Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Welcome Back to the Church: It's about More than Handshakes and Friendly Faces

Suppose that you have been away from Church for awhile, physically or perhaps also morally. For whatever reason, the time seems right and you decide to come return some Sunday morning.

Maybe people know you and will be glad to see you again or you'll be recognized as someone new and greeted well. You get lots of handshakes, perhaps a few hugs and plenty of "Welcome back"s or "Glad you're here!"s. You're thinking"Hey, this feels pretty good. I do like it here. I will come back again!"

This is wonderful but there is something missing. You're not fully re-united with the community yet, in the most important way: You have yet to be reunited with the spiritual Body of Christ. You've reconnected socially with some of the members of the Body but, if Christ is the shepherd, you're still standing outside the sheepfold. Christ has left the 99 to come look for you, the one, but you haven't yet responded fully to His call of repentance (to which he calls all of us). You're invited to reconciliation with God himself, as in the Sacrament of Penance.

"Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God's mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion." - CCC 1422

It sounds demanding and exclusionary but it really is awesome and beautiful. Of course it's great to have people in the Church welcome you with friendly faces and outstretched arms but it's even better to have God welcome you with His divine face and arms stretched out on the cross. This is exactly what he does.

In the Sacrament of Penance we accept God's love for us in a real and effective way. Our soul is made clean and we are reunited with God (and also reunited with the people of God more intimately than we ever could be with just human interaction.) The Sacrament is not a barrier to communion but rather a means to enter into deeper communion. It is only a barrier to those who refuse to take the offer of mercy.


Maybe we haven't been away from the Church in the usual sense but since sin separates us from God, we are all continually in need of re-entering communion with Christ and His Church and therefore in need of confessing our sins and answering again God's call to be with Him. Let us take the time to avail ourselves of the wonderful gift of the reconciliation offered in the Sacrament of Penance. (Especially in Advent, as we prepare for Christmas) We will no doubt sin again later but God knows this and loves us just the same. He is ready to forgive as many times as we ask! We long for union with others, and rightly so, but let us be primarily concerned with union with God. If we are united with Him all else will take care of itself.

A Guide to Confession:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Miracles Have to be Ridiculous

If a miracle makes sense to a secular world it ceases to serve it's purpose.

When we encounter someone who does not believe in miracles (and who we wish did believe) it is tempting to rationalize them and attempt to show how they are really quite reasonable, to work from what we know that our listener already believes in and hope to piggy-back miracles onto something already held. We do this hoping to convince the listener that miracles should be believed in just like the thing we piggy-backed upon. However, to pursue this course may end up being counter-productive to our purpose.

I don't deny that there are some cases when this piggy-backing might work, like if the listener were already comfortable and conversant in actions of higher powers and metaphysics it's not a big step from there to Jesus healing as in the Gospel stories or healings taken as the intercession of saints. (It's more of a horizontal expansion than a vertical step, not so much something new as exposing more of what was already possessed.)  Where it perhaps isn't a good idea, for example, is trying to step them up from a viewpoint of materialism to miracles by using the ideas and language of materialism to explain miracles. This method seems more likely to lower miracles to that person's materialism rather than elevate their materialism to an understanding of miracles.

The late Cardinal Avery Dulles, in his book The Craft of Theology says "The whole point of that they are beyond what we would have deemed possible. They shake us up and bewilder us, so that we acknowledge that our previous horizons were too narrow". Miracles are meant to break our expectations so we must resist the temptation to define them only within the terms of our expectations.

Miracles must supersede the secular world-view because the whole point of miracles is to point us to the transcendence of God, God who doesn't fit into the secular view.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Question We Never Ask (When Bad Things Happen)

By now you have no doubt heard about the shooting at the movie theatre in Colorado. This is of course a sad event and all those involved are entitled to our thoughts and especially our prayers (even the shooter). The responses to this event are on par with similar tragedies. We wonder why this happened, why someone would want to do this. We take steps like increasing security and other precaution to make sure it can't happen again. But it seems like we never look to a bigger picture than this individual.

I don't have any statistics and I'm not going to try and make any up but it seems fair to say that irrational violence has been increasing in modern history. The question that doesn't seem to ever get asked though, is whether there is something about our society that is a cause for this kind of behavior. Is there something we're doing or not doing that facilitates people acting out violently like this?

