effectiveness of the March, annoyed many potential spectators, who had to wait for very long lines to march by through crowded cross walks, and, by breaking the very large group up into a long, strung out line, made the numbers look much less than they were. 

The rally in front of the Cabell building was pretty good.  I thought Bishop Farrell gave a rather good, exhorting speech.  His speech definitely had the most depth.  There was a pastor from Watermark McChurch evangelical community – I thought his speech largely forgettable.  Then, a couple of speakers from pro-life and political organizations, and the tireless Karen Garnett, the head of the Dallas Pro Life Committee.  She’s a good one.  We saw a large group from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in Fort Worth – I love those guys.   I am resolved to get the family over to their mission within the next month. 

All in all, I’d say it was a successful rally with some notable disappointments.  The venue I think will have to change to meet Bishop Farrell’s laudable goal of 10k marchers next year.  And, I don’t know if the clout of the First Baptist crowd is required to get a permit to close downtown streets, or if nobody bothered this year, but marching on the sidewalks really dampens the event.  Other than that, it was great to again see 5,000 or so marchers out there – virtually all Catholic.

So, praise God for his many blessings!  The weather did clear, and it was a very nice day for a march and rally.  It was fantastic seeing many priests and religious taking part in the March.  I am glad to see Bishop Farrell be so visibly publicizing this important event in the life of the Dallas Catholic Church.  I think with some logistical improvements, next year’s March (assuming a miracle doesn’t happen and Roe v. Wade isn’t repealed!) could be amazing.  10,000 devoted Catholics marching peacefully to underscore the incalculable gift of life will be a priceless statement to the culture at large.

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