Following a welcome from Fr. Fallon and a keynote address from Archbishop Carlson, over a thousand teens and adults – all members of Generation Life – processed out of the Cathedral Basilica, down the city streets to the only abortion-providing Planned Parenthood Clinic left in Missouri.

Joining in Public Prayer

1100 people – children, teens, and adults – were led through the Sorrowful Mysteries by Archbishop Carlson and our seminarians. With our thanks to the City of Saint Louis police force and our Generation Life volunteers and staff, we safely made it to the corner of Boyle and Forest Park Parkway. We lined the fences on both sides of Planned Parenthood, spilling over onto Boyle Ave because there simply wasn’t enough grass to hold us.

Once everyone in our party had arrived (long after all five mysteries of the Rosary were completed), together we prayed this prayer for life:

Lord God, all life is in Your care. You have called us to be one Body in Christ and entrusted us to one another, that we may show our brothers and sisters the same love You have for us.

 We are ready to do our part in ending abortion. We commit to never be silent, never be passive, never be forgetful of the unborn, and never stop defending life until all our brothers and sisters are protected.

 We pray, then, for the least among us, the children in the womb. Protect them from the violence of abortion. We pray for those that are scheduled to die at this clinic. Save them from death. Give new hope to their parents, that they may turn away from the desperate act of abortion.

 Hear our prayer today for our sisters and brothers who have lost children to abortion. Help us to understand the pain that is in their hearts, and to be a living sign to them of Your welcome, Your mercy, and Your healing. Never allow them to feel alone; always refresh them with the presence of Your Spirit and of their brothers and sisters in Christ. Console them with the sure hope that You love and care for their children.

 Grant conversion to the abortionists, and to the staff who work at this clinic and abortion clinics all across the country. Show us how we are to respond to the bloodshed in our midst, and lead us to the day when this place of death will be transformed into a haven of life.

 Guard us with Your joy and Your peace, for in You, life is victorious. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

I cried as we finished our prayer – this place of death, hoping for it to be transformed into a haven of life. There is great hope in the march we went on today. No, we didn’t make it to Washington, D.C., but that’s okay. There are plenty of hearts in St. Louis that need conversion. Our mission field most certainly includes the people behind those walls, the ones who truly believe they’re acting out of love, but are in fact doing more harm than good.

Women deserve better than the violence of abortion.

A Cloud of Witnesses

As I walked, I thought of all the women I know who have lost a child through abortion, miscarriage, and infant death. For so many of them, naming their child is a part of the healing process. And once the Rosary had concluded and we still had several blocks to go in silence, I started asking those babies to pray for us, by name. Georgie, pray for us. Michael, pray for us. Sarah Grace, pray for us. Genevieve, pray for us. And as we stood outside the clinic I thought about how many babies had died in that place, and I started asking them to pray for us, too, and this verse came to me:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2

That cloud of infant witnesses is praying for us, and is counting on us to witness for them. We will not stop marching for their lives, and the lives of their parents – keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, with the sure hope that life will be victorious.