FB STATS FOR EWTN FOR THE MARCH FOR LIFE WEEK

FB STATS FOR EWTN FOR THE MARCH FOR LIFE WEEK

Overall post reach:                         6,661,371 (Record-breaking: over   6.6 MILLION!)

Weekly Likes:                                   +4,479

Wings sign-ups this week:               359

We posted two live videos of the March since they have a 4-hour maximum time limit: (Numbers will continue to go up this weekend as more people watch!)

Rally & March Live Video:           2.2 million people reached

135.2K post clicks

121.7K reactions/comments/shares.

Pre-rally Live Video:                      1.6 million people reached

71.5K post clicks

57.2K reactions/comments/shares.

Post saying Pence would speak:   940.1K people reached

50K post clicks

52.4K reactions/comments/shares.

 

SIGNS OF LIFE

SIGNS OF LIFE

It is getting late on Sunday, January 29, 2017, my final full day of 12 indescribable days of historical events, wonderful lunches, dinners and receptions with friends, with everything culminating in the March for Life on Friday – the 44th in time but the first I’ve ever participated and it was wonderful beyond telling. Every person I met was so special, the young, the young at heart and the very, very young – those just a few months old, whose right to be born we were defending.

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The passion of those marching for life was powerful, passion for the rights and dignity of the unborn, for life at all its stages and for joyful living was on their faces, their jackets and head coverings and neck scarves and banners and flags!

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My suitcase is packed and I’m ready to leave for Rome tomorrow, but first I want to post a few photos that I call “signs of life” before enjoying a late, farewell dinner with my hostess and friend Kathy.

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I would have loved to post all my photos during the events themselves or very shortly afterwards but that was just never possible. I hope you don’t mind a March for Life report that is “better late than never.”

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I had a very privileged seat at the vigil Mass for Life on Thursday at the magnificent shrine of the Immaculate Conception and will also post those photos and tell that story – but later. It will still be relevant, though after the fact. Of course, I’ll post pictures taken at the March itself, an event that will always have a special place in my heart and memories, in particular because of the historic presence of Vice President Pence – first time ever a high ranking (second highest!) official of an administration has been present at a rally and addressed the marchers in 44 years!

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In a Marriott Hotel – 20170127_200513

The young people in D.C. for the March were the stars, as far as I was concerned. They are the present and the future of our nation and from what I saw and heard, our country’s future looks good!

My personal favorite sign:

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I have a countless number of credentials hanging on my office door from covering various papal and Church events but this may well be my very preferred:

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I’ll sign off for now. Tomorrow is part one of my journey to Rome, an overnight flight to Munich and then part two, the flight to Rome on the 31st.

 

Story to continue after my arrival.

A WASHINGTON MERRY-GO-ROUND

 WASHINGTON MERRY-GO-ROUND

Inserting photos into my posted column from yesterday is not going swimmingly so I have created several carousels of photos – one for the inauguration, a second for parade viewing from the Canadian Embassy and third for a few photos taken at the Liberty Ball.

INAUGURATION CEREMONY AT THE CAPITOL

INAUGURAL PARADE AT THE CANADIAN EMBASSY

LIBERTY BALL

“…PROMISES TO KEEP AND MILES TO GO BEFORE I SLEEP…”

Well, folks, I have done what follows in bits and pieces and various places today and am now having technical issues so shall sign off. Have tons more photos and will try to get those posted later tonight or tomorrow morning. (made the same promise last night as I was writing!). I’ll be going to the shrine of the Immaculate Conception about 1 tomorrow and then start signing books at 2 – then the March for Life Mass at 5;30 – will be seated somewhere in the sanctuary.

I think St, Gabriel is a patron of communications so I’ll pray to him! God bless!

“…PROMISES TO KEEP AND MILES TO GO BEFORE I SLEEP…”

I’ve been trying for days to find a block of time where I could sit down and write a decent column and post a lot of photos of the inauguration and other events I attended this weekend. This may be the day and time but I won’t promise anything!

I have remained in Washington, as you probably know, to attend and be part of the 44th annual March for Life that takes place in the capital this Friday, preceded by Mass at the basilica shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Thursday at 5:30 pm. I’ve posted some March-related news on my FB page and will try to keep you current on that!

The bookstore at the shrine has arranged another book-signing event for me on Thursday, starting at 2 pm or a bit before, and I am thrilled. I always look forward to meeting fans –readers of this column, TV viewers and listeners of EWTN Radio (“Vatican Insider” and my time with Teresa Tomeo on Wednesdays, etc. We did a show this morning and she arrived DC this afternoon.)

At 11 am today I joined Callista Gingrich at the Heritage Foundation for a presentation by Newt, one in a series of talks he has been giving there. It was a great talk by Newt on the meaning of President Trump’s inaugural address – he posted a FB live so I will share that with you all. At the end he introduced his wife to the gathering and then introduced yours truly! I was stunned but loved it, of course. Several people came up to me afterwards and I have since received some emails!

The past days have been some of the most incredible in my life, a life of many incredible moments! Attending the inauguration certainly was a first, followed by the afternoon viewing of the parade (part of it), followed by the evening’s “hottest ticket in town” as I was told, the Liberty Ball in the presence of the new president, vice president, their lovely wives and beautiful families! It was one of the longest, happiest, most exciting and, in many ways, surreal days I’ve ever experienced!

