Annual ProLife Rosary Procession and Rally
About 500 people from Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky gathered at Cincinnati’s City Hall Saturday for the Greater Cincinnati ProLife Committee’s 29th annual Rosary Procession and Rally, which ended with speeches at Fountain Square.
Led by acolytes in red cassocks and white surplices, followed by a color guard with a large portable statue of the Virgin and Child, the procession included representatives from the Knights of Columbus, members of many area pro-life groups and of Immaculate Conception Church and School (Norwood, OH), people from more than 40 Catholic parishes, members of several Protestant or non-denominational churches, and many people who came on their own or with their families.
In past years crowds have braved bitter cold for the march and rally, but this year unseasonably warm weather and bright sun made windy Fountain Square bearable for speeches and award presentations.
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Former Ohio Representative Tom Brinkman, who gave opening remarks at City Hall, introduced Tim Condit and Kentucky State Representative Addia Wuchner at Fountain Square. Ms. Wuchner told the crowd that abortion is not a “woman’s issue,” but that women in particular must stand up for life. “I am both pro-woman and pro-life,” she said.
Mr. Condit spoke briefly of his career as a pro-life lawyer, which he said began when, as a law student studying freedom of assembly, he would see pro-life people praying silently in front of Planned Parenthood being arrested by Hamilton County Sheriffs. After passing the bar he took their cases to the Ohio Supreme Court, where he lost to what he said were judges who would not read the law correctly. After that beginning, he said, “I don’t think I ever had a chance to be anything but a jaded pro-life attorney.”
Condit encouraged the crowd not to call doctors who perform abortions “abortion providers,” but to “call them what they are — contract killers who kill for money.
“They betray their profession,” he said. “Let’s take them out of the mainstream and call them the despicable killers they are.”
While the yearly event draws people from all over the region, it is organized by Immaculate Conception Church (web site is for the school, there is no church web site), which is not in communion with the Holy See. Part of the Society of St. Pius V (which broke away from the Society of St. Pius X), the SSPV is headquartered in New York state and uses the pre-1962 liturgy. Its pastor and co-pastor, Fr. William Jenkins and Fr. Joseph Greenwell, prayed at City Hall and led the march.
Immaculate Conception Academy junior Elizabeth Walker won the annual March for Life essay contest and Mary Margaret Shawhan, a high school senior who is homeschooled, won the March for Life poetry contest. The 2013 ProLife Award was given to the Maas Family, owners of J.T.M. Food Group, for their years of pro-life work.
Among the cheerful, multigenerational crowd, one figure stood out: George Washington. Dressed in a full Colonial uniform, he turned out to be well-known Walton, KY, insurance agent Paul Johnson, who usually dresses as the first president for patriotic events. He wore it to the rally, he said, “because President Washington was pro-life and now we have a president who doesn’t think my grandchildren have the right to live. There’s something wrong with that.
“If God doesn’t punish us,” he added, “then He’s got to apologize to Sodom.”
Photos by The Catholic Beat. For a gallery of photos of the procession and walk, see our Facebook page.
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