Odd Occurrences In Preparation For The March For Life

In all the dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 (or January 23, when January 22 falls on a Sunday) shall be observed as a particular day of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion, and of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life. The Mass “For Peace and Justice” (no. 22 of the “Masses for Various Needs”) should be celebrated with violet vestments as an appropriate liturgical observance for this day. General Instruction of the Roman Missal, no. 373
Each year our parish hosts a busload of kids from a parish in PA. They come down the night before the March for Life, rough it in sleeping bags in our parish hall. For the past two years I've been in charge of letting them in and seeing they get dinner at night and breakfast in the morning. It's fun. Not much to it, and there's nothing more hopeful than seeing the vigor and idealism of youth attached to the right causes.

I was feeling sorry for the chaperone last night, though. A four hour journey turned into 8 hours due to heavy snowfall. We were in touch by cell-phone and he was highly apologetic for being late, but I was having a good time. I had the 3 big kids in tow, and we had a snowball fight in the parish parking lot. 'Til the pastor drove up and put the kids to work shovelling and sanding the walks. (Good man!)

Pizza delivery (two hours!) was simultaneous with the arrival of the bus, so that worked well, but there was a ridiculous problem with the bus driver's room at the local economy hotel. So, leaving the subsidiary chaperones in charge, I ran the poor man up the road to get the driver squared away. When he finally returned to the car, no doubt with a sense of relief and eagerness to hit the sack --my car, a reliable grocery-getter which has never given a lick of a hint of a problem, ever, suddenly wouldn't turn over.

I felt ashamed. (Some hospitality!)

At least we were in front of the hotel, so we were warm and watched the Colts' big comeback on a plasma screen while awaiting rescue (which came in the form of Lil' Bro', who was only slightly annoyed to be interrupted in the middle of the world's most exciting game of football).

Oddly, this little dive hotel has a Korean restaurant attached to it. Must be a good one, too, because a steady stream of Koreans exited the entire time we were there. I don't recall ever seeing a Korean in the neigbhorhood in the years we've been here (Nigerian, El Salvadoran, Mexican, Colombian, Kenyan & Mongol, yes). A whole ethnic community I'd never have known existed but for a bad battery.

Anyway, we (for the kids were still with me) finally dropped the poor man back at the parish. Around 11. A mere 5 hours after he was supposed to have been settled in. I'm not sure why I tell you this, except to point out the odd little hardships all those Marchers make year after year in the defense of life.