Washington DC Day 3 – The March for Life

Friday begins with Mass at Old St Mary’s in the Usus Antiquior in honor of Nellie Gray.


Confessions are being heard during Mass, which is always nice to see.

It is also great to see young people with March for Life gear in the pews, the young ladies with chapel veils.

It is the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul.

Try to convert again today.



With my friend Fr Pasley!




Sen Rand Paul say our country needs spiritual cleansing.



Benedict XVI sent a tweet


A parish with a TLM!

With Tom Peters who is promoting March for Marriage!


With Archbp Nienstedt


I have been instructed to glare as we pass the Supreme Court!




I was stuck I traffic in a cab with the world’s least aggressive driver, so I didn’t make it to the choir in time.
But, hey!







Chant is a little eccentric, but not bad.









The blognic is on. Alas people are scattered around the place and are almost constrained to sit, but there are about 40 people right now. Coming and going.






I am finally back in my room after a loooong and rich day.

A great experience, wonderful people, the best cause.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Emanations from Penumbras, On the road, What Fr. Z is up to and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. acardnal says:

    Great turn out for a Friday (working day) morning Mass. This is the same church where Nellie Gray’s TLM funeral Mass occurred.

    Great symmetry on the second photo!

    FYI, Pope Benedict XVI has Tweeted the following:

    “Benedict XVI ?@Pontifex
    I join all those marching for life from afar, and pray that political leaders will protect the unborn and promote a culture of life.”

  2. Christopher says:

    A very beautiful Church.

    God Bless.

  3. Supertradmum says:

    What a beautiful Church and what a tribute to Nelly Gray. God bless you all in the cold.

  4. Mary Pat says:

    Was there. Beautiful Mass. I’m sorry I missed meeting you!

  5. mamajen says:

    God bless everyone who will be out in the cold marching today! I will be resting on the couch getting kicked in the stomach by my baby and feeling very blessed that God is allowing me to experience raising another child. I have never been to the National March for Life, but I hope that someday I manage to attend!

  6. wanda says:

    What a beautiful Church. What style of architecture is that called? There is a St. Mary’s Church in Annapolis, MD which is almost a twin of this Church.

    God bless all of you who are marching, taking the frigid weather for the babies. May the angels keep you warm and safe.

  7. Marie Veronica says:

    It is a beautiful church and parish. Wanted to make it into DC today for Mass, but cannot be there. God Bless all of you and will offer rosary from Arlington.

  8. mamajen says:


    I would call that Gothic Revival. Beautiful indeed! I love how they used darker colors on the ceiling to make the tracery stand out.

  9. acardnal says:

    Hey Fr. Z, have you seen any pro-life signs from the “fishwrap” crowd, LCWR, Sister Carol Keehan of CHA, or the Sinsinawa Dominicans yet? I doubt it.

  10. filioque says:

    This was Nellie Gray’s parish for decades: third pew on the left for the 9:00 TLM every Sunday. This will have to be a new tradition to honor her and kick off March for Life day. Two of her nieces from Texas were in attendance today.

  11. Laura98 says:

    What a beautiful church! May Our Lord and Our Lady be with all of you today!

  12. Mike says:

    My sister’s wedding was here!

    As a side note, you know what’s frustrating? The radio I woke up to talked about how “thousands” of pro-lifers are in DC when in actuality it’s more like “tens or possibly hundreds of thousands”. But whatever. I was expecting that. But then about TWO stories later it said, “Tens of thousands of yadda yadda converge on some place in Egypt for whatever….”

  13. acardnal says:

    Reports I have seen thus far indicate estimated 500,000 at the March for Life.

  14. maryh says:

    My daughter, who goes to a DC university, is planning to attend the March. I suppose she’s there now. And it won’t be her first. She’s already attended as a high-schooler.

  15. Bea says:

    Great pictures.
    Thank you Father.
    I looked to see if my daughter was there (at the church).
    With 6 young children and one of them a newborn, I didn’t think she could make it, but searched for her anyway.
    She was married there in 2000. Brings back happy memories.
    One of my sons, who was serving at the Wedding Mass, had to clamber up the altar to put out the candles as the alarm system was sounding off non-stop with all the candles. They finally had to turn off the alarm till the Mass was over. Hope the problem’s been fixed and the candles can burn brightly at the altar.

