We were pleasantly surprised to see the overwhelming turn out on such a rainy day! I've read reports that over 2,500 people showed up alone at the Chicago rally! Cincinnati had 500, New York had 900, Detroit had 1,000 people show up for their rallies. It was a diverse group of Catholics, Lutherans, Evangelicals, seniors, children, nuns, priests, and pastors. Eric Scheidler, the Executive Director of the Pro Life Action League and Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom Co-Chair, with his crew were the organizers of this event.
Before the rally started, there was an issue with the electrical power being cut off minutes before the rally was started. Not sure if it was weather related or not, but the organizers asked the employees of the Federal building, who had granted them the permit, to turn the power back on. THEY REFUSED! Can you believe it? This meant the P.A. system was inoperable and many had difficulty hearing the speeches and most couldn't hear one word; however, one of the organizers brought a 100 foot extension cord to the Post Office that was across the street and asked if they could plug in their P.A. system and they graciously agreed! Power came back on about 40 minutes into the presentations. We found a place up close so we were able to hear a little bit of the following presenters:
- Joe Walsh, U.S. Congressman
- Dan Lipinksi U.S. Representative
- Mary FioRito Executive Assistant to Cardinal Francis George
- Dr. Anthony Caruso ob/gyn at Alexian Brothers Medical Center
- Father Sammie Maletta from St. John the Evangelist Church in Indiana
- Father Stewart Ruch an Anglican priest from the Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton, IL
The youth group from St. John Cantius Parish of Chicago came in with hundreds of young people carrying the yellow Life balloons and some which they shaped into a rosary. They let the rosary configuration up in the air over the rally. It was incredible!
There were other presenters as well but we left a bit early to catch the 1:30 train back to the suburbs. We were told that since President Obama's campaign office was a block or two over, that they had representatives in the crowd assessing the turnout. They were told that when they return to their offices, to inform President Obama that the people of Chicago and around America, do not support his HHS Mandate!
Even with the P.A. issues in the beginning of the rally, one could see the hope that was electrifying the group to fight for Religious Freedom for our country. More work needs to be done. We need to let our senators and representatives know how we feel. We need to contact them asking them to oppose it too.