St. Peter Catholic Church in Washington, VA is a small, rural parish. The great faith that fills the hearts and souls of the parishioners, however, is deep and expansive. This great faith demonstrated itself on the morning of Friday, January 27th as 56 hardy souls, including some Sheep in Exile, queued up to board the Blue Ridge bus bound for the March for Life in Washington, D.C.
Last year, there was no bus for the March and a blizzard limited attendance, but this year Knights of Columbus Council #14755 took the lead and sponsored the bus. The Grand Knight initiated the effort and other Knights volunteered their services to organize, promote, and assist. They rallied parishioners to join them on the March, and the parish responded with enthusiasm. After all, the cause is right and just and the Sheep of St. Peter’s will do whatever is necessary to promote the Culture of Life.
Under the spiritual leadership of Deacon Bob Benyo, the bus made its prayerful way to the March. The Rosary was prayed by all and there were many other prayers said silently. Meanwhile, back in Rappahannock County, many who couldn’t go the March physically provided spiritual support in private prayers and visits to the Blessed Eucharist at St. Peter’s.
Although, the St. Peter’s bus didn’t make it in time to hear Vice President Pence, Kellyanne Conway, and other speakers, the group knew what was going on and could hear the applause and cheers. Many said this was surely the most upbeat and positive assembly for the March for Life that they had ever seen. Our cause, ultimately God’s cause, was acknowledged and supported from the White House and by many in Congress. Once again, there is a hope that Life will prevail over the evils of abortion, euthanasia, and other assaults against Life. And as we approached the Supreme Court, we knew that through prayer, penance, and witnessing to the Truth, some day Roe v. Wade will be overturned.
St. Peter’s marched behind the flag of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Our Lady of Guadalupe, the pregnant Mother of God, the one who knew Jesus in the womb, how fitting that we should follow her. As our Mother she gives strength to us all. And that is why one member of our group who was interviewed by the media was able to speak firmly and without hesitation in the defense of Life. He was an inspiring witness to the Truth.
At the very end of the March, there was a special gift for those who made this March for Life. Father DeMartino, a former pastor of St. Peter’s happened to be standing in front of the Library of Congress. He greeted each of his former parishioners with open arms and many hugs. He remembered all the names and spoke to each with words filled with great warmth. The Sheep of St. Peter’s had Marched for Life and in return had been granted many beautiful memories.
To the Knights, Deacon Benyo and each and every person who participated in making this trip happen as it did, our most sincere gratitude. You are in our prayers.