    Great picture of yourself and friend. I see there’s some snow on the ground. Praying rosaries for you all, that you don’t catch a cold/flu etc. Wish I was there.

    God Bless all of you that are there.

  16. wanda says:

    So many great folks there. So many ‘if only’s’. Rick Santorum in particular. Thanks for the pictures of yourself and so many wonderful pro-life advocates. Great to see Archbishop Neinstedt, Thomas Peters and Fr. Pasley. Praying with all of you.

  17. acardnal says:

    Keep the photos coming. I am sure you will be ready for some liquid refreshment after the march in the cold. ;-)

  18. wanda says:

    Oooooh, give that Supreme Court a big ol’ glare, Fr. Z., the ‘stink eye’ as the kids would say!

  19. restoration says:

    My prayers are with everyone marching and for those who attended St. Mary’s TLM this morning! I was married there in a TLM nuptial mass in 2003! Brings back great memories to see the photos that were posted!


  20. NBW says:

    Thanks for the great pictures Fr. Z. Yes, give the Supreme Court a good long glare!

  21. Christopher says:

    It’s great news that His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has tweeted support. God Bless our Holy Father, God Bless you all for defending life.

    God Bless.

  22. Therese says:

    Loved that glare!

  23. acardnal says:

    I just saw my first MSM local news report on the March for Life. The 4 pm edition. I plan to continue monitoring the MSM to which ones cover it. 500,000 people marching is hard to ignore! I learned that Brett Baier’s show “Special Report” on Fox News plans to cover it on his show at 5 pm ET according to his Twitter tweet.

  24. acardnal says:

    Bret Baier’s “Special Report” show on Fox News had a report on the March or Life. It was about 2-3 minutes. Included interviews with Fr. Frank Pavone and Lila Rose.

  25. acardnal says:

    The photos of the evening Mass at St. Mary’s reminds me of the TLM’s I attended as an adolescent in the pre-V2 days of the early 1960’s . . . . SRO. Wonderful! Wish I was there.

  26. joan ellen says:

    Thank you so very much for this wonderful March for Life ‘report’ Fr., especially the images. And thanks to Tom Peters and his promoting March for Marriage!

  27. Peter Rother says:

    Yeah, Archbishop Nienstedt! My bishop. His episcopal moto: Ut omnes unum sint. Oh, that all Catholics would be one on the protection of life in the womb.

  28. MisterH says:

    Yesterday, I finished reading “Abandoned,” Monica Migliorino Miller’s autobiographical account of her many years on the front-lines of the pro-life movement.

    Her inspiring story makes me want to get more involved in pro-life work.

    An amazing and inspiring book. I highly recommend it.

    Details here:

  29. Monica says:

    I see you wore a “cool” hat, as did I, Father Z. Hope your ears fared better than mine.
    This was my first March. Next time I’ll bring the rest of the family…and ear muffs…and longjohns…and much better gloves.

  30. mike cliffson says:


    Thanks 4 uplifting pics! Im sure many of us ouside the US have been praying.

  31. oldCatholigirl says:

    Thanks for including those of us behind the lines (more hundreds of thousands) with pictures from the front of the battle. Gosh, I’m glad I’m not the Supreme Court!
    God bless you and all the other courageous marchers.

  32. Gulielmus says:

    The local DC CBS station had decent coverage this evening, and for once did not “balance” it with equal time for the tiny pro-abortion crowd.

  33. monmir says:

    I was shocked that the prayer by HE Cardinal O’Malley did not start with the sign of the cross, the Orthodox Patriarch made the sign of the cross. Unfortunate new trend; I don’t think it reflects well on USCCB.

  34. acardnal says:

    I watched the coverage on EWTN. I just sent them an email expressing my disappointment in their coverage. Instead of broadcasting the speakers’ speeches from the main platform, they did the “man in the street” interviews. I would have preferred listening to Speaker John Boehner, Rep. Chris Smith, Sen. Paul Rand, the Orthodox rabbis, Othodox clerics, et al. They are encouraging and fiery! The only significant speaker they broadcast was former Sen. Rick Santorum.

