To change hearts

Tulsa World - - Front Page - By Stet­Son Payne • tuLSa WorLd

When Bishop David Kon­derla took to the steps of Holy Fam­ily Cathe­dral amid muf­fled claps of hun­dreds of tightly gloved hands on Sun­day af­ter­noon, he had re­as­sur­ing words. “It's colder to­day in Wash­ing­ton.” Kon­derla and hun­dreds of oth­ers gath­ered in heavy coats and jack­ets at Holy Fam­ily Cathe­dral on Sun­day for the 10th An­nual Tulsa March for Life, a pro-life rally hosted by the Dio­cese of Tulsa.

It was one of many marches na­tion­wide tak­ing place on or around the 46th an­niver­sary of the Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court de­ci­sion le­gal­iz­ing abor­tion.

Kon­derla, who spoke at both a Mass be­fore the march and on stage at Cen­ten­nial Green at Sixth and Main streets, said it's part of the dio­cese's mis­sion in Tulsa to ed­u­cate peo­ple and pro­vide op­tions in cri­sis preg­nan­cies.

“It's our de­sire to make it known in our com­mu­nity and in our cul­ture that abor­tion is not nec­es­sary,” Kon­derla said. “We have all kinds of min­istries through­out this com­mu­nity to care for peo­ple who are in a cri­sis preg­nancy.

“A woman never chooses an abor­tion, it's some­thing she's forced into by cir­cum­stances. It's not a sign of free­dom or em­pow­er­ment.”

The Chris­tian com­mu­nity ex­ists to sup­port

those in cri­sis and to em­brace those griev­ing who have had an abor­tion, Kon­derla said.

The March for Life wound through the Cathe­dral Dis­trict to the sound­track of a hun­dred Hail Marys and gath­ered at Cen­ten­nial Green. Sev­eral speak­ers, in­clud­ing the Rev. Matt Ger­lach of St. Anne Catholic Church in Bro­ken Ar­row, spoke to the crowd.

Sun­day was Ger­lach's first March for Life in Tulsa, though he has at­tended the na­tional march in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., mul­ti­ple times. De­spite the cold, he said it was by far the best weather he's seen for a March for Life com­pared to march­ing in six inches of snow on the Na­tional Mall.

Ger­lach said Sun­day's turnout im­pressed him with the num­ber of young peo­ple and chil­dren in the march.

“It's go­ing to take a new gen­er­a­tion I think to un­der­stand the pre­cious­ness of life,” Ger­lach said. “To see the young peo­ple be­gin to sup­port it and be­lieve in it, that's where it's go­ing to start turn­ing; new gen­er­a­tions, turn­ing hearts and chang­ing minds.”

U.S. Rep. Kevin Hern also at­tended the march and was rec­og­nized on stage. The newly elected con­gress­man for Ok­la­homa's 1st Con­gres­sional Dis­trict joined the con­gres­sional pro-life cau­cus last week.

Hern said he signed a bill Thurs­day as a co-spon­sor to rec­og­nize life at con­cep­tion. Tulsa's turnout shows how pas­sion­ate the com­mu­nity is about pro­life is­sues, Hern said, and he echoed Kon­derla's feel­ings of how cold it is in the cap­i­tal.

“Last year was very cold as well and it re­ally shows the ded­i­ca­tion to the peo­ple here,” Hern said. “It will be very cold in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., this week, it's snow­ing up there right now . ... I wish we could write a bill and fix this once and for all, but that will not hap­pen.

“It will be a chang­ing of the hearts of Amer­i­cans that will fix this, and ul­ti­mately at the end of the day, that's what it's go­ing to take.”

EVAN BROWN/for the Tulsa World

Sev­eral hun­dred peo­ple took part in the 2019 Tulsa March for Life on Sun­day. The an­nual event is held each year close to the an­niver­sary date of the 1973 Supreme Court de­ci­sion in Roe v. Wade.

EVAN BROWN/for the Tulsa World

Zoe Davis clutches her “Stop Abor­tion Now” sign while lis­ten­ing to speeches at the March for Life rally Sun­day in Tulsa.

EVAN BROWN/for the Tulsa World

Peo­ple lis­ten to speak­ers dur­ing the March for Life Sun­day at Cen­ten­nial Square in down­town Tulsa.

EVAN BROWN/for the Tulsa World

Sev­eral hun­dred peo­ple take part in the 2019 Tulsa March for Life at Cen­ten­nial Green on Sun­day. The an­nual event is held close to the an­niver­sary date of the 1973 Supreme Court de­ci­sion in Roe v. Wade.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.