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2011 March for Life report January 23, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, Society.

If you didn’t make it to the 2011 March for Life in downtown Dallas today, you missed a fantastic event.  Attendance was HUGE – I’d say nearly twice any peak attendance from the past 2 years (probably close to 10,000 people marched).  And, they got the streets blocked off, so we weren’t marching on the sidewalks as we were last year (with the number of people present this year, that would have been a disaster).  Such an amazing testimony to life and to the power of God in people’s lives, to see thousands of people marching, singing, and praying peacefully to end the horrid scourge of abortion. 

The Mass at Sacred Heart Catedral Santuario de Virgen de Guadalupe was good.  Is it just me, or are there new side altars in the Cathedral?  With angels on the altar adjacent to the tabernacle!  There’s a blow for Tradition!  The crowd was way overflow, again – I maintain that if Bishop Farrell really wants the attendance to double again next year, the chancery needs to strongly consider a larger locale – possibly renting the convention center (I know – $$).   Bishop Farrell’s homily was good – it started out great, built to a crescendo, and then inexplicably kept going on for 7 or 8 minutes past the crescendo, which was a bit long of a denoument.  Nevertheless, the first 2/3 of it was FANTASTIC, with very strong language attacking the culture of death that reigns so strongly in this culture, and reminding us that Jesus was considered crazy by many for standing athwart the culture with a radical message of conversion, too.  It was really good to that point.  Way to go Bishop Farrell – I’ve seen a number of sermons from him in the past, but this was by far the best.  I believe he feels very strongly about life issues, and he seemed genuinely touched at the size of the crowd, which I would estimate was 3/4 Catholic (with a large number of baptists and some other protestant sects).

The only down side was the music at the Mass – horrid, terrible, shameful.  It was every syrupy pop-py protestant inspired drivel you can think of – “Here I am to worship,” “We are one body,” “take my life (please)“, and the all time Marty Haugen favorite “Here I am, Lord.”  C’MON!  I understand the Cathedral choir actually performs chant sometimes – that would have been far more appropriate than this trite, protestant pop schlock.  Look, I know they’re trying to appeal to the kids, and I guess some of the kids (perhaps the Lifeteen types?) seem to kind of like it, but couldn’t we at least have a mix, something that is profoundly Catholic in character, since the Catholic view of life issues so informs the entire pro-life movement?   And since I know, because I saw so many of them, that orthodox Catholics made up such a large portion of those assisting at Mass?   Did anyone else feel the music was just sad? 

That was the only negative thing – dealing with the crowds is just part of the process, and while I would love to see a new altar at the Cathedral, and a nice helping of Latin thrown into this very public Mass, I won’t hold my breath.  Under the circumstances, I thought it was a very good Mass.

What thoughts did you have?  Any issues I missed ranting about in my very unhinged manner?


1. thewhitelilyblog - January 23, 2011

We didn’t honor anything in Catholic Chicago. In fact, at the clinic today we had extra punishment to mark the weekend: there were official clinic escorts, to remember and honor Roe V. Wade. Six of them hassled me and my little companera Carolyn; we pass out brochures of where to get help. But the clients treated us better. : ) And the street people around there let it be known we were welcome, and the escorts were not. You know, just by smiles and greetings.

I wish we’d had a mass in these parts, bad music or not (I don’t mean that). I wish we’d had a mass AND formed an initiative to Catholicize the pro life movement, to reach out to women to baptize their children, to reach out to women to join the Church, to change their lives, to demand marriage, to fight divorce, to encourage births, to let women be women and men be men. I wish we’d reached out to men. We have to cheer over such little victories. We have to cheer that the Republicans are sponsoring a bill that would limit the government’s funding of abortions. But not the rollback of RvW.

2. Mrs C inTx - January 23, 2011

We were at the Cathedral yesterday, and your comments echoed what our teens had to say. We’ve been Catholics for four years, and most of the songs sung we knew from back in our protestant days. Catholics have such a rich musical history! I wish it was displayed more around the diocese.

3. Raulito - January 24, 2011

I am in agreement with you concerning the horrid musical selections. When my wife and I converted to Catholicism we were attracted to the traditional Mass, its liturgy and its beautiful and sacred music. If we wanted a Protestant service we would have remained Protestant. Rather, we desired a celebration of Christ that was and is distinctly Catholic.

Other than this criticism of yesterday’s historic event, I thought the rally was marvelous and left me hopeful especially about our next generation.

Oh, and one other thing. Did you notice the presence of the Department of Homeland Security? It left me feeling like I was living in the Twilight Zone. And we have the previous president to thank for that one…

4. Voris on the inertia setting into pro-life movement « A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - January 26, 2011

[…] when Bishop Farrell did not tie abortion to contraception during his sermon prior to the March for Life.   Until exhortations to follow Church Doctrine on contraception become frequent and forceful, […]

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