Some 2,500 pray, march and stand up for life

Jan. 31, 2014, edition
The Catholic Spirit

Wind chills dipping to -15 degrees couldn’t keep Mary Kay Mahowald and about 2,500 others away from the annual Prayer Service for Life at the Cathedral of St. Paul and pro-life march to the Minnesota Capitol Jan. 22.

“I’ve been coming on this day for 40 years,” said Mahowald, a member of St. Catherine in Spring Lake Township, Minn. “However cold it is on this day, I just crawl out of bed and tell the Lord, ‘This is for the babies. Make something good of it.’ “

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Dan Moriarty of St. Mary of the Lake in White Bear Lake braves subzero temperatures Jan. 22 as he walks to the State Capitol from the Cathedral to attend a pro-life rally sponsored by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life. Photos by Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

The prayer service and the march, which is sponsored by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, marked the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion virtually on demand in the United States.

Saved for a purpose

During his homily at the prayer service, Bishop Andrew Cozzens of St. Paul and Minneapolis told the story of how, when his mother was pregnant with him, a doctor informed her that she was carrying a deformed fetus and should undergo an abortion. Bishop Cozzens’ mother, a staunch pro-life advocate, refused, and she eventually gave birth to a healthy baby.

The bishop’s parents told him this story often when he was growing up. “They would say God saved your life because he has a plan for it,” he recalled. “Your job is to figure out what that plan is.”

God likewise has a plan for everyone who attended the prayer service and every person ever conceived in a mother’s womb, Bishop Cozzens said. This realization should lead to a sense of childlike wonder and awe, knowing that God lovingly creates every person to accomplish something special.

“Each of us must come to know deeply the gift of our own life and see God’s plan for our life,” he said. “Each of us must be able to say, ‘God saved my life because he has a plan for it, and my job is to figure out what that plan is.’

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Cozzens

“This wonder and gratitude will allow us to become instruments of God to change hearts, so that many people will come to reverence life,” he said.

The March for Life was moved inside the state Capitol for only the second time in 40 years due to the extreme cold.

The event featured a short program.

MCCL officials said the organization’s 2014 legislative agenda includes ending taxpayer-funded abortions, which account for 34 percent of all abortions performed in the state.

The group is also seeking the licensing and inspection of abortion facilities, and passage of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which prohibits abortions at the point when an unborn child can feel pain.

 

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Pro-life supporters rally under the rotunda of the State Capitol during the Minnesota Citizens for Life rally Jan. 22. Due to the cold, the annual demonstration was moved inside the Capitol.