O my gosh!” An Inuit woman said in disbelief, “you’re going all the way up there with your statue? Are you really serious?” A member of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property (TFP) reassured her.
“O my gosh!” She repeated in local monotone, “That is amazing! Can I come, too?”
After a successful Rosary Rally in Juneau, Alaska’s capital, members went to the barren landscape to Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost point of the United States. The flat, volcanic-rock-filled terrain was perforated with small pools. Simple, stilted houses crouched in patches of grass. Cold northern winds and overcast skies brought almost freezing temperatures to the traveling members. The place was like the wild west of the north, abandoned and cold, with few inhabitants. However, the members understood the significance of this forgotten land.
“We are going to hold a rosary rally at the northernmost point,” TFP member Ted Herena announced to some local Catholics. “This is part of the prayer crusade for America’s return to order, and being here is highly symbolic.” The members had little means to travel to the barren point. However, the generosity of the local Catholics was astounding. Everyone was ready to offer their jeeps and trucks to make the trip possible. “I can drive you there,” said one, “and I will call a friend who can also help.”
The small group plowed through the gravel roads past local Inuits’ plywood houses, strewn with whale bones and polar bear hides. The statue of Our Lady of Fatima presided over the caravan. She arrived at the site where she could symbolically look down on the nation and listen to prayers of those who would be praying for graces of conversion. The vehicles finally stopped at the roads end along a barren coast.
The bristling wind did not cool the fervor of the small army of prayer warriors with their rosaries. Since there was no table to put Our Lady, members took turns holding her. A banner with “Pray for America’s Return to Order” written on it withstood the nonstop gusts of freezing wind. Despite the biting cold, all were determined to finish their mission. Every now and then, a curious Inuit local would drive by to see what the group was doing outside in this chilly weather.
Everyone was enthusiastic about their participation in this historic rally.
“This is so exciting” one local said. “It is such a grace. I can’t even tell you how moved I am that you came all the way here to bring Our Lady and pray.”
After Barrow, members went to Soldotna in Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula to join with locals in praying against an abortion clinic. There were no specifically “pro-life” signs at this rally, but everyone could tell what the group was fighting, and the support was almost completely favourable.
Many locals were present at last year’s TFP rally against a Satanic invocation, which took place at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly. The participants at this rally decided to commemorate last year’s event by walking the block from the abortion clinic to the government building to pray for America’s return to order.
“I’m so glad you came back,” said Carolyn, a resident, “and I still can’t get over that you went to Barrow. You are always doing things that are over the top. But it’s for the good.”
The following day, members held a rally at Anchorage City Hall and joined with a brave local who told the TFP about Anchorage’s church restrictions.
“The mayor is only allowing a 15 person limit in church,” said Kristy from Anchorage, “and that includes the priest. But Walmart and the bars are open. It just doesn’t make sense.” A poor Inuit couple passed by the rally and looked on from across the street with curiosity. A few minutes later, they both came back, and the husband knelt in front of the statue of Our Lady to pray before leaving.
The members then headed to the city’s Planned Parenthood. Like Soldotna, everyone knew the group was protesting abortion even without anti-abortion signs. Many honked, while some yelled, “My body, my choice.”
“I just saw your videos,” one man said, “And I was hoping that you would come here to Alaska. Thank you so much for being here.”
Rosary Rallies for America
The group made a final stop to bring Our Lady to Denali National Park to see Mount McKinley. The imposing mountain range stood as a majestic backdrop for pictures of the Queen of Heaven.
A curious onlooker was drawn to the sound of the TFP bagpipes. When he found out that the group was praying for America, he was overjoyed. He called his family over, and everyone sang “God Bless America.”
“I’m not Catholic,” the man said, “but I can’t thank you enough for what you’re doing. This is just what we need to be doing in these crazy times. God bless you.”
Alaska is undoubtedly the last frontier: wilderness and isolation make it hard to live and travel in the state. However, the group found constant reminders or Our Lady’s maternal love and protection throughout its trip.
Whether it is the barren cold of Barrow or the streets of Anchorage, Our Lady showed that she never forgets her children and that she is seeking their hearts for conversion and peace that she promised at Fatima. Indeed, like the titles mentioned in Alaska’s state song, she is the “great north star,” the “beacon bright” to her Son in the storms the nation is facing.