U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner and I are flying back from Washington to Fort Myers.
Well, I’m on the same plane with him, anyway. He’s in first class; I’m in coach. He has a security detail on the plane; I have my rosary. He is headed to Naples to a resort to speak; I am headed back to Ave Maria University, and I wouldn’t trade places with him for the world!
I say that because today was another one of those days where I rejoiced in the kindness of God that I am allowed to be at AMU. You should have seen our undergraduates in action today! Approximately 20% of our student body made their way to Washington to pray for a culture of life in America and call upon Speaker Boehner and his colleagues to enact laws that protect the sanctity and dignity of life. Three full buses of Ave students weathered the 23 hour bus trip to DC and the wind and cold today (as these annual marches go, today’s weather was the least punishing in memory) to put their faith in action. Dozens of others came by car or plane.
In total, about 200 of Ave’s finest were in the procession of hundreds of thousands marching on the Mall. My guess is that if you analyzed the distance college students traveled to get to the March, and the percentage they comprised of their college’s enrollment, no university in America matched up to Ave Maria’s showing.
These marches have taken place since the mid-70’s and will continue until the scourge of legal abortion is removed from the land. Nonetheless, the photos you see demonstrate that Ave students came to Washington with joy in their hearts, confident that Jesus Christ, the Lord of history, is at work in our country and sovereign in all things.
Last night our students slept on the hard gym floors and hallways of St. John’s in McLean (those folks take such great care of our students!). As soon as the March ended the students boarded buses for the grueling ride home. Tucked into their seats, crammed into the bus cabin, their sacrifices are hidden from the view of the world. But as St. Matthew’s Gospel reminds us, the Lord sees what is hidden. He sees these students and their generous love. And He sees what Ave Maria University is doing in the world. He will repay such good deeds and heartfelt prayers.
Last night AMU held a reception for area alumni (and an impromptu surprise birthday party for Vice President for Student Affairs Julie Cosden).
Some are working on Capitol Hill as aides or in think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute or the Heritage Foundation; others are at Georgetown Law School or other area graduate schools to sharpen their minds and skills; still others are married and starting families. Since our founding in 2003, we have about 1,000 alumni, which mirrors the number of students at Ave this year, and each group, in equal measure, are changing the world. Tom Monaghan, our founder, and our trustees and many generous donors, must be so happy to see the first fruits of their faithful efforts being harvested.
Our students roll into town tomorrow morning at around noon, I’m guessing. If you see one of the returnees on campus, thank them for representing the University so well. And make sure you let them get some sleep! They’ve earned their slumber!