Tim Drake is an award-winning writer and former journalist and radio host with the National Catholic Register/EWTN. He currently serves as New Evangelization Coordinator for the Holdingford Area Catholic Community in the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota. He resides with his wife and five children in St. Joseph, Minn.
More than 6,000 Minnesotans gathered outside the state Capitol in St. Paul to rally for life.
Prior to the Minnesota March for Life, sponsored by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, a Prayer Service for Life was held at the nearby Cathedral of St. Paul. There was standing room only.
“We pray that abortion, the scourge that it is, be removed from our national life,” said Archbishop John Nienstedt, who led the prayer service.
During the reflection, Archbishop Nienstedt compared the tragedy of abortion to the tragic earthquakes in Haiti.
“The tragedy of abortion is not unlike the earthquake, in that it leaves scores dead and others wounded,” said Archbishop Nienstedt. “But, we must admit that the horror that is abortion are man-made nightmares.”
He encouraged those in attendance to live their life for others, and to overcome a culture of apathy, self-centeredness and death.
“Tragedies such as these give us all the opportunity to go beyond ourselves,” he continued.
He proposed Mary as a model, and related the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
“Abortion isn’t just a religious issue,” he said. “It’s an issue of basic human rights. The Declaration of Independence is not a religious document.”
He also criticized the health-care reform bill, saying, “Health care should be about enhancing life, not destroying it.”
After the prayer service, attendees marched from the St. Paul Cathedral to the Capitol, each group holding signs representing the different Minnesota communities from which they were from. On the Capitol’s front steps, a number of speakers and politicians spoke about protecting human life. Among the speakers were Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.
“If we change hearts and minds, laws will follow,” said Pawlenty. “We stand for protecting life, and we promote a culture of life in Minnesota and the rest of America.”