Friday I attended the Stand up for Religious Freedom Rally at Carter Park in Leominster Mass.
I arrived just under an hour early as things were getting setup. The National Pro-Life action league provided the Largest banner
but left each individual location to handle the details themselves.
By ones and twos people continued to arrive
to express their opposition to the Obamacare mandate against religions organizations
and I did a quick peek before things actually began:
The crowd in Leominister was strong 112 by my count (with single folks continuing to come as the Noontime sun weighed down upon the faithful. (I’m told the number reached 137) It was matched and echoed throughout the country as people in 160 cities throughout the United States as on rallied to stand up for Religious Freedom. In Worcester the crowd was reported at crowd reached 250. I talked to GOP Legislative candidate Justin Brooks before things actually began.
A fair amount of press was also there to cover the event
After an opening prayer, she introduced Patti Taylor who read a letter from Bishop Robert McManus on the subject.
In the letter the Bishop noted that we need to equip our fellow Catholics so they may further inform others concerning this issue. As he put it:” Religious Liberty is the first liberty granted to us by God and protected in our Constitution… It encompass our ability to contribute freely to the common good of our fellow Americans” and also noted that it was not only Catholics that were threatened. He wrote that fertility and pregnancy is not a disease but a sign of health. And announced a June solemn vespers in Worcester for June 22nd to pray for religious liberty.
After the Bishops letter former Leominster Mayor Stephen Perla addressed Obamacare mandate
Unfortunately I accidentally left my ringer on my cell phone on so I had to quit the shot before the speech was done, but I did a 2nd pan of the area and caught the end of his remarks as I did.
As a Large crane worked on the steeple of his church across the street Fr. Thien Nguyen of St Leo’s parish spoke of his life in communist Vietnam and the oppression of those who would dare to express their religion publicly. Although his English was not good his arguments were powerful particularity when he spoke of not being able to freely express his religion in Vietnam and seeing the same thing beginning to happen here, the very thing he came here to escape.
After a closing prayer and a pair of patriotic songs things closed, Many people came forward to sign up to take action. I talked to one woman who came all the way from Marlborough
With a group of friends
Bottom line, if a small event is able to draw over 100 during a quick-lunch hour on a workday in a city the size of Leominster with other rallies less than 90 minutes away it adds up the a bad end to a bad week for the White House and it’s allies on Obamacare. The photo gallery follows
Such events do not take place on their own, if you would like to help defray the costs here is the address where you can contribute:
Leominster Stand up for Religious Freedom committee
C/o St. Anna’s parish
199 Lancaster Street
Leominster Mass. 01453