We don't like to as this question, I suspect,because an answer to it would put us partially at fault. If there is something that's part of the fabric of society that causes these people to shoot up public places then the blame rest uncomfortably on all members of society, on all threads in the fabric. Allowing ourselves to ask the question does require some admission of failure. We have to admit that collectively maybe we're not doing something right.

As difficult as this is though, it's also the first step toward making things better. If we can admit that maybe our plan for forming people into happy and responsible adults isn't perfect then we can get along with making changes and avoiding disasters like this.

I don't want to engage in specific finger pointing here but only want to encourage us to admit that it isn't a case of one bad egg coming out of an otherwise perfect social system. We have problems, problems that lead people to horrific acts like this. We need to address these problems. Pretending they don't exist only sets us of for future failure.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Beginnings of a Difficult Child and an Immature Adult

I saw an older woman and presumably her grandson in a coffee shop this morning. I don't know them and am not looking to call them out specifically. I hope the best for them, especially the little boy and his future, that he grows up better than his manners now.

I was already in the coffee shop with some friends when in comes this little boy, probably 1st or 2nd grade, with his grandmother. He had on a green screen-print t-shirt and his blond hair was spiked up in a sloppy faux-hawk, probably at his request.

His grandmother ordered some doughnut bites and some other pastry and as he hopped up in the chair at he table she sat the snacks down in front of him. She got a phone call as she sat the food down. She answered it as he began to dig into the sweets. While talking she reached down to grab one of the doughnut bites (that she had just paid for) - and here's the part I couldn't believe - the little boy literally slapped her hand away from the food. Being on the phone she didn't notice much and just tried to grab another. He swatted and literally pushed her hand away, glaring at her as if she were some bully.

I thought it was pretty ridiculous that she would let him do this but I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt that being on the phone with something important it wasn't a good time to gently correct him in the ways of being respectful to others. My disappointment continued after she got off the phone.

She sat down at the table next to him. He said to her, "...get some more food so you can eat." Translation: I'm definitely not sharing with you but buy some more for yourself so that I don't have to feel bad about not sharing. She didn't respond but just sat there with body language that was totally submissive.

I could be wrong and I hope so much that I am that there is something I'm not seeing. However, what I did see was not maternal care shown to and received by a cute grandson but passive servitude shown to and demanded from a master. In case it isn't clear, this is not a well ordered relationship.

I hope this five minutes scene I saw is not indicative of this little boy's personality but if it is I worry both for him and those he will encounter.

If he isn't able now to show appreciation and respect for his own grandmother, if he can't be grateful for little things given in love by family members how is he ever going to interact well with people once he grows up? Selfishness now will only be amplified later.

If his family fosters an environment of everyone bending to his wants there is pretty much a guarantee that in school he will become a terror when the teachers ask him to change his behavior. If he is taught implicitly that he can have and do whatever he wants that will manifest itself explicitly in bad behavior because even legitimate correction will feel like a personal attack. Tantrums will ensue.

An unchecked sense of entitlement left to come into adult hood will make an employee that is hateful and irresponsible, lazy and unpleasant to work with. So many bad things are the fruit of selfishness and a lack of charity.

I have done lots of hypothesizing but I hope that this was just a small, wrong impression. I hope he grows up to be a respectful and kind young man, I really do. But I also think that it's far from impossible that this might happen. If not him, some kids will unfortunately follow this pattern. We've all met those people, arrogant, untrustworthy, immature etc... Maybe we've even been or are those people. (We'd like to think not of course...) Even the holiest, humblest and most mature people had to become that way through good example and intentional effort.

The Moral

-If you have kids (or are about to) don't let them form bad habits when they're young. They will only get amplified with age. Correcting the bad habits of a teenager is 10,000 times more difficult than correcting the bad habits of a 5 year old. (i.e. laissez-faire parenting is a bad idea)

-If you find yourself or young people over whom you have responsibility living out bad habits be honest in recognizing them and work to change them. It won't happen overnight but it is possible and everyone you or they encounter will be grateful.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Commentary on The Lorax's Social Commentary

Men in suits...bad.

At least that's the zombie that the producers (directors, writers, whatever...) seemed to want me to be when I left the theatre.

