All it took was an invitation for a Friday Pro-life Rosary Walk in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee from Secular Franciscan Kurt Keidl (initials OFS) and other members of the St. Josaphat Fraternity for Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity to show up at St. John the Evangelist Cathedral. Aside from having an issue with a street snow bank while de-vanning (kind of like deplaning!), Sister Elizabeth Ann Miller, Sister Sarah Bertler, Sister Myra Jean Sweigart, Sister Mary Ann Spanjers and Sister Julie Ann Sheahan eventually linked up with some of the young women that call this diocese home that we have gotten to know at one of our Vocation Discernment Retreats or Camp Franciscan. Father Joachim Studwell, OFM, Assumption BVM Province of Friars Minor, one of our favorite Franciscan brothers, also came on the invitation of one of these young women. Other OFS fraternities and Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi were also present in the crowd.
Archdiocese of Milwaukee Seminarian Andrew Linn was the prayer leader and organizer. He invited Bishop Donald Hying, priests, other seminarians and all others to light candles and process to Women’s Care Center while reciting the rosary. Although there a chill in the air, a unity warmed everyone listening to some of the seminarians’ Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary reflections, and responding in familiar prayers and traditional Catholic hymns. Andrew’s strong, melodious singing voice was also heard leading the Divine Mercy Chaplet in the parking lot of the Women’s Care Center.
Sharon Hudy, Director of the Women’s Care Center, not only welcomed all of us for a tour of this haven that helps women before, during and after pregnancy, but she used the moment to share its mission to help women have healthy babies and create self-supporting families through practical educational programs.
It was an evening to remember, a kind of canticle of praise for all of creation…LIFE!. Adding a special sense of awe and mystery was ‘Brother Fire through whom You light the night and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong’.