The Ottawa March for Life is a yearly demonstration in Ottawa. It is quickly becoming a major political event, with last year's participation reaching 12,000 marchers on Parliament Hill. It is also becoming a magnet for other pro-life events, such as the annual pro-life Campaign Life Coalition Youth Conference and the annual Campaign Life Coalition Rose Dinner.
Please click here for information about the 2009 March for Life. Next year's march will be bigger than ever, and information about it will be available shortly.
Here's a promotional video (filmed in 2008) for the 2009 March for Life:
The irony of Obama's words in this video is amazing.
This past Sunday I was warmly welcomed by Cornwall's pro-life community as I travelled there to take part in their annual March fo Life and Annual General Meeting.
Under sunny skies, the afternoon began when Gale Barr, head of Pro-Life Cornwall Pro-Vie, gathered the thirty or so of us in prayer before the entrance of the Charles-Émile Claude Centre before leading us thrugh the streets of Cornwall. At the head of the march, she was accompanied by her husband as well as a fourth degree Knight of Columbus.
Walking in pairs, we followed behind. Deacon Christopher Chisholm introduced himself to me and accompanied me for the forty-minute, 1.6 km walk.
Back at the recreation centre, the AGM was presided by Ms. Barr. In addition to reports by the secretary and financial officer and the election of new board members, there was a surprise addition to the agenda - me!
Ms. Joan Lemieux, office manager for Pro-Life Cornwall, invited me to say a few words about our work here in Quebec. With delight, I accepted and after briefly outlining the history of QLC, I spoke about a few of our current projects - such as outreach into the community, 40 Days for Life prayer vigils, and sidewalk counselling.
The meeting ended with a presentation by Ms. Anastasia Bowles, Special Projects Coordinator wiith Life Canada. I gathered from her thirty-minute power-point presentation that Life Canada produces national campaigns promoting adoption. Venues in which their adds run include buses, bus shelters, and in the general media.
By 4 p.m. the meeting had ended and I was making my way back to Montreal.
A story appears in the local paper - The Cornwall Standard Freeholder.
P.S. The AGM began with the following prayer:
Prayer for the Unborn
Heavenly Father, in Your love for us, protect against the wickedness of the devil, those helpless little ones to whom You have given the gift of life.
Touch with pity the hearts of those women pregnant in our world today who are not thinking of motherhood.
Help them to see that the child they carry is made in Your image - as well as theirs - made for eternal life.
Dispel their fear and selfishness and give them true womanly hearts to love their babies and give them birth and all the needed care that a mother can give.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son, Our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen.
Here's CLC's June promotional letter. Not only does it provide a good review of the recent National March for Life in Ottawa, but also describes regional marches across the country as well as other pro-life initiatives such as the Crossroads Canada and the "New" Abortion Caravan. Enjoy.
The National March for Life flowed through the streets of Ottawa, noisily, joyfully and with chants and cheers, as I'd predicted. The streets were teaming with people who had decided they would march to bring truth back to the discussion, to the public square and to public office arund the country.
The crowd was numbered at 19,500 by CLC National President jim Hughes. However in a delightful twist of fate, the Globe and Mail reported us at 20,000. We'll take it! In fact, this year the overall media coverage of the March was more balanced than it had ever been.
Stephen Woodworth was one of almost 20 MPs who appeared on the Hill and received a genuinely warm and enthusiastic welcome from the crowd. He was eloquent but it must be said that actions speak louder than words and his Motion has generated a discussion prolifers in our country are grateful for. Whatever support is lacking from his party is made up for by the strong support from all of us. The MPs spoke briefly but eloquently and we were grateful for their presence and supprt. The RCMP was concerned about security, given the student protests in Montreal and decided to block off 3/4 of one side of Parliament Hill, but frankly the optics were terrific. The tiny group that came to deliberately disrupt a peaceful rally were dwarfed by the amount of space they had been given. All my interactons with the RCMP were polite and professional and they seemed to want to protect the pro-lifers. Some were more gruff than others, but we know these events can erupt with the malfeasance of jsut a few.
