To give you a picture of how our Notre Dame protest went on Sunday, I want to step back to look at Friday, May 15.
On Friday, I was putting the finishing touches on the rosters for our four buses planning to head to campus. We spoke with Blimpie in South Bend to confirm our order of 330 lunches for Sunday-enough to feed our group and the Citizens for a Pro-Life Society group from Michigan. Eric was putting the finishing touches on our “battle plan”-a detailed map of where each sign was supposed to go and how our protest would look. He and Matt put together detailed instructions for each bus captain and for our passengers. Ann touched base again with the South Bend police, just to prevent any problems. You get the idea-it was really busy!
So when Sunday came, we were able to put it all into place and everything went without a hitch. To tell the truth, all the credit goes to Our Lady. I cannot imagine how the day could have gone better.
Sunday Truth Tour
On Sunday, our buses departed on time from their locations, completely full. The buses met up on the road and drove into St. Joseph’s High School parking lot one right after the other-where Joe Scheidler stood waving to us as we entered.
We then walked our groups over to where Eric and his sons had clearly laid out hundreds of signs. As we usually do for a Truth Tour, we lined people along the streets with the graphic signs. However, since this protest was an hour longer than our usual 90 minute protests, we paired people up so they would have a little company-and someone to relieve them if they needed to take a walk. The second partner held a picket sign that read “Shame on Notre Dame,” “Obama = Abortion,” or “Stop abortion now.” We stretched out one mile north of Angela Boulevard, nearly to the toll way exit. We also stretched east on Angela Boulevard right up to the entrance of Notre Dame. There were about 600 pro-lifers gathered along those two streets. It was the largest protest the Pro-Life Action League has ever coordinated-and it went off without a hitch.
Notre Dame Arrests
Likely you’ve also heard about the arrests, but the police were very careful to warn every person who stepped onto the campus’ private property. They gave each person multiple warnings before arresting him or her, so no one was arrested who didn’t go there intending to be arrested. Miss Norma McCorvey, “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade, was able to witness to numerous reporters there about the importance of respecting life and our need to end abortion before her arrest.
Student’s Alternative Commencement
Around 1 o’clock we brought our group back in for lunch, then we drove over to the grotto on Notre Dame’s campus. Fr. Pavone led us in meditations on the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, while the students led each decade of the Rosary. Each student, along with their families, laid a white rose at the grotto, and then they were told to move their tassles from the left side to the right-a symbol that they were now officially graduates of Notre Dame. And, of course, they threw their hats in the air-another symbol that they had graduated.
The ride home went very smoothly, except for one unfortunate bus, which was made to wait nearly an hour so Obama’s motorcade could go by. Being good Catholics, they all offered it up, I’m sure.
News coverage of our Truth Tour was, as usual, spotty, but hundreds of families saw our signs on Sunday as they drove to commencement. Please join me in praying that the seeds our signs planted might some day bear pro-life fruit.