33rd Annual March For Life
I have been very busy this year and somehow the March for Life caught up with me before I knew it. Other than knowing in the back of my mind that I would be going I had made no arrangements for it. I did not give it any thought until Sunday January 15 when St. Mary's bulletin mentioned that the bus would be leaving on the 23rd from St. Joseph's in Emmitsburg. I did not call until Tuesday January 17 and I was told that the bus was already filled. I then called "Parish Church" and asked if I could ride their bus. I talked to Pat H and she said it would be fine. About an hour or so after I hung up from talking to Pat I was suddenly hit with a very strong feeling of peace as I thought about going to the March for Life with "Parish Church". It was so sudden and strong it almost stopped me in my tracks as I walked down the hall at work. I glanced at my watch and the time was 11:13.
I took the day off from work to attend the 33rd March for Life in Washington D.C. When I left the house this morning to drive to "hometown" it was pouring down rain and according to the radio it would be rainy all day. I needed to pick up Peter F and drop him and C.R.C. off at the school bus stop. C.R.C. and I pulled out of the driveway and the odometer was 1.3. We picked up Peter and then stopped at St. Joseph’s which was on the way to the bus stop. We arrived at St. Joseph’s and the odometer was 33.
We said a prayer and left. I then dropped C.R.C. and Peter off at the bus and I left for "hometown". It was raining so hard that I actually considered turning around and going to St. Joseph’s and riding their bus because I suspected that there would be some empty seats because of the rain. I abandoned that thought and continued my trip to "hometown" and glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:13.
While driving to "hometown" I experienced one of those instants where my thoughts almost seem like they are not my own because of the suddenness and instant clarity that makes the thought seem more like an actual experience. It’s hard to describe but in this instance it was made exceptionally clear to me in the flash of an instant that the graces we receive are especially strong and abundant when we pray before the Blessed Sacrament. At the instant this thought finished crashing through my mind a car approached from the opposite direction with the license plate of 333. I was stunned and glanced down and the odometer was also 333. I continued driving and arrived at "Parish Church" at 8:33.
I dropped off the latest pack of papers on the table and joined the mass that had just begun. Mass ended and we did not have to board the bus until 10:15. I got in my car to go get something to eat and ride out and look at my house in "hometown". As I pulled out of the "Parish Church" parking lot I had to wait for a car to pass with the license plate of 33. I did the things I needed to do and rode back to "Parish Church". As I arrived I again had to allow two cars to pass before I could pull into the parking lot. The first had the license plate of 33 and the 2nd was 13 and the time was 9:33.
As I was walking towards the church to go pray the rosary, Joanna M stopped me and asked if I would be willing to lead the rosary on the bus to the March For Life. I told her that I would be happy to. Joanna then said “Good, it will be like old times”. I then walked in the church and I prayed the Sorrowful mysteries of the rosary and I glanced at my watch at the instant I finished and it said XX:XX:33.
Just at that time I heard someone say the bus was here. We boarded the bus and I took my seat. When Fr. ___ got on the bus he sat in the seat in front of me. He asked if I was going to lead the rosary and I said yes. He then asked me to include the “Litany for Life” after the rosary. The bus pulled out at 10:33.
About 20 minutes into the trip or so Joanna handed me the microphone to start the rosary. We prayed the Joyful mysteries of the Rosary For Life followed by the litany that Fr. ___ asked me to include. At the instant we finished I felt the peace of Our Lady, I glanced down at my watch and the time was 11:13:59.
We arrived in Washington and I don’t know how many tens of thousands of people were there but it was huge. The weather held out and except for a few sprinkles the rain had stopped. The march began and we joined in near the front. I glanced at my watch as we joined in and it said XX:XX:13.
We completed the march all the way to the Supreme Court building and after the march we were supposed to meet the bus at the Air and Space Museum at 3:30. We were delayed leaving because a member of group (Roger) got separated and we had to go out and look for him. We found him and ended up leaving almost an hour late.
We rode back to "hometown" and just a few minutes before arriving at "Parish Church" Diane L asked me to wait for her when I got off the bus because she wanted to talk to me. Diane asked about Mary G and I told her she was doing well.
Diane then asked me something that really surprised me. She said “R_____, a friend of mine told me that there are apparitions of Mary in Emmitsburg”. She then asked me if I had ever heard of that. I almost felt like laughing when she asked me that but I did not laugh. I told her that I had heard of it and have been present at the apparitions since 1998. I told her I would send her some information. At the instant we finished talking I again felt the peace as I turned to walk towards my car. I glanced at my watch and the time was 6:13.
I got in my car to leave and drive back to Emmitsburg and again just as I was pulling out of the parking lot I met another car with the license plate of 13. I drove back to Emmitsburg and stopped at St. Joseph’s on my way home. When I arrived at St. Joseph’s the time was 8:33.
February 3, 2006