June 11, 2012
On Friday, June 8, I had the privilege of participating in a rally for religious freedom in Trenton, New Jersey, sponsored by Right to Life of New Jersey. The rally was one of many held around the country in protest of the HHS Mandate violating religious freedom. The June 8 date was significant because on that day in 1789 James Madison introduced the Bill of Rights to Congress.
As I took the train up to New Jersey I was excited to be with like-minded people on Friday, but nothing could have prepared me for the enthusiasm, courage and faith that I would witness in those few short hours. It began with a mass at 10:30 at the Cathedral, St. Mary of the Assumption. Even though it was a work-day, literally every seat was taken with well over 1000 people in attendance. Over 30 priests celebrated mass alongside Bishop OConnell, former President of Catholic University. The Bishop received a standing ovation after he encouraged those in attendance to be courageous, persistent and continue to pray for religious liberty.
Following the mass, those in attendance processed from the Cathedral to the state capitol, where we met up with many others from different religious and secular backgrounds outside of the New Jersey state capitol. It was a true honor to speak to this crowd and the whole experience reminded me of the role of the people of faith in overturning Communism in Poland. It was the faith, courage, energy and persistence of the Polish people, especially during masses and other outdoor events when the newly elected John Paul II visited, that began the demise of Communism and the road to restored religious freedom in that country. And so it will be here in the United States. Despite the heat and strong sunlight, the rally went on well over an hour and a half.