On March 5, 1,800 Catholics overflowed on the sidewalks of Stapleton, Colorado, united to show support for the pro-life movement, as well as to pray for mothers, unborn children, and abortion clinic workers. The crowd surrounded a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in the city in a Eucharistic procession led by Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila.
According to the Catholic News Agency, when first explaining his hope to lead the procession in February, the archbishop said he was amazed at the positive response. His plan to draw attention to the pro-life movement through the procession was extremely successful.
Archbishop Aquila described the day as “truly a moment of grace, a moment of blessing, a moment of praying to our Lord that hearts may be changed. It was wonderful to see how many turned out today.”
In order to ensure a quiet and respectful procession, Father Scott Bailey spoke to the crowd, explaining the necessity of remaining silent. The archdiocese wanted the pro-life rally to be a peaceful event with no shouting or arguing outside the abortion facility.
“Silence is an essential part of the procession as we unite our voices with those who have been silenced by abortion,” Bailey said.
The many enthusiastic pro-lifers who joined the procession began to pour into the street as the event began, according to the report. Karna Swanson, communications director for the archdiocese, said the turn-out was much larger than they expected.
“We were honestly expecting 500-800 people,” Swanson said. “Three times that number showed up. This provided a bit of a challenge for us logistically, as 1,800 people don’t exactly fit on the sidewalk of a city block.”
Swanson continued, “We wanted to make sure everyone who wanted to participate could, but we also didn’t want to give any reason for the police department to shut the event down.” Fortunately, local off-duty police were there to ensure the crowd didn’t impede traffic, according to the report.
Swanson explained that many organizations came together to help the event run smoothly.
“There was wonderful teamwork on the ground, between the seminarians, the AMDG Cycling group, the police officers, and the participants,” Swanson said. “It was obvious to all that we were just there to pray. And pray we did, nearly everyone in the crowd was holding a rosary in their hands, and small groups throughout the crowd were praying the rosary together. We definitely stormed heaven with our prayers.”
The peaceful crowd was filled with young families and the religious, the report states. Orders such as the Nashville Dominicans, the Sisters of Life and the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo were present. Several members of clergy were there, joined by dozens of seminarians.
Our society is living in a critical time for the pro-life movement. With advancements in science and medicine, the public is at last being educated on the reality of life at the moment of conception. It is encouraging to see so many people standing up to peacefully protest the horrors of abortion.