Responding to the Bishop Kevin Farrell’s invitation to “pray and witness for life”, brothers and sisters from CFC-FFL Dallas were among the 10,000 who showed up on January 22 for the 38th Roe Memorial Mass, Rally and March for Life to commemorate the anniversary of the tragic U.S. Supreme Court decision of January 22, 1973, Roe v. Wade.
Considered to be the state’s largest ecumenical pro-life rally and March in memory of Roe v. Wade, this year’s event has the best turn-out to date doubling the number of participants from 2 years ago. The event started at 7:45 AM with a memorial rosary in front of Routh Street abortion clinic, one of the 5 remaining abortuaries in Dallas. School buses shuttled the participants from the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe to the abortion clinic and back to the packed cathedral where the bilingual Roe Memorial Mass was held at 10:00 AM. The mass was concelebrated with Bishop Kevin Vann of Forth Worth, the two Dallas auxiliary bishops and scores of clergy from both dioceses.
In his homily, Bishop Farrell drew a parallel between pro-lifers of our time and Jesus during His life time. Reflecting on the gospel of Mark 3:20-21 in which Jesus’ relatives tried to seize Him calling Him “out of his mind” for the commotion that He has caused, the Bishop explained that in a way we are all “out of our minds” because of the work that we do to defend life “but at least we are in good company because Jesus is on our side.” He also encouraged everyone to use our friendships through social media to promote the Gospel of Life and invite more people to come next year. One of the highlights of the mass was the “Procession of Roses” in which a representative born each year from 1973 to 2011 carried a rose to the altar in memory of those who were aborted.
Immediately following the mass at 12 noon, the bishops and clergy led the march from the cathedral to join our evangelical brothers and sisters at First Baptist Church of Dallas, who had empty strollers to symbolize the children lost to abortion, and then continued the march together to the rally in front of the Earle Cabell Federal Courthouse where the Roe V. Wade was first filed in 1970.
Wearing their red beanies and walking behind the CFC-FFL banner, our brothers and sisters prayerfully marched the 1.5 mile trek to the courthouse and proudly displayed their catchy pro-life signs such as: “Without Life, There is no Choice”, “God is Pro-Life”, “No Human Right is Greater Than the Right to Life”, and “What Started in Dallas Must End in Dallas”. The march to and from the courthouse was escorted by the Dallas Police Department who did a great job of keeping the event peaceful and orderly. At the rally, the crowd listened to words of gratitude and encouragement by Bishops Farrell and Vann, as well as pro-life testimonies by speakers from other pro-life groups and churches.
CFC-FFL’s support of this event was a positive experience which should encourage more brethren to participate. They came away with a deeper realization of the seriousness of the issue and a much greater appreciation of the pro-life movement of which we are all called to be a part of. Dallas Morning News’ headline of the event inaccurately read: “Hundreds march in downtown Dallas to protest Roe vs. Wade decision” sparking a contentious on-line debate of the abortion issue.
Nigel R. Birondo
Photo Credit: Dale Bernadas