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Evansville, Indiana
January 30, 1998     The Message
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January 30, 1998

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March for Life The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Brush pastor shares his memories of Washington march BY MARY ANN HUGHES ington, D.C., on Jan. 21 and Meage staff writer attended a Mass that evening at r Sy Loehrlein knew this year he could the trip to D.C., for the the march was h . eld cldle of the week, and realized the trip interfere with his March for Life - Supreme Court decision which we march or I think Roe of the major given us," said. "It's one of the are Concerned was one of Southern Indi- bus to the of high school and they were a joy , .7 in Wash- the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Con- ception. Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston preached the homily. The Mass was attended by "three or four cardinals and a couple of dozen bishops. Our own bishop was there. "It was wall-to-wall people. I'm guessing there were 5,000 people in there. If there was a lit- tle niche, someone was standing in it." People were also in the basement of the basilica, watch- ing the Mass on television. The next morning, the south- ern Indiana group attended the rally in the Ellipse, which is across from the White House. Speakers included Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a founder of what is now the National Abortion and Repro- ductive Rights Action League, is now actively involved in the pro-life movement, and most recently, he is a convert to Catholicism. Norma McCorvey was tagged as the original "Roe" in the 1973 Roe V. Wade case. Sandra Cano was "Jane Doe" in the Doe V. Bolton case, proud to march with my bishop. l teachers of our Church are our , and our bishop was with me. Father Sy Loehrlein, pastor at St. Rupert Church, Red Brush, and Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger march together in the March for Life, held Jan. 22 in Washington, D.C. Bishop Gettelfinger car- which was a companion suit to the Roe V. Wade case. Once the rally ended, the marchers headed up Constitu- tion Avenue to the Supreme Court Building. The group from Southern Indiana was asked to "try to stay together. We were told to keep an eye on the Indiana state flag which was 3 tied the Indiana state flag, which was used to keep the 94 participants from southern Indiana together. carried by Bishop Gettelfinger. "I was really proud to march with my bishop. The official teachers of our Church are our bishops, and our bishop was with me." Father Loehrlein estimates that there were over 100,000 marchers. "Every place you would look was a sea of peo- ple." During the march, he heard people nearby reciting the -- Message photo by Mike Woolsey rosary. It was being led by Father Kenneth Steckler, associ- ate pastor at St. Joseph Church, Jasper. "I joined in leading the rosary, and that was a privilege too." Father Loehrlein said the March for Life "is a valuable . I would encourage anyr one to go to see What it's ab0uL : On the whole, I had a good feel- ing about it." laws, if not Urged peo- as voters, Workers for the to Override Pres- of a federal ban was Spence said, these the fire, and front of the vs. Wade "The to it's devel- oped long before that," Spence said. "We are in this for the long haul, and what we do now will make a difference years down the road." At the Respect Life Mass Jan. 18 at St. Paul Cathedral in Pitts- burgh, Bishop Donald W. Wuerl said atrocities such as abortion continue because too many peo- ple have chosen to remain silent. "How can this happen?" he asked. "Silence! Even though millions of people have made their moral revulsion at this gruesome atrocity well known, in the Message, designed to help draw of God in southwestern Indiana. Readers are :ion about people who may benefit by znd attention. chaplain for the Catholic Committee is recuperating from hip replace- for infant Maddison Havener who She is the daughter of Rebecca and PEOPLE WE CARE ABOUT P.O. Box 4169, Evans- e-mail address is message@evans- WE CARE ABOUT. Copy is 9 a.m. the Friday before publi- millions more remain locked in silence." For those who argue that abortion is a private matter in which government should not interfere, he asked whether peo- ple would actually support that argument if their fellow citizens were again put in slavery. Commenting on partial-birth abortion, he said, "It is almost inconceivable that in a society which calls itself civilized it would be legal under the head- ing of 'abortion' to kill a per- fectly healthy, almost entirely born child." Ice storms in the U.S. North- east may have knocked out power and held down the turnout at the annual March for Life Jan. 18 in Plattsburgh, N.Y., in upstate New York, but speak- er Bart Gaffney spoke about a different kind of power m the pro-fife message. Gaffney, who, with his wife, Wanda, leads local pro-life efforts, recalled sitting in a cof- fee shop one day when a young woman spoke to him. She was pregnant and didn't know what to do, but she had seen the pro- life bumper stickers on his car and decided to ask for help. "I have the most beautiful and wonderful son," she later wrote to Gaffney, who read the letter to the pro-life gathering. "Without you," she wrote, "I might have done something I know I would have regretted the rest of my life." "So that is the power," Gaffney told the crowd, "of just having a bumper sticker on your car." About 950 gathered for the annual Mass for Life sponsored by the Diocese of Little Rock, Ark., at St. Andrew Cathedral there. Inside 25 candles were extinguished m one for each year since Roe vs. Wade was made the law of the land -- and children sang "O Let Me Live." "How wonderful it is for you to be alive," Little Rock Bishop Andrew J. McDonald said in a homily directed mainly at the 500 teens in the audience. "Morns and dads made this possible. Your morns and dads gave you the most precious gift m the gift of life. You will be the difference in 1998 and into the next century." To those who have had an abortion, Bishop McDonald said, "No sin is beyond mercy and forgiveness from God." He urged those people to call the diocesan Project Rachel, a post- abortion counseling ministry. The worshipers joined a march numbering 5,000 on the steps of the state capitol. Every 22 seconds, a bell rang. "Every 22 seconds the death knell marks the death of an unborn child by legal abortion," said Rose Mimms, director of Arkansas Right to Life. "People don't realize the toll abortion has taken on our countD:" Thousands marched in Columbia, S.C., Jan. 17 from the state capitol in a park for a rally against abortion. "You've saved thousands!" proclaimed Deborah Bian-Lin- gle, president of South Carolina Citizens for Life. She thanked the pro-life movement for its efforts in the passage of state legislation including a parental consent law, abortion clinic regulations and a ban on partial-birth abor- tions. "The number of abortions in South Carolina has declined dramaticall);" said Lingle. In 1988, the number of abortions there peaked at more than 14,000. By 1996, the number of abortions had dropped to 9,326. In Providence, R.I., at the annual Pro-Life Mass Jan. 18, Father Richard Donnelly told worshipers that America must demand the respect for the ! unborn that is part of its her- i itage. "If we are to save our nation, we must bring our nation back ! to its [ounding principles," said / Father Donnelly; pastor of St. Mark Parish in Cranston, RJ. He berated politicians who say they personally oppose abortion but reject any attempts to bar it: ..............