Follow Catholic Herald reporter Ricardo Torres as he travels by bus with Pro-Life Wisconsin. He is one of more than 2,000 Wisconsin residents attending the March for Life in Washington, D.C. He’ll be providing daily, in-depth blogs about the experience.
It was just after 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23, and it was 16 degrees, when we departed from St. Mary Parish in Elm Grove with two packed buses. Each bus has patrons sporting pro-life buttons or stickers. There were students from UW-Stevens Point and UW-Milwaukee, members of Pro-Life Wisconsin and the Knights of Columbus.
I sat next to Larry Putzstuck, member of St. Pius X Parish, Appleton, who was attending his sixth March for Life. But this year would be different for Larry. He wasn’t traveling with his wife who was at home with their daughter and her husband awaiting the birth of their first grandchild.
“Yup, the baby is due any day now,” Larry told me. Throughout the drive he frequently called home to get updates.
Despite the frigid conditions, the drive was relatively smooth, unlike in previous years.
Dinner was in a shopping mall near the campus. I had dinner with Don Doro and his 18-year old daughter Molly. Don said this was his first March for Life and he was using most of his vacation time from work to be here. Then he shared a personal story with me about why this issue of pro-life means so much to him. Stay tuned in the future for the story.
Putzstuck said last year the weather held up traffic and they didn’t get out of Chicago until 10 p.m.
We made one brief stop on the campus of the University of Notre Dame to visit its famous grotto. There was about an inch of snow on the ground but that didn’t stop members of the group from dusting off the outdoor kneelers and saying a prayer. Candles were already lit when we arrived.
We were also allowed in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, located just a few yards away from the grotto.
After that we hit the road again only stopping to fill the gas tank.
We arrived in Washington D.C. at around 10:30 a.m. I probably slept three or four hours, but we’re here and sleep is the last thing on the agenda. At 2 p.m. there’s a free youth rally and later we’ll attend Mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
No time to stop.