Sunday, January 24, 2010

March for Life Part II

This year's March for Life was amazing. I left the seminary at 6:00am to head to Washington, D.C. to meet up with Pilgrims from NH for a 8:00am Mass. As Mass started there were about 200 hearty NH folks in attendance at St. Joe's on Capitol Hill. Halfway through Mass I looked to my right and lo and behold two of my greatest students appeared at my side, as another 100 NH natives filled the Church after an all night bus ride.

After Mass I tagged along with a group from Trinity (Team Hi-Def) and we grabbed breakfast and did some sightseeing.

Along the way to grab breakfast we ran into a wonderful woman who worked in D.C. at one of the federal office buildings. We had asked her for a good place to eat, and she could not have been more helpful. She was excited to see us and told us how she was going to punch out early to do some "errands" so that she could join us. She said that her office is really liberal and that they would give her a real hard time if they knew what she was up to, but that she did not care. It was really refreshing to see that there was someone who was proud to see us come to D.C. and stand up for life.

After our morning adventure was over we made it back to the National mall where we waited for the March to start. At about 2:00pm the March started. I began walking with Trinity students and quickly fell behind and instead walked with a group of parishioners from Saint Anthony of Padua Parish in Manchester and Fathers Rick Dion, Ray Labrie & Richard Kelley. It was nice to catch up with them all and to march with their congregations.

After the March I ended I decided to make my way into the Senate and House office buildings to share my thoughts with my elected officials. The lines to get in were easily 150 people long. I knew a couple of side entrances and made my first visit to Senator Jeanne Shaheen's office. Once I arrived I shared my request that the Senator vote to prevent federal funding of abortion in all health care legislation. I will not lie to you the staff was about as unfriendly as they come. They barely looked up to take my comments and certainly were not happy to have a NH resident visiting. The only exception to that was two cheerful interns that helped me find my way to Senator's Gregg's office, my next destination. The unhelpful office staff of Senator Shaheen could take a few pointers from the interns who seemed happy to help a NH voter.

After stopping by Senator Gregg's office I was next off to the office of Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter, who represents New Hampshire's first district. On the way there I bumped into a group of Trinity students and a good friend of mine, Mr. Sheehan. I invited them to come along and they eagerly followed, excited to share there thoughts. Once inside the office the staff warmly welcomed us and invited us in, giving us a tour and all. The kids and I wrote letters to the Congresswoman asking her to vote pro life and left them at the front office. Once inside one of the staff members invited the kids to see the Congresswoman's office, which they were excited to tour. After a brief tour the staffer opened the floor up to questions. I quickly drilled him on the Congresswoman's votes and explained why Human Dignity is so important to us as Catholics, why abortion matters, and expressed my disappointment in the congresswoman's voting record! The staff was great and deserves credit for being welcoming and for representing the state well. One awkward moment did occur when one of the students asked how many staffers were from NH. The response was none, except for one gentleman who said he was "recently from NH."

After a quick dinner it was back to the Seminary where I collapsed in my bed and have been recovering ever since. .

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