Stranded March for Life Group Celebrates Mass on the Side of the Pennsylvania Turnpike

blizzard mass

A very hardy group of pro-lifers heading home from the March for Life in DC,  celebrated Mass on the side of the Pennsylvania Turnpike after their bus got stranded in the blizzard.

blizzard mass 2

Gives new meaning to the term, “special snowflakes,” don’t it?

WBAY reports via Deacon Greg Kandra:

A group of 150 people from the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, mostly students, is stranded in their buses by the East Coast blizzard.

The group was in Washington, DC, for the “March for Life” anti-abortion rally but left to come back to Wisconsin at 2 p.m. Friday — a full day ahead of schedule — because of the storm.



Via the Compass in Green Bay: 

In a telephone interview Jan. 23, from one of three Lamers coach buses carrying the diocesan pilgrims, Maria Schuette, director of religious education and youth ministry for the Diocese of Green Bay, said that while the snowstorm and resulting freeway shutdown impeded the group’s return home, it became another opportunity for the group “to practice what it means to be pro-life.”

In lieu of my weekly Sunday Hymn:


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The diocesan pilgrims, which included parish youth groups, Catholic high school students, and their chaperones, departed for the March for Life from St. Pius Church in Appleton on Jan. 19. The group participated in service projects and liturgies held in conjunction with the annual pro-life gathering, which marks  the 1972 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. Before the march began, Schuette said the group planned to return home immediately after the march in order to avoid the snowstorm. “We were right up in the front of the march,” she said.

Around 2 p.m., the group boarded their coach buses and were on the road home. “We left when the roads were very passible and then probably after about four hours, we came across an accident that happened in front of us,” said Schuette. “That slowed everything down. We couldn’t move after that. We’ve been stuck here since 10 last night.”

…Although stranded in the middle of a major snowstorm, which dumped up to three feet in some locations, the Green Bay pilgrims have been able turn the negative experience into a positive, Schuette said.

“We have been taking in strangers, people whose cars ran out of fuel,” she said. “It’s definitely been like a God moment for us.”

Five people who were stranded in cars were able to join the pilgrims on the buses.

Via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: January 23, 2016 2:58 PM:

Their trip home has essentially been frozen since everything in front of their bus came to a halt about 7 p.m. Friday.

“It’s still snowing, not as hard as earlier but it’s still snowing,” he said. “We’ve done some running around outside. There were no snowball fights, but one of my friends made a snow angel.”

He said the best part of the delay was when he and other students talked to a priest on board about how they would approach various life situations. The worst?

“When we woke up and asked how far we had moved overnight. We were told ‘about 50 feet.'”

The snow in the vicinity was estimated by the Turnpike Authority to be two feet deep in spots as of midday today.

Late this afternoon a spokesman for Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, said eight of its buses returning from the Washington D.C. march also had become stuck on the Turnpike. The 300 to 400 passengers stalled by the storm since about 11 p.m. Friday include the school’s president, Father Sean Sheridan, spokesman Tom Sofio said.

He said the buses are believed to be 11 miles from the Allegheny Tunnel.

In all, 500 cars, buses and trucks remain stranded this afternoon, Gov. Tom Wolf said during a press conference. The Turnpike Authority had no immediate reports of injuries.

“We were proud that they stood up for a cause they believed in,” Mr. McNeil said of students and adults who participated in the pro-life trip; he commended their reaction to the storm as well. “We’re proud of them now for their resilience.

“What we’re hearing from them is that despite the circumstances, they’re having fun,” he said. “They have snack foods, sandwiches and pretty much whatever else a modern day teenager would eat.”

The Archdiocese said the 350 students and 35 chaperons are on the six buses. A seventh managed to get beyond the area of stalled traffic, and the Archdiocese said other students from Nebraska, Minnesota and elsewhere also are apparently stuck.

4 thoughts on “Stranded March for Life Group Celebrates Mass on the Side of the Pennsylvania Turnpike

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