Father Thom Hennen, vocations director for the Diocese of Davenport, attended his first March for Life in Washington, D.C. He decided that because this year marked the 40th anniversary of a life-defeating Supreme Court decision, he would make a special effort to make the national March for Life.
Donna DeJoode, director of faith formation and youth ministry at St. Mary Parish in Oskaloosa, had a seat available on a bus she had chartered to take nearly 50 people to the March for Life. Fr. Hennen told her, “Sign me up.”
A day before the march he and Father Jeff Belger, pastor of parishes in Oskaloosa and Pella, had the privilege of concelebrating, with several-hundred other priests, Mass held in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.
“The Mass was very powerful,” Fr. Hennen said. “The basilica was packed upstairs and downstairs. The Pella/Oskaloosa group was in a corner somewhere in the crypt level.”
Fr. Hennen also was impressed by the massiveness of the march, estimated at about one-half million people. “You can feel kind of isolated in your beliefs on this issue, or you might feel ashamed because of society’s acceptance of abortion, but when you’re walking with a half-million people who share your beliefs on this issue, that’s very reassuring.”
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