DENVER. “Every Life if a Gift” was the theme for the 2020 Celebrate Life Rally and March in Denver on Jan. 11. The Respect Life Apostolate for the Diocese of Colorado Springs chartered a bus and took 51 devoted pro-life warriors from around our diocese and Pueblo to celebrate the gift of life.
We arrived early for Mass at Holy Ghost Church in Denver, giving us time to pray and appreciate the spectacularly beautiful and historic church. Mass was followed by a delicious lunch sponsored by Holy Ghost Respect Life Ministry. All agreed that this was the perfect beginning of our pilgrimage.
David Bereit, co-founder of 40 Days for Life, served as emcee. He reviewed the events of the year, including pro-life victories and setbacks. Bereit reminded us of the travesty of justice we all witnessed in New York state as Governor Andrew Cuomo celebrated that state’s law enshrining abortion up to birth. Bereit also highlighted the many pro-life laws passed around the country encouraging those present to stay strong and keep up the good fight.
Archbishop Samuel Aquila encouraged us to remember that no matter what our culture tells us, we, God’s people, know that every life is precious. He encouraged everyone present to sign the Initiative 120 petition to get a late-term abortion ban onto the 2020 Colorado ballot. He took time to explain why the arguments against signing the petition are misplaced. He told us that, in each of the last five years, over 200 babies have lost their lives to late-term abortion in Colorado. Initiative 120, if placed on the ballot, will give Coloradoans the chance to vote to end abortions for babies from 22-weeks gestation through birth.
Ramona Treviño, a Planned Parenthood clinic manager for three years, inspired us by sharing how peaceful, prayerful pro-life witnesses helped her to leave the job that required her not to perform abortions but to refer for them. Treviño encouraged us to keep praying for those caught up in the lies of the abortion business whether clients, workers, or supporters. Treviño’s book, “Redeemed by Grace,” tells her compelling story.
As we marched from the Capitol to the Denver City and County building and back, we marveled at the thousands of people around us holding signs, singing, laughing, praying, and just smiling. It was truly a crowd overflowing with joy. And the best part of all was the huge number young people in that crowd.
Stephanie Kemp, Respect Life Coordinator for St. Peter Parish in Monument, summed up the day beautifully.
“It is humbling and inspiring to be among so many Coloradoans who value the sanctity of life,” she said. “Archbishop Aquila’s personal testimony was very powerful. The statewide observance gets bigger and better every year. Taking the chartered bus to Denver with Mass and lunch at Holy Ghost Parish before the Rally/March makes it an incredibly hassle-free and uplifting day. I highly recommend setting aside this one day next year to participate and represent the pro-life people of our diocese.”
(Julie Bailey is Director of the Respect Life Apostolate of the Diocese of Colorado Springs.)