The Rally and the March are not the beginning and end of course. The Youth Banquet had over 800 students and the Rose Dinner had over 300 adults. Our respective speakers, Rev. Patrick Mahoney and Steven Mosher were excellent and well received... The workshops that were attended the next day by hundreds and hundreds of students, equipped them for service or for activism in the pro-life movements. They were being instructed in ways they would not have received elsewhere, with holy boldness and love. It was very moving to withness the development of the next generations.
Around the country, 4000 pro-lifers participated in regional Marches. Though only 20 Islanders participated in the March in front of the provincial legislature in St. John's, Patrick Hanlon reported that the largest pro-life demonstration in Newfoundland takes place on Good Friday. This year 300 people took part in that just a few weeks before the March for Life. Furthermore, as Senator Norman Doyle (Conservative, Newfoundland and Labrador) noted on Parliament Hill, there was a large contingent of Newfoundlanders at the National March for Life in Ottawa (they could be seen waving their pronvical flag as they marched). In Halifax, the Nova Scotia March for Life drew about 75 people. Ellen Chesal, Executive Director of CLC Nova Scotia and Andre Turcot, State Pro-Life Director for the Knights of Columbus, addressed the crowd in front of the Province House. A candlelight vigil held the night before was attended by more than 20 people. In Prince Edward Island, at least 100 people took part in the March outside the legislature in Charlottetown.
David Abbott of the Knights of Columbus told the gathering it is a fallacy to believe that a nation can legally and wilfully destroy its own people without also destroying itself." The New Brunswick March for Life, organized by New Brunswick Right to Life took place at the legislature with more than 400 people in attendance. Several members from both the Conservative and Liberal parties attended the gathering. The Winnepeg March for Life was organized by CLC Manitoba, the Knights of Columbus and Life's Vision. Winnepeg Archbishop James Weisgerber told the 433 pro-life activists gathered at The Forks to defend life:"We have to defend life in all of the ways that we can." The crowd then walked to the legislature where they heard testimony from a member of Silent No More Awareness Campaign and were challenged to swell the numbers for next years' march. The Saskatchewan March for Life in Regina drew 500 people while the March in Saskatoon was attended by 220 people. Various Saskatchewan bishops, clergy and reperesentatives of several church groups, members of Silent No More Awareness Campaign and Rachel's Vineyard and other pro-life groups were present at the Marches. The Regina rally was also attended by several MLA's who lent their support to the cause. The Alberta March for Life took place in Edmonton on May 17, 2012. Julius Yankowsky, Executive director of CLC Alberta, estimated that there were over 400 peoole at the March which started at the Alberta legislature and processed 2 km to City Hall where more speakers addressed the crowd. Participants then walked back to the legislature for the closing ceremony. More than 1,800 people participated in the fifth annual British Columbia March for Life in Victoria. "Our intention here today is to peacefully and prayerfully bring attention to the victims of abortion in our province," said BC March for Life media spokesmwoman, Anastasia Pearse.
Across the country the Spirit is moving and so are the young adults. Crossroads Canada, a non-profit pro-life organization, dedicated to the renewal of the Culture of Life, has begun its journey. The students left Vancouver B.C. heading to Ottawa. They will be walking for a total of 12 weeks, in shifts day and night, Monday through Friday, all the while, praying for the unborn. On weekends the Crossroads Walkers will be staying at host homes and giving presentations to Churches. Look for them in your area. (Their blog will keep you informed about their travel.)
Meanwhile a different approach starts on May 29th, with the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform leaving Vancouver in the "New" Abortion Caravan. For those of you who don't remember, in 1970 a group of radical pro-abortion feminists gathered outside the Vancouver Art Gallery to start a cross-counry trek to Ottawa to have abortion laws repealed and have abortion on demand. 42 years later, the New Abortion Caravan seeks to boldly show the death and destruction that has been caused by the "choice" of abortion. A picture paints a thousand words; a CCRB picture, a thousand souls.
