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April 5, 1996     The Message
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April 5, 1996

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i4 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Hundreds brave downpour to urge Clinton to sign a By PATRICIA ZAPOR Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Struggling to keep candles lit under umbrellas in a heavy downpour, several hundred people -- mostly Catholics -- prayed at an April 1 White House vigil aimed at persuad- ing President Clinton to sign a bill to ban the partial-birth abortion procedure Led by Boston Cardinal Bernard F. Law and Washing- ton Cardinal James A. Hickey, young families, teens, college students, retirees, parish groups and priests gathered in a steady rainfall outside the White House to encourage Clinton to sign the bill, which would ban one type of late- term abortion. The hastily arranged prayer vigil was announced at some Washington area parishes just ._ a day earlier, but that was enough warning for partici- pants who came from as far Bill supporters say it al- ready permits partial-birth abortions when the woman's life is at risk and that a "health" exclusion would be in- terpreted to mean anything from depression to changing one's mind. A procession led by young adults carrying a cross circled the sidewalks in front of the White House for .more than an hour. Near the front of the group, Cardinal Law, chair- man of the U.S. bishops' Com- mittee on Pro-Life Activities, led a "Litany for Life" and the rosary At various points in the pro: cession that stretched more than a block, other groups prayed or sang hymns on their own, unable to hear the lead- ers at the front amid the steady pitter-patter of rain on hundreds of umbrellas. A group of about 15 people hoisting tall red banners came from Pennsylvania with the American Society in Defense BUSIN away as York, Pa., to make of Tradition, Family and Prop- the participants on about a day's notice. The U.S. Catholic Confer- ence Secretariat for Pr0-Life Activities arranged the vigil just a few days earlier, relying on faxed messages, parish an- nouncements and word-of- mouth to bring out a crowd. With no idea how many people to expect, and aware that the daylong rainfall would keep many away, organizers said they were pleased at the turnout of about 300 to 400. USCC employees said they had brought and distributed about 500 candles. Kathy and Kevin Gilday of Holy Redeemer Parish in Kensington, Md., brought their three children, ages 4, 2 and 3 months and well- bundled against the cold, after hearing an announce- ment at Sunday Mass that Cardinal Hickey was asking people in the Washington area to join the vigil. "Somebody has to get the message around," said Gilday. "It seems like when it's an ap- peal from the cardinal and the bishops we should come down." "We may only stay 15 min- utes because of the rain," Said Mrs. Gilday, adding that they had not made any other efforts to encourage support for the . bill because it seemed unneces- sary with the support it had in Congress. Thomas Melady, former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, and his wife, Margaret, were among those who quietly joined the vigil after hearing an announcement at St. Ann's Parish in Washington. "We support the bill very strongly," Mrs. Melady said. "IYs three-quarters infanticide and one-quarter abortion." The couple had participated in protest marches before," but not more recently than the their point. "Mr. President, You can stop this," read several signs, with line drawings illustrating the late-term abortion procedure that would be banned by the bill. The House approved fin01 wording on the measure slortly before spring recess and the bill was expected to reach the president's desk sometime the first week of April. White House spokes- men had said Clinton would veto the bill because it does not include a provision allow- ing the procedure when the pregnant woman's health is put at risk by continuing the pregnancy. erty. One man from the group, wearing a bright red sash, said they had pulled together DON'T TAKE ON THE STOCK MARKET ALONE THOMAS A, RUDER 3000 E. Morgan Ave. 473-0225 ] EdwardJones Serving Individual Investors Since z871 CARRIAGE INN FAMILY RESTAURANT PARTIES SERVED FAMILY STYLE 1-800-293-2559 CHICKEN STEAKS SEAFOOD SANDWICHES COCKTAILS SERVING FROM 10:30 AM to 10:30 PM MON. THRU SAT. CALL FOR RESERVATIONS 103 Gibson, Haubstadt 768-6131 !.1 FINALLY ! ! "The Music you've been asking for is here" %1 new recording,., over 50 minutes of beautiful music.,, exquisite performance by recording artist Keith Wells..." 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Tom dozen peopl from St. Norbeck, Md. the parish's islative ready done with their and phoned the -Unfortun was not said, noting land's opposed the jAMES I , i Come and celebrate with Mother Teresa, and 18 o perts listed below--- teaching promises Our Lord mad ery year for those who come to brate His mercy. Our Lord said: : "On that day all the divine which graces flow are o draw near to Me, e let." Please come.., and be an apostl family and neighbors. There year like this -- the first "Mercy Sunday," a da 3 the healing of families Sunday, April 14, 2-6 PM St. Theresa Ch Phone 479- 7367 or Video T Roman ( Roman Roman curia Roman Curia Father Includes Confessmn & Mass Mother