By David Sedeño
The Texas Catholic
With some praying the rosary and others huddling together, walking and holding hands to keep warm, about 2,000 people gathered Jan. 16 in downtown Dallas for a march and rally commemorating the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.
Earlier in the day, Bishop Kevin J. Farrell concelebrated a Mass at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, thanking those for their attendance and telling them that they were at the front line of the battle to help overturn hearts and minds of people to the culture of life.
After Mass, he went outside the convention center as hundreds of people began to gather under drizzly skies and brisk winds. The bishop thanked numerous participants and posed for photographs with several of them, including some of the Matachines dancers. Those dancers performed traditional indigenous beats and dances and helped the bishop lead the march from the convention center to a parking lot across the street from the Earle Cabell Federal Building.
A federal courtroom inside the building was where the federal lawsuit seeking the right of women to have abortions was first heard. The U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion on Jan. 22, 1973 and more than 58 million lives have been aborted since that time.
Speaking to the crowd in English and Spanish with the federal building as the backdrop, Bishop Farrell was one of several speakers from various religious denominations and organizations who addressed the crowds.
Bishop Farrell said that each person should make a resolution this year in the battle to overturn the Supreme Court decision.
“For 43 years, we have gathered to give witness to what we really believe in and that is the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death and it is so important that the years seem to roll on and our hopes are dashed on many occasions that we never, never, never give up hope,” he said.
“This is where Roe v. Wade began. We cannot walk away and not commit ourselves to at least changing the minds and the hearts of two to three individuals in the coming years,” he said. “We have to do this; we have to change one person at a time, so let us all commit ourselves to multiplying our numbers to committing ourselves to change and convince one other person, at least, from being a pro-culture of death to pro-culture of life.”
Among those in the crowd were students from the various Catholic high schools and elementary schools and families with children bundled up from head to toe.
George Joseph, a parishioner at St. Luke Catholic Church in Irving, brought his wife and two children with him along with other relatives to the Mass and rally.
“We respect and we need to save lives and we support anything that has to do with saving lives,” he said. “It’s not too cold.”
Cruz Ramón Villalobos and his wife, Olga Almazán, parishioners at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Pleasant Grove, brought their five children to the Mass and march.
“This is very important and that’s why we’re here and hopefully we can always defend those children whose lives are priceless,” he said. “The important thing is that our children are getting information about the importance of life that we never received and that is a great advantage for them.”
One of their children, Christine Villalobos, 13, agreed.
“I think this is really important there are many kids out here because I think, ‘What if I had been aborted?’ I love my life. I love being here. So I think it’s great that other kids are here, too.”