The dictionary describes an activist as a person who campaigns to bring about change. Being an activist and marching for what you believe in is a powerful and peaceful way to let others know about what one believes to be wrong. Growing up and as a young adult I remember reading about protests and marches though I never became involved. This year, when I heard that "the little church," also known as Our Lady of Visitation, was going to be permanently closed, I felt moved to join some of my friends in protesting its closure.
When I was informed that buses were to take marchers to the Archdiocese of Denver to get the attention of the Archbishop, I decided to go along. After mass, the two yellow school buses were filled with banners, posters, water and people. Arriving at the Archdiocese, we were confronted with a sign informing us that we could not go on the Archdiocese grounds.
The group gathered at the gate, there were some short speeches by Federico Pena, young kids who considered the church their home, and a few other people who felt it was not right for the church to be closed. I was touched by the teen-agers who spoke about how they had been baptized, made their first communion and how "this is the only parish we know and the only parish they want to know." Others put in their plea because the church was important to them and to the Hispanic community
I was impressed at the well-organized march, at the peaceful demonstration, and the many signs and banners carried by some of the group. There were a few television crews filming and I hope it will be on tonight's news. (I did see Andrea Flores of Channel 4 do a segment on our march on the ten o'clock news.) There was a lady who drove in from Longmont because she felt it was important to help save the little church. I overheard that negotiations are still continuing, a letter has been sent to Pope Francis, and many are hopeful that Our Lady of Visitation will be able to continue as a parish.
On our return to Our Lady of Visitation, we were treated to smothered burritos, posole, menudo and a variety of desserts. As we enjoyed our food, chatted with some of the parishioners and proudly wore our buttons, we all understood that "God's will be done" and that prayer is powerful.