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Marching Bosco’s pillars around the state Capitol Print
Guest column
Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020 -- 12:00 AM
Fr. Richard Heilman

On Friday, Jan. 31, at 6 p.m., we are calling all pro-lifers to join together on this Feast of St. John Bosco, as we bring "Bosco's Two Pillars" of the Most Holy Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin Mary to the sidewalks surrounding the Wisconsin State Capitol building in Madison.

We will meet on the State St. steps and then process the Holy Eucharist and Our Lady around the State Capitol. All who march with us will be given Epiphany Holy Water and Exorcised and Blessed Salt to sprinkle around our State Capitol, and call upon God to bless and transform our state and country back to a culture of life.

I am praying with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength that this "way of marching for life" continues to grow and spreads across the planet. I dream that the March for Life, in Washington, D.C., will one day be led by the Two Pillars of Our Lord and Our Lady. I believe, like St. John Bosco, these are the most powerful supernatural weapons available to us in this spiritual warfare against the culture of death. Here's why . . .

Why are we processing St. John Bosco's Two Pillars?

If you read about St. John Bosco's famous dream of the "Two Pillars," we see what is necessary to recover from the "danger and confusion." Here is St. John Bosco's explanation of the dream:

"The enemies' ships are the persecutions; they prepare very serious troubles for the Church. What has taken place so far is almost nothing compared with what will occur. Her enemies are the ships which make an attempt to sink the flag ship, if they can. There remain only two means to save ourselves in the midst of so much danger and confusion. Devotion to Mary Immaculate, frequent Confession, and Communion."

What is important to understand is that "danger and confusion" come when we become "unmoored" from these two greatest "means of salvation." Once unmoored, the enemy is more free to "divide and conquer."

I lived through this "unmooring." At the exact same time the culture of death made their radical advance of Roe v. Wade, the Church had gone through a dismantling and unmooring, as aggressive radical prelates took control of the Church and, in a very short period of time, removed the practice of devotions, sacred beauty, and the sense of supernatural awe and wonder in the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

By the time I entered seminary in the 1980s, we were not offered one minute of Eucharistic Adoration in all my seminary formation. I watched as seminarians were told to leave seminary because they had a devotion to the Blessed Mother, which was considered fanatical.

We, rarely, spoke of the Sacrament of Confession. Our seminary chapel was a hall with rows of chairs, no kneelers. The tabernacle was kept out of sight, behind a wall. We were almost completely unmoored from any sense of deep devotion to the Our Lord and Our Lady. And so, we left ourselves weakened and exposed to "danger and confusion." This was Satan's "first move" . . . get us unmoored and exposed, then we became easy targets.

Once St. Pope John Paul II and, later, Pope Benedict XVI, began to strongly encourage devotion to the Blessed Mother and sacred/reverent offerings of the Holy Mass, and even Eucharistic Adoration, you could see a "strengthening" enter the Church, that seemed to be forever lost. The more we moored ourselves to Our Lord and Our Lady, the more we connected to the Divine Life of Supernatural Grace.

I am convinced that the "primary way" to conquer the culture of death is to moor ourselves, once again, to St. John Bosco's Two Pillars of devotion to Our Lord and Our Lady.

On January 31, the Feast of St. John Bosco, we will proudly and confidently "moor ourselves" by processing Our Lord and Our Lady around the Wisconsin State Capitol, KNOWING God will be pleased and answer our prayers by transforming our culture of death into a culture of life!


Fr. Richard Heilman is pastor of St. Mary Parish in Pine Bluff.