Up Front and Personal

Carrying the Cross For Jesus in D.C.

By Mary Ruane 

“Man can only fully find himself by giving the sincere gift of himself to others.” 

— St. John Paul II 

I am filled with the spirit of this beautiful message from St. John Paul II. It is this message that encourages me when I join with the hundreds of thousands of marchers who are giving their sincere gift to the millions of helpless unborn babies who will never live to see the light of day. 

I am so thankful to be part of God’s Loving Army, knowing there is still hope, goodness, and faith in this world. 

For the past eight years, I have been honored to share in the love of this family of God at the March for Life. Thousands of youth, teenagers, boys and girls, as well as moms and dads with their babies in strollers, and children of so many different age groups participated. There are also priests, young and old, and seminarians with a strong willingness to share in this hope. 

Each year, w see the joy of children carrying signs, along with hundreds of thousands of people who are free from the fear of discrimination because of their race, age, or creed. 

Last year I was so fortunate to travel to D.C. for the march on the diocesan bus. Everyone bonded on the trip, and we joined the two-mile trek despite freezing temperatures, pushing forward together so Jesus will never have to walk this “lonesome valley” again. 

We have reached our goal — overturning Roe v. Wade, that heinous and cruel law. However, this is not the end, it is just the beginning. We must be vigilant and stay the course, working together, state by state, to block and remove power from the hands of evil forces. We must stop them from garnering more and more influence in the inhumane processes being instituted. The influence on our youth to follow in the footsteps of genocide and the mutilation of humanity is overwhelming. We must never lose sight of our goal. 

God works His grace in mysterious ways. I met and walked with Father Michael Panicali on the diocesan trip last year, and now he has been welcomed as the newest priest joining our parish of St. Helen in Howard Beach as the parochial vicar. 

Father Panicali is such a strong role model in so many ways, but his advocacy for the pro-life cause is not just admirable, it is outstanding. 

I hope you will find it in your hearts and souls to follow in our footsteps by continuing to “carry this cross for Jesus.” 

You will never regret it. 

Mary Ruane is a parishioner at St. Helen Church in Howard Beach