Desired zombification temporarily aside, I did think The Lorax was an enjoyable movie but there definitely were times where I felt that the preaching and near-pantheism were distracting me from just enjoying a good story.

The town is plastic everything, people are dumb enough to buy air, "if you put it in a small plastic bottle people will buy it". Alright, I'm cool with those comments. They were handled wittily. Even the "We should build intentionally polluting bottled air factories so that people buy more bottled air." bad-guy part was obvious but not too bad.

However, the "Am I Really so bad?" song by the Once-ler where over the course of the song he becomes literally (literally!) a 50ft tall menacing, capitalist giant was just too much. Was it necessary for him to be that ginormous and in-your-face scary? It was like they totally abandoned clever story-telling and chose to just smash the viewer over the head with a big "CAPITALISM IS BAD" 2x4.

More interesting than the obvious things were the more subtle commentaries on modern culture, the things where I couldn't tell if they were supposed to be self-deprecation or if they were just an accident. I couldn't tell if the hyper-idealism of some of the characters was meant to be somewhat ironic or if the creators really meant them to be that over-the-top.

It's the scenes where the obvious preaching is happening that most make me think of this. There were parts where I was sure they were trying to play up there stereotypical kind of comments that the general public negatively associated with tree-huggin' hippies. I couldn't tell if that was a reference to the stereotype or if the creators were huggin' those trees so hard they didn't notice the stereotype they illustrated.

The main characters were fighting against an evil guy, tyrannical business guy. He was thoroughly vilified. My thought though is that, yes, it's good to promote environmental protection and to not destroy the planet and it's resources purely for the sake of shallow material gain but (but!) be careful that you don't become a tyrant your self. Just like capitalism can be hollow and empty when it becomes too self-consumed, so can environmentalism. (-isms tend to have that problem) I agree with what they're saying: Trees are good. I totally with you...but they're not everything.

Taking care of the planet that God gave us is important but it's not the totality of the human experience. Appreciating nature doesn't give us everything.

So, yeah, let's plant some trees but let's also learn to be humble and charitable and to love our neighbors as ourselves. True concern for the well-being of others does a lot more than some extra photosynthesis.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary on Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday is an odd time. The sorrow and suffering of Good Friday is over but we're not yet to the joy of Easter. Obviously, for the first disciples it was much worse. They had just experienced their leader and friend be arrested and brutally murdered by the religious leaders and state. They were maybe beginning to piece together what had happened but it was no doubt a time of great confusion. We, of course, have the advantage of knowing that Jesus does indeed rise from the dead.

We've been through this before, last year. But it was the same then. We're past Lent and Good Friday so intentional fasting seems odd but we know it's too soon to celebrate as if it were Sunday. So, Holy Saturday is an awkward day. (going to Easter vigil mass eliminates this but that's only because liturgically it is Sunday then.)

What to do do with the Rosary then? Praying the Sorrowful Mysteries on Good Friday makes sense and so does praying the Glorious Mysteries on Easter Sunday. But what about Saturday? The traditional schedule calls for the Joyful Mysteries and while this may seem like a good default in light of the awkwardness I talked about above I think that it actually makes sense as something intentional and purposeful not just a default.

The Joyful Mysteries (Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Presentation in the Temple, Finding in the Temple) are, among other things, about expectation. All the events described in this set of mysteries are certainly good things in and of themselves but they also are all, in a sense, introductory and preparatory.

After the crucifixion we are left with a tragic feeling, perhaps with a feeling of desolation wondering where this all began. We need something to re-establish contact. Who was this man who died on the cross? Where did he come from? Oh, right! He was the miraculous son of a young girl, born in Bethlehem. Early in his life there were great things but we didn't know what they were leading up to but now we do. We know that all those earlier things happened so that these last things could happen. He had to be announced by the angel and be born of Mary so that he could die for our sins. Remembering this helps us look forward to the awesomeness of Easter. It reminds us that miracles have happened before and they will happen again!

Mary was there with Jesus on Good Friday, through his suffering death and burial and she finds out on Sunday that he has risen. She was with Jesus through all his life and as our mother, through Christ, she will be with us, through his passion and through the uncertain day of Holy Saturday to his resurrection.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

In the End It's Good for Us.