Yesterday, I was delighted, and surprised, to be asked if I was organizing a trip to the Cornwall March for Life, set for Sunday, June 24.
I presumed that the caller knew I had just organised trips to both the National March for Life (in Ottawa on May 10) and the Marche Chrétienne (June 2 in Quebec City) and that it was only logical that I do the same in support of a sister organization so close to home. (Cornwall is an hour and half southwest of Montreal along the 401.)
I responded that I would be delighted to do so. Therefore...
Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
You are coordially invited to join me, and two others, Sunday, June 24, in support of the cause of life in Cornwall, ON.
As the walk begins at 1 p.m., we will leave Montreal at about 11 a.m., from a location yet to be assigned.
The walk is about 1.5 km. It will followed Pro-Life Cornwall's Annual General Meeting. Guest Ms. Anastasia Bowles of Life Canada will be on hand to address the assembly.
Give me a call (514-344-2686) and I will see if numbers warrant the need for chartering a bus. Else, we will car pool it, as we did to Quebec City.
I can't think of a better way to celebrate the annual Saint-Jean Baptiste Day than giving it a pro-life spin.
For more information about the day or pro-life events in Cornwall, click Pro-Life Cornwall .
Again travelling the 110 km to Cornwall would take us about an hour and half.
To all Montreal Youth: come to Ottawa for this year’s exciting Youth Conference!
Location:Hampton Inn Ottawa, 100 Coventry Road There will be fantastic pro-life speakers, workshops, and opportunities to meet with other youth.
To sign-up please contact 416-204-9749 or e-mail email@example.com
Registration: $45/ per person (call for special group rates)
Breakfast, lunch and one coffee break included.
Schedule of events
7:30AM- Mass (Hampton Inn)
8- 8:30AM- Registration & Breakfast
8:30- 8:45AM- Music (by Gethsemane Ministries) and Welcome by John-Henry Westen,Editor and Co-Founder of LifeSite News
8:45- 9:30AM- Plenary Address, Alissa Golob, Campaign Life Coalition Youth
9:30-10:15AM- WORKSHOP (choose one of four amazing workshops to learn more about various topics pro-lifers are faced with today in an intimate and interactive setting. To see the list of speakers and topics click here)
10:15- 10:45AM- Coffee Break
10:45- 11:30AM- WORKSHOP 11:30- 12:30PM- Plenary Address, Pam Stenzel, Chastity and Motivational Speaker,Founder of Enlighten Communications
12:30- 1:30PM- LUNCH
1:30- 2:15PM- Plenary Address, Fr. Bouquet, President of Human Life International
2:15- 2:30PM- Wrap-Up
PLEASE JOIN US FOR THIS GREAT EVENT!!!
The Triduum is three days of prayer, reflection and action for the cause of Life and Family, en route to the May 10 March for Life in Ottawa. JOIN US FOR A WONDERFUL CELEBRATION OF LIFE! “Building a Culture of Life and Family in Canada"
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
•6:30 to 7:30p.m.: Rosary & Adoration at the chapel of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Mary (80 Laurier Avenue East, Montréal, QC, H2T 1E8).
•7:30p.m.: Mass at the chapel of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Mary (80 Laurier Avenue East, Montréal, QC, H2T 1E8).
•8:30p.m.: Eucharistic Procession (led by Father Couturier & Father Boquet, president of Human Life International) around Park Lahaie (1 Saint Joseph Boulevard East, Montréal, QC, H2T 1H2).
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
•11:30 –1:30p.m.: Lunch for priests of Montreal with presentations by Father Boquet , Raymond de Souza, & Brigitte Bédard (Buffet Vichy, 7205 Newman Boulevard, Montréal, QC, H8N 2K3 – parking included). Buffet menu.
•4p.m.: Adoration at St. Patrick’s Basilica (454 René Lévesque Boulevard West, Montréal, QC, H2Z 1A7).
•5:15p.m.: Mass at St. Patrick’s Basilica (454 René Lévesque Boulevard West, Montréal, QC, H2Z 1A7).
