[Note: This page has several photos on it, so I’m not posting the whole thing on the front page of the blog. See the post page for all the photos. Thanks!] I’ve been sitting in a cafe downloading and editing photos from the Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally in Birmingham, AL, that took place from noon until around 1 p.m. today.
Didn’t realize that today is Fr. Coyle’s birthday. Who’s Fr. Coyle? He was a Catholic priest at St. Paul’s in downtown Birmingham, back before St. Paul’s was made the cathedral. He worked very hard to bring people together, used to pray the Divine Office on the steps outside the St. Paul’s so he could be close to those passing by. He was threatened many times for the audacity of true hope, for taking Christ’s prayer that we all be one seriously and doing something about it.
I went to a press conference at Kelly Ingram Park on Tuesday for the Pro-Life Freedom Rides set to take place this summer. Fr. Frank Pavone, Dr. Alveda King (niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), Pastor Stephen Broden, and many other national pro-life leaders were there. The media even showed up. (I actually saw more media representatives at this event than I did in D.C. at the national March for Life.)
Kelly Ingram Park is across the street from the 16th Street Baptist Church, site of an explosion back in the days of intense racial tension and violence, an explosion that killed four little girls who did nothing wrong except be born black. I remember when that happened. I was a child in grammar school and I couldn’t understand why anyone would do such a thing. I still don’t understand it. At an entrance to the park there is a statue of three black ministers: John Thomas Porter, Nelson H. Smith and A. D. King (Alveda’s father and MLK’s brother). Read more of their story and the statue at the BhamWiki. More photos on the way.