Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Walk for Life 2009

Finally have a chance to post about the Walk for Life on Sunday. It wasn't a terribly big crowd, probably because the weather was bitter cold. But those who did turn out, turned out with enthusiasm.

It was also a much more Catholic-heavy event this year. I saw very few Protestants out there. Of course, it was hard to tell who was who under the hoods and scarves over people's faces to keep out the wind. But the vast majority of the people I recognized were from our parish. It's a little disheartening, as this is one of the few times when Papes and Prods get to work together.

Moses Lake is kind of a gimme as far as pro-life events go. Lots of Mormons, lots of Catholics, lots of Evangelicals. The nearest abortuary is in Yakima, a couple of hours' drive away. God willing, we won't be saddled with one here anytime soon.
One factor that made a lot of folks come out in the cold was our new associate pastor, Fr. Brooks Beaulaurier. I tell you what, that man is plumb awesome. He's not loud or overbearing, but when he talks, people listen. (That's him in the first picture, wearing a headband.) Part of Fr. Brooks' challenge was a reminder that Monsignor would be there, and if he could do it, we had no excuse. (Technically, that's Msgr. Martin Skehan, but in reality he's too cool for a name. There's only one Monsignor, anyway. For a while we had a fill-in priest with that title, but I couldn't bring myself to call him anything but "Father.") Monsignor is a little leprechaun of a man, 88 years old, and one of the kindest, gentlest men I've ever met.(That's him in the wheelchair.) He has that sort of priestly vagueness about him that makes you wonder if he remembers you from one time to the next. (Believe me, he does.) He's been a priest for more than six decades. His first parish, fresh off the boat from Ireland, was my hometown of Goldendale (motto: "Careful where you step!") in 1949. I'm not sure how long he's been in Moses Lake, but it's not long enough. Oh, sure, he's theoretically retired, but I suspect they'll have to shoot him before he'll quit. He's living at a retirement home down the hill from us, where he still celebrates Mass once a week for the residents. I pity any parish that doesn't have a Monsignor.
Christina and I were there with Visigoth, while the teenagers stayed home in the warm with the other little ones. For a wonder, Visigoth was very well-behaved. We gave him a very simplified explanation of what we were doing ("It's to tell people that killing babies is wrong"), and he carried a sign proudly with the grown-ups. There were a lot of honks and waves from passing drivers. There was also the occasional finger, but that was as hostile as it got. Nothing like the sort of violence that gets thrown at pro-lifers at the big-city Walks.

Looking forward to next year's Walk for Life. It'll be interesting to see what changes in the next year or two in the pro-life arena.

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