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.
Yesterday, thousands of protestors gathered in St. Paul, Minn. to pray and demonstrate against the legalized killing of the unborn, and state-sponsored taxpayer funding of abortion. The Cathedral of St. Paul was filled for noon Mass, celebrated by New Ulm Bishop John LeVoir and Duluth Bishop Paul Sirba. Bishop LeVoir in his homily spoke of the importance of prayer and work, work and prayer, to end our country’s practice of legalized abortion.
After Mass, those in attendance walked over to the State Capitol for the March for Life. Groups of pro-life supporters picked up various signs, designating their city or community, and then began marching on the plaza in front of the State Capitol. At 2:00 p.m. Minnesota Citizens for Life (MCCL) began their program. Bishop LeVoir kicked off the rally with a prayer, followed by a number of MCCL speakers and comments from Minnesota political leaders, such as John Kline, Erik Paulson, and Chip Cravaack.
The speakers spoke of the importance of continuing the fight for life, of banning web-cam abortions in the state, and the importance of inspections for abortion facilities.
Making her first appearance since dropping out of the GOP presidential race, Michelle Bachmann was the rally’s final speaker. She received the loudest applause. She spoke of the “cloud of witnesses” - the millions of unborn who have been aborted - who were gathered there with the protestors.
“Here on our watch we will stand, we will stand for life, we will never forget, we will never give up, and next year we will gather in a day of celebration when we have finally ended abortion in this all important election,” said Bachmann. “Join me this year. Choose life.”
The crowd was estimated between 2,000 and 4,000, including many youth, children and families who braved the cold temperatures and the freezing drizzle. MCCL spokesman Bill Poehler described the event as “one of the largest and the longest continuously held annual rallies in the state.”
Students from Chesterton Academy handed out MCCL flyers. One of the most enthusiastic groups in attendance was a group of young men, including many seminarians, from Mankato, who brought a drum, a cowbell, and a trumpet and had developed an infectious pro-life cheer with which they rallied the crowd. Their enthusiasm drew special attention from Bishop LeVoir.