    I remember C-SPAN once covered this march but not in recent years, as I recall, and not today either.

  35. Therese says:

    What a beautiful day! (Wish I could have been there.)

  36. frjim4321 says:

    Well, as you could probably imagine the D.C. thing is not my cup of tea but I sincerely hope everyone without exception gets home safely. We have about 20 seminarians who went the DC including the young man who was here for the vocation talk. I wish then all a very, very safe trip home. As I sit here late on Friday evening as the snows continue to fall I know that there are dozens of buses still out they on the highways. I sincerely pray for safe arrivals and that all will be tucked in their beds safely tonight.

  37. Johnno says:

    Be interesting to hear what Rand Paul had to say given many are deeming him a hopeful for Presidential candidate in 2016 if Herr Obama is willing to relinquish the throne by then…

  38. jameeka says:

    great photos!

  39. dawneden says:

    Father Z, thank you so much for hosting the blognic. I had a wonderful time re-connecting with old friends and meeting new people. A joyful gathering, to be sure!

  40. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Ohhh. THAT’s where Thom was. Okay. Thx.

  41. Stumbler but trying says:

    I hope to try and make it to San Francisco next year as I live on the West Coast. One fine day, if the Lord wills, I will make it to the East Coast as well and march alongside my brothers and sisters in the faith. I too, had hoped to hear the Orthodox Rabbis and Orthodox clerics. Ah well…I hope all will bear much fruit from this most important event.
    Thanks for sharing Fr. Z.

  42. bernadette says:

    How I love St. Mary, Mother of God church. It was there I went to my first Tridentine Mass in 2004 after a long time in the desert. I always went there for Mass on my frequent trips to D.C. Now that I am on the west coast I haven’t been back for awhile. Hope to go again soon when I visit family in D.C.

  43. Gratias says:

    Thank you Father for letting us travel vicariously. The attendance to both masses at St.Mary’s was fabulous. Hope many experienced the blessing of the EF Mass for the first time. Once you try it there is no way back.

  44. Athelstan says:

    I was at the 6pm Juventutem mass, and had a first hand sighting of a Fr. Z in the wild, as it were.

    And it’s a real testament to your dexterity in moving around to take all those shots given how packed it was – the most packed I have ever seen it, I think, even including the first big Blessed Karl mass.

    The chant was solid – an early medieval setting, almost Byzantine at points – but the black vestments were stunning. On the whole, a moving experience, and the finest EF mass I have attended for the last few years. A fitting offering for the brave souls who labored in this world for the cause of life, but have gone on to the next.

  45. StWinefride says:

    Thank you, Father, for all the photos! Makes us Europeans feel closer to the event.

    Old St Mary’s looks beautiful. It looks like there is a giant Miraculous Medal above the altar on the left hand side of the church. I have never seen anything like that before – amazing. When I lived in Paris, a time when I was slowly coming back to the Faith, I was a volunteer at the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal. I took two things away from my time there, the first was the saying:

    To Jesus through Mary.

    The second was the importance of the prayer of petition, in general, but also through Mary’s powerful intercession. At the second apparition of Our Lady to St Catherine Labouré on 27th November 1830, when the medal was made known to St Catherine, she heard an explanation of the rays of light coming from Our Lady’s hands:

    “These rays of light represent the graces that the Virgin Mary obtains for those who ask”.

    “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee”.


  46. Medjugorje Man 07 says:

    Thanks for sharing on this March for Life Father. God bless and pray for the culprits that enable this horror–those that vote for it, those that take office, and those that participate.

  47. Jack007 says:

    Great uplifting story and pics.
    Can anyone hazard a guess as to who is represented in the statue of a kneeling girl in the last photo?
    St. Kateri perhaps?
    The pic is too small for me to discern.
    Jack in KC

  48. There is a small Lourdes shrine there. That’s St. Bernadette.

  49. Pingback: Standing Room Only: MfL Requiem Mass for Nellie Gray, Robert Casey, and others

  50. Athelstan says:

    Hello StWinefride,

    Old St Mary’s looks beautiful. It looks like there is a giant Miraculous Medal above the altar on the left hand side of the church. I have never seen anything like that before – amazing.