•6p.m.: Pizzeria Dinner with presentations by Father Boquet , Raymond de Souza, & Brigitte Bédard (Restaurant Il Focolaio, 1223 rue du Square-Phillips, Montreal, QC, H3B 3E9). À la carte menu.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
•7a.m.: departure by bus for Ottawa* (point of departure: Central Station, 895, de la Gauchetière West, Montréal, QC, H3B 4G1).
•7:30a.m.: second point of departure at Fairview Shopping Centre (6815 TransCanada Highway, Pointe-Claire, QC, H9R 1C4).
•10 a.m.: bilingual mass at Notre-Dame Cathedral (385 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1N 1J9).
•12:00p.m. : gathering on Parliament Hill
•1:30p.m.: March for Life
•4:30p.m.: return trip to Montreal *To purchase bus tickets to Ottawa, please contact 514-344-2686. The cost for the round-trip ticket is $30.
MEET THE SPEAKERS!
Brigitte Bédard is an independent journalist, researcher, and speaker. How can modern feminism be liberated of its erroneous conception of women? Interest in the history of feminism brings us face to face with the problems of modern feminism – an ideology which imprisons women by imposing its values, conception and customs on women first and then on the entire society.
Father Shenan Boquet:
Father Shenan Boquet is president of Human Life International, the largest international pro-life organization in the world. Father Boquet has given numerous presentations and conferences on the dignity of the human being, the nature of marriage, social justice, and moral theology. He has led retreats and educational seminars on the Theology of the Body, the Bible, and other theological subjects. Father Boquet has appeared on EWTN and Ave Maria Radio.
Raymond de Souza:
Raymond de Souza is the founder and director of Saint Gabriel Communications, Australia's first international outreach to promote Catholic apologetics. He is the program director for Portuguese speaking countries for Human Life International - HLI - and of the Sacred Heart Legion in the United States. As an internationally renowned speaker, Raymond has given more than 2,000 talks over twenty-five years in defence of Catholic social teaching and apologetics. Raymond and his wife Theresa have been blessed with eight children.
Please mark your calendars for the National March for Life in Ottawa, coming up May 10th, 2012!
The March for Life is a wonderful occasion to stand up and be pro-active in your defense for human life. For those that have not attended before, the event begins with a mass at 10am in English or French.
At noon, everyone gathers on Parliament Hill and at 1:30pm we will begin the March through downtown Ottawa. This year there will also be testimonies from post-abortive woman (Silent No More Awareness Campaign). For more information and to see the promotional video please click here.
Please tell your friends and family about this important event, we need your support and look forward to seeing you there! Also, for Montréal residents, keep an eye out as we will be welcoming Father Boquet, president of Human Life International, to speak at events in Montreal in the days preceding the March for Life. More info on these exciting events will follow.
The following figures and anecdotes, I find, are pretty encouraging:
- Paris March for Life: On Sunday, January 22, 17 000 showed up, including three bishops, for the eighth French March for Life. The laity were encouraged by 32 French bishops to attend. L'abbé Loddé, formerly of Quebec City, was in attendance and was interviewed by the press.
- On Saturday, January 21, over 40 000 attended the seventh West Coast March for Life in San Francisco.
- On Monday, in D.C. several hundred thousand people gathered for the annual March for life. A powerful video is presented below.
- Next, in Hungary over 100 000 gathered this past week in support of the Prime Minister who is under pressure from his European counterparts for Hungary's adoption of a pro-life constitution. Poland and the Ukraine are the lone European governments supporting the government of Viktor Orban. Your prayers are needed as this nation is particularly vulnerable right now as it negotiates debt relief with the European Union.
- Finally, on a lighter side, in today's Journal de Montréal, editorialist J. Jacques Samson, commenting on the lamentable state of the Quebec's health care system is calling for a return to hospitals run by religious communities. Tongue in cheek, he states that under the nuns Quebec enjoyed responsible admiistrators, physicians commensurately paid with their peers in the other provinces as well as their participation in the management of the institutions, including the finances.