The Church or one of it's ministers says "no" to something. They tell us what we can't do or that we ought to do things differently. Our immediate reaction is to get defensive, to decry them for denying equality or for being mean.

But, how often though do we take time, I mean really take time to use all that squishy stuff between our ears, to honestly look at the situation, both at the Church and at ourselves and see where both sides are really coming from. Instead, I think we are way too quick to give our heart all the authority, to immediately reject and react negatively to things that put us out of our comfort zone.

The Catholic Church has a long history. I'm not a historian and I'm not going to pretend to be. However, I think it is fair to say that throughout Christian/Catholic history there has been a back and forth swing. On the one side is people living their faith with true devotion and understanding. But, as happens with anything, by generations the pendulum swings. That intentionality gives way to practice without a passion. People in the Church still do good and holy things but not because they consciously think of them as good and holy things. Eventually they might even forget some of the good and holy things but no one really misses them.

The stress comes when someone notices that the pendulum has swung and tries to call people back. This happened to the Israelites in the Old Testament many times. They would be all holy and awesome but would slip and slide over time, no one really noticing. Eventually God would send them a prophet to call them back to being awesome. But how did this process unfold every single time? The people hate the prophet and accuse him of all sorts of terror but eventually see that he's right. They are restored and enjoy the goodness that comes from being in God's grace.

Or think of it like a sports team. They're playing well at first but things start to change. Discipline slips and they aren't able to perform as well. One day the coach (or perhaps a new one) realizes what's happened. He calls the team back to basic fundamentals and physical fitness. The players at first resent what the coach is putting them through. They complain and consider quitting the team. But ask any highly successful team or coach and you'll find, without variance, that if they hadn't been willing to endure the fundamentals, if they hadn't been willing to set aside their pride and listen to the coach they couldn't have won. (UK may have ridiculously good players but if you ask them, even though they know their own high skill, they'll tell you that it wouldn't have been possible without teamwork and discipline. They did the hard things at first and it allowed them to experience something great.)

So, where I think we are is somewhere swinging back away from forgetting/going through the motions and towards true devotion and understanding. This is a good thing. My point in writing is to point out that while things may seems difficult and unnecessary right now , if we really think about it we can see that it will be better for us in the long run.

The Church, in the authority of the Bishops, is reminding us that there is a moral standard. We don't like hearing that. We don't like it at all...but in the end it's good for us.

Or more locally, a pastor calls us back to the true meaning of the mass, sacraments, things of the Church etc and calls us to be more intentional in our Catholic faith. At first we resist because it's difficult and makes us feel uncomfortable but in the end it's good for us.


As the Easter Triduum approaches let us remember what the passion, death and resurrection of Christ really mean. Let us take seriously the true call to conversion that Lent has offered so that we can share more fully in the joy that Easter brings!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Setting up for the Party

What's the party? It's one you don't want to miss! It lasts 50 days! Which makes sense...because it's celebrating the most important thing that ever happened! It's the celebration of Easter, when Jesus rose from the dead and conquered the powers of sin and death. But we're not there yet. Before the party there must be preparation. Lent

Lent begins today on Ash Wednesday when we are reminded that we are dust and to dust we shall return. Seems maybe a questionable way to begin. What does our dustiness have to do with Jesus' resurrection?

It's puts us in the right place. It reminds us that we're not as awesome as we thought. It humbles us. And we need to be humble so that we can properly receive Jesus when Easter comes.

The disciplines of Lent - fasting, prayer and alms-giving - bring us back to the basics of what's really important in life and give us the opportunity to see with clearer vision what we really need and what we really don't.

And it's then, when we have removed the unnecessary things from life (or added necessary things) that we are much more ready to welcome Christ. A house full of boxes and bags with haphazardly arranged furniture isn't good for welcoming guests into so neither is a soul that's distracted, dirty and disordered good for welcoming Christ into.

So, this Lent I encourage you to take time and spend the effort to make yourself ready for Christ. It's definitely worth the effort.

And after all, the setup is only 40 days.

