Around 2,000 Catholics gathered in Denver on March 5 to hold a silent procession around the city's Planned Parenthood facility. The organizer of the event, Archbishop Samuel Aquila, considered the turnout as a blessing.
As reported by Catholic Philly, the church leader has been organizing the procession in February. Members of the archdiocese then invited people to join the scheduled procession but reminded them that it will only consist of prayers instead of protest chants and shouting.
Initially, they were expecting a maximum of about 800 people there. But, during the day of the procession, they were surprised to see thousands of people flocking to the venue. Other sources reported that the number of participants reached at least 2,400.
"We were honestly expecting 500 to 800 people," Karna Swanson, the communications director for the archdiocese said. "Three times that number showed up. This provided a bit of a challenge for us logistically, as 1,800 people don't exactly fit on the sidewalk of a city block."
Despite the unexpected turnout, the archbishop was able to pull off the procession successfully. A makeshift altar was setup in a parking lot across the Planned Parenthood facility where Archbishop Aquila stood to lead the participants in prayer.
Aside from the huge volume of supporters, another factor that impressed the church leader was how peaceful the entire event was. Due to the size of the crowd, local law enforcers responded to the scene. But instead of asking them to disperse, the officers just made sure that the participants were not blocking traffic. The people in the procession, in turn, coordinated with the low enforcers.
"It was obvious to all that we were just there to pray," Swanson said. "And pray we did, nearly everyone in the crowd was holding a rosary in their hands, and small groups throughout the crowd were praying the rosary together."
"We definitely stormed heaven with our prayers," she added.
According to one of the participants, Ryan Walker, the purpose of the procession was to pray for and give voice to the thousands of unborn children who get aborted at the facility, Church Militant reported. He noted that the Planned Parenthood facility in Denver is responsible for over half of the 10,000 reported abortions in Colorado each year.
Through prayers, Archbishop Aquila and participants of the event were hoping that those working for Planned Parenthood and the residents of the city will change their views on abortion.