Friday, January 22, 2016

Marching with the Snowflakes

SJS was in Washington D.C. this weekend (some heading out as the storm arrives, some riding the storm out).  The snowflakes were just beginning to fall on Constitution Avenue as the march began. Last night we had Mass with Cardinal Dolan and a packed Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, this morning began early with a 5am Holy Hour led by Deacon Chris Bae and then, shortly before the march began, Cardinal O'Malley celebrated Mass for us at the National Shrine of the Sacred Heart.











FROM CNS:
http://www.catholicnews.com/services/englishnews/2016/cardinal-dolan-newborn-in-manger-a-positive-sign-of-a-culture-of-life.cfm


A baby in a manger is proof enough for Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York that Americans can express a culture of life.

And it wasn't the Christ child. Instead, it was a newborn infant left by his mother in the crib of a manger scene at a parish in the New York City borough of Queens.

Calling it "a sad but gripping tale" in his homily during the opening Mass Jan. 21 of the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, Cardinal Dolan, said, "No one knew where the baby had come from, or who left him there ... until, a week later, the sobbing mother, a young Mexican woman, remaining anonymous, told her story to a journalist."

Cardinal Dolan, who is chairman of the U.S. bishops' pro-life committee, recounted the mother's words, noting the irony that the woman had left her baby at Holy Child Jesus Church:

"I was so afraid, and, all alone in the house, suddenly went into labor. I must have been in excruciating pain for at least two hours. I started pushing because, each time I did, the pain would let up. I pushed for 15 minutes and finally the baby, a boy, finally came out. He didn't cry at first, so I was afraid he was not all right. I didn't know what to do, so I left the umbilical cord on. I wrapped him in a clean towel and started to look for some place safe and warm.

"I'm very religious," the woman had continued, "so right away I thought of my church, Holy Child Jesus (in the Brooklyn Diocese). I go there a lot, and the priests and people are so good. I just knew if I left him in God's hands, my baby would be OK. So, I ran into my church and put him in the empty crib. Then he started crying. I just hoped he was warm enough. I hid in the back of church, knowing Father would find my baby and the people would care for him. They did."

"True story," Cardinal Dolan said, "and I submit it to you, the jury, this evening, as Exhibit A in our case for promoting the culture of life."

He added, "It's not far-fetched to imagine another scenario, what might have happened: that mother's legitimate and understandable apprehension and isolation could have led her to Planned Parenthood.

"She could have been going to a parish which she found cold, unwelcoming and, impersonal, where she did not feel safe, and where she would not have been inclined to turn in her crisis," Cardinal Dolan said. "Or, in those fretful minutes after her baby's birth, she might have run to a church only to find it bolted-up, with a sign on the outside telling her, probably in English, to come back during office hours. Thank God that scenario remains only a 'might-have-been.'"

He said later, "We are summoned to be such agents of conversion." The way to do that, Cardinal Dolan said, was "by imitating those priests and people of Holy Child Jesus Parish in New York City, by acknowledging that Jose, that abandoned newborn baby (named for St. Joseph, Jesus' foster father), Jose was nowhere more at home than in the empty manger of their parish nativity scene, because he, too, is a child of God."