On the effort, i.e. the fasting, praying and alms-giving, don't be intimidated. Grand efforts aren't as necessary as it may seem. Little sacrifices, if done with the right spirit, can be much more fruitful that huge efforts done, say, out of fear of fire and brimstone. Start small. Do simple things and then take the fruit of those to build up your discipline. In the end, I promise you that the rewards are sweeter than the trials.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Deficit of Young Adults in Church Employment

So, there I was, sitting in the seminary coffee shop starting to review from the day’s classes. Across the room in two leather chairs was a guy in 3rd theology and another young man that I didn’t recognize. I wasn’t intentionally listening to their conversation but it was obvious after a few minutes that they were planning the 3rd year guy’s upcoming deaconate ordination. The very next thought following that understanding was “Why is that Protestant helping Chris plan the mass for his ordination?

This thought surprised me in itself because I didn’t know where it came from. Why did I think that this well dressed, backpack carrying guy was a protestant? (This ends up complimentary of Protestants; don’t worry.) Here he was at a Catholic school talking to a Catholic about a Catholic event and yet something had told me that he wasn’t Catholic. It took me a few moments to figure out what I was seeing that I didn’t realize I was seeing. It’s this:

In my mind, in the Catholic Church, lay (non-ordained) people in leadership positions are older. Or, said the opposite way, it’s only the protestants that have young people (mid-20s, early 30s) that are actively taking leadership roles in the Church. This is, of course, just my private observation but I think it’s a fair one. At least on average, young protestants seem more likely to be working for the Church than young Catholics.

Now, it could just be that I see it this way because my experience in this matter mostly comes from college where there were tons of protestant campus ministries staffed obviously by college-aged Protestants versus only one Catholic group staffed by a proportionate number of college-aged Catholics.

If I had never been around other Church stuff in the last 2 years I would just explain it is an experiential bias and not worry about it but that isn’t the case. While I haven’t been keeping records, I have been around many different Catholic churches in different parts of the country over the past years and I don’t recall there being many young people around in leadership.

As their conversation continued I kept thinking about the above and when the pseudo-Protestant left I asked Chris who he was. This young, energetic, well dressed guy was, I think, the Liturgical Coordinator for Chris’ diocese. I don’t know exactly what that means but I’m pretty sure it’s at least moderately important.

The point, I suppose, is that while we certainly need young men and women as priests and nuns, the Church also needs accountants and planners and whoever else big, state-wide organizations need.

Maybe it’s an old-guard kind of thing where Bishops and Pastors just don’t hire young people (less likely). Or maybe it’s a financial thing where the Church can only afford to be staffed with people that are retired and will work for free or for low pay (more likely). If it’s the former, well, that I think will change on its own. If it’s the latter, we in the pews need to help out. (Catholics are notoriously poor givers to the Church)

There are probably 20 different variables that I’m not taking into account here but I still think that it’s fair to encourage more young people to be excited about the Church and to be concerned with its welfare such that they want to work for it.
I have asked some friends of mine that do work for the Church if the above ideas have any merit and from what I've heard, this is the case. Especially, again, from what I've heard, it is because parishes can't afford to hire young people whereas our Protestant friends can.

This post isn't about making any judgments or declarations of what ought to be done but rather just about pointing out a situation.

God bless little old Dorothy or Mildred or Agnes but they won't be around forever. I think the Church needs and deserves young, energetic people working in ministry but in administration as well. The Church needs the help of it's members not just during mass.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Reality Check Concerning the March for Life

I have been to the March for Life three times now and while I understand that this doesn't certify me as an expert, as a generally pretty good observer I feel like I ought to offer the following reality-check type thoughts. (This is meant to end up as motivation not discouragement, I promise.)

1. Very few people on the national scene care about or are even aware of it. Was there any media coverage of it in your area; on TV, in the paper, on the radio? Excluding niche services like EWTN and your local diocesan newspaper it pretty much gets zero coverage. If it got popular media outlet coverage in your area I would be interested to know.

2. Very few politicians in Washington care. I admit that this is greater speculation on my part but it seems pretty likely to be true. Some representatives may have had their offices invaded by brightly dressed high-schoolers but in many other offices business probably proceeded quite as usual. Concerning President Obama; while there may have been a few extra secret service men around him on the day of the march I think I can be pretty sure that he wasn't peeking between the blinds of his office fretting about all the Pro-Life people outside. Again, I would like to be be wrong here so if you know different, please share.

