Montana is the 4th largest State in the United States, and also one of the least densely populated with just over one million residents, almost a quarter of whom identify as Catholic. Nicknamed “Big Sky Country” for its panoramic vistas, Montana became the 41st State in 1889.
Our Lady came to Lewistown, Montana, a small town of about 6,000 people in the geographical center of the state.
Numerous Indian burial mounds of the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota tribes still rest on the high bluffs above the Big Sioux River, near the picturesque falls that Lewis and Clark came across some 210 years. Bringing Our Lady of Czestochowa to a state that joined the Union in 1889, the From Ocean to Ocean Campaign in Defense of Life was welcomed kindly by local Catholics.
South Dakotans have gained a reputation for defending life in their state laws. In fact, an Appeals Court in 2008 upheld a South Dakota law that requires abortionists to inform women in writing that the abortion procedure "will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being."
Liveliness best describes the scene of arrival for the pilgrim icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The state derived its name from the Native Otoe words Ñí Brásge, and homesteaders flocked there during the California Gold Rush era. Nebraska’s capital, then known as the Village of Lancaster, changed to Lincoln after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in 1865.
In Kansas City, the Wyandotte Pregnancy Clinic provides abortion clinic alternative services and free pregnancy tests for families in need. This proved to be best “first stop” for Father West to bring the Pilgrim Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa.
The Pilgrim Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa arrived in the great State of Missouri on Saturday, June 21, which was apt since the Respect Life Office of the Archdiocese of St. Louis has organized Masses for an end to abortion on the third Saturday of every month for years. Karen Nolkemper, the director of the Respect Life Office and Gabe Jones helped coordinate this visit of the icon.
On June 13th, St. John the Baptist Church welcomed the Pilgrim Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa to the railroad town of Marshfield, Wisconsin. With the assistance of Deacon Jeffrey Austin, Father West celebrated Mass followed by confessions. During his homily, he explained the extraordinary history of the Black Madonna and the From Ocean to Ocean Campaign in Defense of Life.
The Black Madonna returned briefly to the Diocese of Winona for their Ministry Days which is an event for the continuing education and growth of ministers for the Diocese of Winona. The icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa stayed in the chapel at the University of Mary in Winona and the ministers of the Diocese of Winona had the opportunity to see and venerate the icon during their annual event.
Minneapolis and St. Paul Minnesota together comprise the largest metropolitan urban area in the United States, including 182 cities and townships. The early settlers of these two towns have different ethnic and religious origins: Scandinavians and Lutherans built Minneapolis, whereas the Catholic French, German and Irish built St. Paul. The 2010 census shows the Minneapolis - St.Paul - St.Cloud region to be the 13th largest populated area in the United States, with over 3.75 million residents.
St. Stanislaus Church in Warsaw has been called "The Cathedral on the Prairie” due to its beauty and grandeur in rural North Dakota. Built in 1901, it is listed on the National Historic Register. The Church is named after Bishop and Martyr, Saint Stanislaus (1030-1079), who denounced the unjust wars, cruelties and other injustices of King Boleslaus, who ultimately murdered him.
Marriage is the union of one woman and one man, on whom a family is built. To emphasize this fundamental and constantly attacked truth, the first March in Defense of Marriage took place in the streets of Washington on the 19th of June. Its motto was “Every child has a right to have a mother and a father.” It was the inauguration of a new march tradition to be continued in future years at the same date.