(by M. Z. Hermano, CFCFFLUSA National Pro-Life Coordinator)
A forecast of a rainy day on Monday, January 23 didn’t deter over a hundred CFCFFL members from New Jersey and New York to brave the early morning hours of 3AM to assemble for the approximately 4-1/2 hour trip to Washington D.C.
Some other areas that also had delegates to the March for Life were Illinois, Texas, Pennsylvania, and of course the members from nearby DC/MD/VA areas.
Upon arrival in DC at 8:30AM, there was a short Pro-life program followed by a Pro-life mass for adults at St. Matthew’s Church concelebrated by several priests. This was a separate mass than the one at the Verizon Center which has been in recent years reserved for the youth. At the St. Matthews mass, Ado Paglinawan was able to arrange for CFCFFL involvement in the program for the mass by having Manny and Margie Hermano read the petitions for the mass.
Then something fantastic happened – the homily of the main celebrant (Fr. Agustin Mateo Ayala) was a clear affirmation of the message of the Recollection on Family and Life that was given only two days before to the NJ and NY brethren at the Christ the King Parish Church in New Jersey.
First of all, the priest emphasized the fact that “God is Life”, which coincidentally or otherwise is the 1st talk of the Recollection – and he even had the same Bible quotation as the Recollection: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Then believe it or not his second point was “God is Love” – and that Jesus calls us to love, including the unborn child. Well, the second talk of the Recollection is “God is Love.”
The concluding point of his homily was a question posed as follows: Yes, we can march at the March for Life every year, but what can we really do as Christians? Fr. Agustin said that what all of us Catholics should do is to live out our faith and live lives of holiness. Well, the third talk of the Recollection was “God is holy.” An affirmation indeed as to what message God really wants us to hear in these crucial times.
After the mass, the CFCFFL marchers walked 3 blocks to the Philippine Embassy where they prayed the rosary and heard short exhortations from Ed Yamba and other leaders of local ecclesial communities. Then using a megaphone, Ado Paglinawan read aloud the CFCFFL Position Paper that describes our strong stand against abortion, mandatory contraception, and the RH Bill. The same Position Paper was then officially presented to an officer of the Philippine Embassy. The CFCFFL group then joined the other marchers at the mall where speeches against abortion were being delivered by national Pro-life dignitaries. Compared to previous years, the rest of the march was a bit disorganized because of the freezing rain. At this time, news agencies would only say that the people who marched at the March for Life numbered a few hundred thousand. The NJ and NY delegation boarded their bus at Union Station for the long ride home; and the Chicago brethren in their rented van for the 13 hours drive back. God be praised!
Visit the CFCFFL USA Media Gallery for more photos.