It is a pleasure and a privilege to write this first greeting to the members of our Order. Our president, Judge Jim McKay, has invited me to serve as National Chaplain and it is an honor to do so. By way of explanation, my last name “Rodi” may not seem Irish, and it is not. However, in an attempt to mollify any misgivings, allow me to state that my paternal grandmother’s maiden name was Merrick (County Mayo) and my mother’s maiden name was Kevlin (County Sligo).
I look forward to greeting the members of our Order at our national meeting. I saw the members of the Board of our Order, led by Judge McKay, marching down Constitution Avenue in our nation’s capital during the March for Life on January 27. I went up and said a quick hello to all in the middle of the street. It was a unique manner of meeting the members of the Board as we joined with thousands in the March. Next time I trust our meeting will be in a more sedate environment.
I attended the March with more than 500 young adults from the Archdiocese of Mobile. We began the day at the Verizon Center in Washington at Mass with more than 15,000 other young people from across the country. Then we attended the rally where, for the first time, a Vice President of the U.S. addressed the attendees. Then we joined in the March. In speaking with our young adults after the March, they shared their first impressions of the March. A common reaction among them was that before coming to Washington they were not aware of how many other young people shared their commitment to respect God’s gift of life. They were energized and encouraged by seeing so many joined in this common cause. They were prepared to go home and continue their witness as young adults who speak out for the sanctity of all human life.
It was a blessing to be a part of the March and it made me proud that the Ancient Order of Hibernians was part of the thousands calling for our country to respect the life of every human person.