Pella Chronicle

February 5, 2014

Local group takes D.C. pilgrimage

By Clint Brown The Chronicle
The Pella Chronicle

---- — St. Mary’s Catholic Church in nearby Oskaloosa coordinated a recent trip, which included several from Pella and Marion County, to Washington, D.C., to march for Right of Life.

“The trip was opened up to parishes within our diocese,” St. Mary’s of Pella member Donna DeJoode said. “Our goal was create a pilgrimage that allowed for prayer, reflection, discussion and simplicity. We travelled via charter bus and spent two nights on the floor at a Catholic school in Maryland.”

The group of 36, from six local communities, visited the Holocaust Museum, the Museum of American History, participated in Mass at the Nation Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, toured the Lincoln, Vietnam and Korean Memorials.

“We attended a youth rally organized by the March for Life coordinators prior to the march,” DeJoode said. “There we were joined with several hundred thousand others to witness Christ’s love and respect for all human dignity and life.”

DeJoode also commented that she was particularly proud of the youth who participated.

“I am proud of our young people who attended March for Life,” she said. “Their love, compassion and desire for learning as well as their flexibility in scheduling was remarkable. I was inspired by their willingness to lead prayer and their reflections on their experiences. I sat with a group of young people from Michigan City, Indiana, while others met groups from Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, New York, Nebraska and so many other places.”

DeJoode was simply overwhelmed.

“Uniting together in Mass with thousands of fellow Catholics and non-Catholics and praying for the dignity of life was overwhelming,” she said.

For the last two years, DeJoode has had the privilege of celebrating her birthday while participating in the March for Life.

“Since 1973, well over 53,000,000 babies have not celebrated a birthday directly due to abortion,” she said. “This is staggering. I look forward to celebrating the day when babies and their families can celebrate together.”