3. The local impact, if any, beyond financial, is short lived. I was on the National Mall both the morning and afternoon of the march as well as on the morning and afternoon after the march. On Monday, the day of the march, there were hundreds of thousands of people, banners and signs everywhere, music, chants, prayers etc... The next day, with the exception of one or two tattered signs laying in the gutter and a crew disassembling a non-descript stage there was absolutely no sign that anything noteworthy had happened recently. I went to lunch at Qdoba a few blocks from the Nat. Mall and it was full of blue and white collar people on lunch break. In that whole time I was there at lunch as well as while passing people on the streets and paused at crosswalks, at no time did I hear even a mention of or an allusion to anything related to the March for Life. As I met my fellow seminarians back at Union Station on Tuesday afternoon, the day after the march, I couldn't help but feel that the entire D.C. area endured the minor inconvenience of half-a-million extra people for one day and then promptly ceased caring.

4. The March for Life itself is rather un-unified and anticlimactic. Yes there are a huge number of people supporting the specific cause of Pro-Life but their methods and philosophies differ greatly. It's good to see so many people and groups but I think the message looses force because of the disparity. In that sense it's un-unified. It's anticlimactic, I think, in that once we march to the supreme court building most people's thought process shifts to "Okay, now where do I throw this sign away?" and "Where was it my group agreed to meet?"

5. This is the one time per year that people are Pro-Life. It is hard to beat the energy and motivation that comes from standing in the midst of and marching with 500,000 people that support the same cause but it seems that not enough of that energy carries over into the other 364 days of the year. It seems that many people treat the March for Life as there once per year check-box for being Pro-Life. They'll maybe post a few facebook comments before and after the march but then mostly forget about the idea again until they get on the bus for D.C. again next year. (This part is definitely spoken from personal doing this though I don't think it's a stretch to say I was/am alone in this.) 500,000 people in D.C. but just 2 people praying out in front of Planned Parenthood...something is amiss.

After having said all that though, please hear me out further. I do think the March for Life is important but I shared the above negative opinions hopefully as motivation for people to take the Pro-Life movement more seriously and maybe be more productive with time and resources.

The March for Life in D.C. is something that I think is very good for people new to being proactively Pro-Life to experience because it shows them that it is more than just something their youth director or their pastor likes to harp on. There are people from all over the country and all over the world that care about this. No one is alone in their defense of life. That being said though, I think (no "I declare") it would be most productive for someone to go to D.C. one or two times and then thereafter use that time and those resources to do positive things closer to home.

One of the things that is most promising to me is the emergence of more local marches in other big cities like San Francisco but also in smaller but notable towns like Tulsa, OK. It unites people across the country in a different kind of way. Rather than the experience of "I'm here in D.C. with people from everywhere." it can be "I'm here supporting life in my home town at the same time as people all across the country." And a bonus is that it doesn't require a long bus trip!

The day before the march and on the day of there are various large masses around D.C.. There is one for 6,000 plus people at the National Basilica and I would guess over 15,000 at the Verizon Center (seats 18,000 for basketball games) with no doubt many others at local parishes. This is awesome. Bringing heaven down to earth in the Mass is always a good thing. The more of that the better.

Now, during the march itself there are various little groups praying the Rosary or perhaps a Chaplet of Divine Mercy and this is all well and good but as I said earlier, it seems rather un-unified. I know it would be logistically impossible for a mile long procession to pray a rosary together in unison  but what if the march were led by a Eucharistic procession? That would be really powerful I think!

Other thoughts: I've never been really good at history but it seems like other groups that wanted to come to D.C. and make a difference came but didn't leave in 24 hours. I am not advocating public disorder or even 'Occupy' type tactics but what if there were events going on for days (or weeks!) both before and after the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, not causing trouble exactly but making the message much harder to ignore? (There are probably a whole myriad of legal, financial and other difficulties with this that I have no idea about, but regardless, the question seems at least worth asking.)

The purpose of sharing all these thoughts is not to discount the March for Life but rather to encourage reform and motivation in the way the Pro-Life movement is carried out both on the national and local stage, to give motivation to those who feel that the March isn't as effective as it could be and to help people see that being Pro-Life isn't just a one day per year duty.

St. Gianna Molla, Pray for us!