On Saturday, 18 January 2014 Dubuque Co. Right to Life
held its 30th Walk for Life. The walk is a prayful witness to the community of the value of every life, born & unborn. In part it is also to publicly mourn the loss of what is now about 56 million lives to abortion.
Most years it has been cold, sometimes bitterly cold during the event. This year was a little different. While the temperatures were milder this year, in the hours before the 10:30 am start time about 4-5 inches of snow fell in the area. Most of the roads were still snowy & at times hard to travel. That didn't stop the 120 plus people from showing up. (Note: this is an about average turn out.) Many drove in from outside the city limits.
The walk usually begins with a rally at the Washington Park Gazebo, then the walk to the Courthouse is held. This year things were slightly rearranged because it was still snowing. The talks were held after the walk at the KC Hall.
People gathered in the park in preperation for the walk.
Among those who particpated was the new Archbishop of Dubuque, Michael Jackels.
Archbishop Jackels (center right)
As people were waiting to start many of the children there took advantage of the snow to have a little fun.
Each person who wanted was also given an artificial rose to carry. The rose is a symbol of those who lost their lives to abortion. At 10:30 am Marian Bourek, executive director of DCRTL, called everyone to prayer. After the prayer & led by the KCs, the group began their walk to the DBQ Co. Courthouse.
Some of the sidewalks were partially clear, others not yet cleared. But that didn't deter anyone from walking & praying along the way. When they arrived at the Courthouse, 2 of the Knights formed an honor guard on each side of a bassinet. The roses were placed in it. As the article
in today's TH described it "Snowflakes softly kissed red roses lovingly placed inside a bassinet in front of the Dubuque County courthouse on Saturday.
Everyone then continued on until the reached the Knights of Columbus Hall. They then went upstairs to the room where the rally was held.
Marian served as MC to welcome everybody. Then she invited the Rev John Hulsizer, Church of the Nazarene, up to give the opening prayer.
Througout the program Marian shared some information about what DCRTL was doing. 1 of the things shared was the good news that the lives of at least 15 unborn babies had been saved through the prayful protest held in front of the local Planned Parenthood abortion clinic. I say at least because those are the ones we know of. There are probably several others who haven't told us that our being there, praying, & when they were willing, talking to the people considering abortion about the alternatives.
The 1st speaker was Liz Cushman, chair of the DCRTL Board. She talked about having the heart of a mother for those babies that are being aborted.
She was followed by Steve Fuerst. He spoke on the reasons like gender & abnormalities that are used to justify an abortion He talked about how it is often justified as a reason to "alleviate further burden" of the parents or chld. But, as he showed, that isn't so.
Next up was Josephine Smith, a student at Aquin in Cascade, IA. She was winner of the annual essay contest. She read her winning composition.
The keynote speaker was Archbishop Jackels. He was welcomed with a standing ovation.
Archbishop Jackels said he had prepared a talk. But after hearing the mention of roses earlier he started out by talking about "Roses in December."
He talked the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe to St. Juan Diego. He pointed out how Our Lady used "Roses in December" to convince an "old, fat, grumpy Bishop" of her message.
He went on to say that those "Roses in December" are a reminder to all of us of God's love, tenderness & compassion for all people. That compassion is for born & unborn, old & young, ill or healthy. He said that we must have the same compassion.
Next he shared some of what Blessed Pope John Paul II said in Oct 1979 at the Capital Mall in DC. Part of what the Pope said was "We will stand up every time life is attacked."
The Archbishop said we all must do just that, stand up for life. Not everyone can stand out in front of Planned Parenthood, not everyone can walk. But all can pray. He went on to say that all can vote. They must do so in accord with right thinking. That thinking must be formed by being properly educated in Catholic values. At the conclusion, the Archbishop received another standing ovation.
After some closing remarks by Marian, a chili luncheon was served to provide a time of fellowship for those attending this year's Walk.
Several busloads of people will be leaving from DBQ to attend the March for Life in DC. On 25 January 2014 there will be the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco. Additionally many communities across the USA had their own walks & marches. For the most part, the Main Stream Media will ignore them, downplay the numbers &/or play up the pro-abortion side. While it would be nice to get the media coverage it should, the most important thing is that we keep standing up for life. In the end, we will win because we are on the right side of history. 56+ million unborn babies denied the right to life due to abortion is 56+ million too many. This holocaust must end. Let us not give in to dispair or fustration. & let us pray that soon we will no longer need to hold events like these because people will see the truth about the evil that calls itself abortion. May the USA acknowledge the truth stated in the Declaration of Independence. That every human being from the moment of conception (fertilization) is endowed by the Creator with the unalienable right to life.