    That’s actually quite new. It was finished a few years ago, and yes, that is what it is: A Miraculous Medal over the left altar. St. Mary’s is well known for the Miraculous Medal Novena, which has been prayed numerous times on Mondays since 1933.

  51. Father!! Thanks for the blognic last night – it was wonderful to see and chat with you again, and see friends and meet new people too. Wish I coulda gotten around and met everybody there. I look forward to your happy return to D.C. – hope its is very soon.

    Thanks for the photos of the March too and the good people there. A few friends and I were at the steps saying the rosary. Yeah, it was COLD at 20 degrees. I kept dropping my place on my beads through my gloves. A priest came up to hand me a MilitantChurchTV card and it turned out to be Fr. Nicholson – what a high energy guy!! And a pleasure to meet him.

    Standing there on the curb watching the March go by, with a very rude disrespectful group of young pro-deathers next to us, I started singing the Salve Regina [some people might start chatting? I break into song LOL] and one of my girlfriends joined me. We sang it several times. Then the other girlfriends joined in the Marian hymns in English. People seemed fascinated by the Latin, and I enjoyed inventing harmonies to Immaculate Mary. The March needs more singing – in a way this is a procession for Life and a remembrance of the dead as well – we need good strong Catholic hymns and more LATIN! Dontcha think? No instruments, just voices. Can we think about this for next year?

    I made it to the beeyootiful 6 PM Mass too – thanks too for those pictures – you really take good ones. I particularly liked the Bishop’s black vestment with the sorrowful picture of Jesus, as it brought to mind how Mass is Jesus offering Himself to God the Father as the priest faced the Tabernacle. And the chant was indescribably beautiful, probably the most beautifully chanted Dies Irae I have EVER heard. Apparently the chanter, from Detroit, was brought up in the Armenian Rite. A simple but powerful voice, with a unerringly precise confident pitch. As most here would know, chant is done straight-tone – whereas vibrato can hide the true pitch as it wiggles up and down, straight-tone takes much more control to do. The background as he sang was the low deep humming of the rest of the schola which countered the chant, reminiscent of the Russian style [oh how I love the low notes of male singers]. Apparently the chanter would point up or down for the schola to change this accompanying pitch. The effect was like a faint low sustained bagpipe or an organ key held – it took me a second to figure out this ethereal background – it ‘grounded’ the line of the chanter and lent a vibrancy to the chant. I hope God was pleased – so much work and sacrifice from all involved with this reverent Mass.

    Good to finish the evening with a stout in good Catholic company – I’m so edified by the examples around me all day. Puts my arrogance in perspective. From where do all these good people come?

    I pray that we all keep our hearts turned to God, and convert more to do the same.

  52. Laura98 says:

    Thank you so much for posting your stories… they warm my heart on this cold day (I would love to hear more of them – if Fr. Z allows it here, or on another posting?). Bless all of you who went to the March for Life!

  53. Jack007 says:

    Great post, Tina!
    It made me feel like I was there. I absolutely HATE the cold, but you made it sound fun and worthwhile.
    Never been to D.C., but I am going there on business this summer. Maybe that will motivate me to return in the depths of winter? :-)
    Jack in KC

  54. albinus1 says:

    I’m so glad to see that Queen of Peace parish in Ocala, FL was represented! My wife and I were married in May 2011 (second anniversary coming up!) at Christ the King, a FSSP-staffed parish in Sarasota. We spend our wedding night in Micanopy, and then the next day we went to Mass at Queen of Peace — where the celebrant was the same priest who had officiated at our traditional Nuptial Mass the day before.

  55. coeyannie says:

    I don’t like to throw a wet blanket on everything, but can we buy Archbishop N. a new hat, say a Large/XLarge.

  56. Pingback: The great Madison contingent at the March for Life | Life & Love |

  57. Ben Yanke says:

    I found the facade on the front of the court oddly ironic when I was there.

  58. Pingback: March for Life 2013 Sees Two Traditional Masses at Old St. Mary's in Washington DC: North American District of the FSSP

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