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I’ve written a bit about the walking – the 36 to 40 blocks that Kathy and I and hundreds of thousands of others had to walk on Friday to reach the various venues. So many streets were closed in the center of DC that at times we almost despaired of reaching a street that actually had traffic and would therefore possibly have taxis.

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A taxi took us as far as he could in the morning to reach the Capitol, and then it was walking, following arrows and security and police officials. No one entered any official venue (inauguration, parade, balls, the Thursday night entertainment) without an official ticket and photo ID.

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President Trump arriving Capitol after visit to White House:

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As I look back on the entire day I have to say everything seemed to work as planned (including expected demonstrators but not the fires they set or windows they broke): the security was beyond massive and functioned perfectly in all venue areas. Walking distances were long but it was all part of security measures. Signs were clear. Security and police were professional and polite (many being from out of state).

The newest adjective, as you know, is YUGE and that just starts to describe the security measures – cement barriers, 8-foot high fences, rows and rows of busses and big vehicles lining streets that would thwart anyone coming in (as was done in Nice last July) with a truck to mow people down or carry an explosive.

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I saw more police cars in a 48-hour period in DC than I’ve probably seen in the last 6 months!

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Those of us who had tickets to events all had to face the same challenges (security, walking, etc) and we all basically went along with the flow. The day promised some rain and many of us – having heard people on TV announce that we could now bring the once banned umbrellas – had umbrellas but they were all confiscated. Mine was very small and was inside my purse but the security people went through everything in our bags (no backpacks or big bags allowed), saw it and made me throw it away.

Later, at the Liberty Ball, security made me throw away a very small spray bottle of my favorite perfume: the plastic container was perhaps two inches high and had maybe a fraction of an ounce of perfume. I was willing to spray some perfume on to show it was not a lethal spray but that was not allowed. I was upset but what can you do. They overlooked nothing apparently. No exceptions made.

Friday morning, when my friend Kathy and I got to our Green Ticket Seating area at the capitol I was stunned to hear someone shout, “Joan, it’s Joan from Rome!” I mean, tens of thousands of people all around us at the Capitol and I actually ran into a friend, Susan Bossie, who was with her four children! Added to that, once Kathy and I were seated a few rows in back of Susan, two women came in and sit next to us and happened to be – I still can’t believe this! – two ladies I met in Rome at La Vittoria restaurant, fans of mine!  I don’t think even Las Vegas would want to place odds on that happening!

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We were surrounded, as you’d imagine, by like-minded people at the inauguration – conservatives, Republicans who were pro-life and whose main concern (like mine) in this election was who the candidates would name to the Supreme Court and we knew Trump was our man in that respect, that he’d name people who would defend life, traditional marriage, religious freedom, etc.

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There were mega screens placed all around the Capitol grounds and we could watch as senators, congressmen, justices, former presidents, etc. were shown arriving at the dais. Great applause greeted the Obamas and applause greeted the Clintons as well, with many people admiring the courage it must have taken for Hillary Clinton to be present. It honestly had to be a very difficult moment for her.

VIPS arrive:

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Speakers for the most part were treated quite well but there were huge signs – what I called a ‘vocal wave’ – of negativity when Democratic Senator Schumer spoke as people shouted, “USA” and “We want Trump.”

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Applause punctuated President Trump’s talk at many intervals – I’m sorry I did not count the times. Had I possessed a written copy of his talk, I’d have marked the specific spots where we applauded. If you wondered why you did not see tons of flags waving, they (like any pointed object) were prohibited at the venue. If people had flags to wave, they were not on a small pole or stick – they were simple banners.

Trump arrives on dais:

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(It was interesting later that evening to hear and read media reports of his talk and its was, like, did they attend the same inaugural I did?

A light rain began as the president spoke but did not last long. No umbrellas, of course, but I had bought ponchos for Kathy and myself, as had thousands around us.

After the inaugural ceremony we took quite some time to make our way to the Canadian embassy as the ambassador was hosting a buffet lunch and viewing of the inaugural parade. The Gingriches had put our names on the guest list and we were treated royally. Viewing the parade from the embassy rooftop was a privileged spot indeed – and I understand this is the best place in town for July 4th fireworks!

We were greeted with a gift after we showed our ID and got our name badges – lovely, warm and much-needed red and white mittens with the Canadian maple leaf on them! As we left we also got a marvelous bag (aka swag?) filled with many gifts, typical Canadian products (except for bacon and maple syrup). Thank You and Merci Canada!

The parade started over an hour late and we watched just a small portion as we had to return to the hotel, have a bite to eat before the ball and then dress for that gala event. If the earlier part of the day was any sign of things to come, we knew it would take a lifetime to walk to a street with traffic, and thus find a taxi to take us home. As it was, walking was well over an hour and, all told, it took us 90 minutes to get to our hotel!

After a light dinner in the room and a brief period off our feet, we left the hotel at 8 for the Liberty Ball. That was probably the easiest of the three events to get to, even though security was massive because the president and vice president would be there, simply because we only had to walk about 3 blocks, instead of 6 or 8 or more.

As I said on one video I posted, we had a ball even though there was little dancing involved in the Liberty Ball. There was entertainment and people were there to see and be seen and to meet friends and that is mainly what we did – met a lot of friends and met new people as well. The Gingriches and Kathy and I were invited into the VIP section of the Ball (I actually thought everyone there was a VIP!) and that’s where I met some of the nation’s movers and shakers.

How many truly interesting, powerful people I met and spent time with, people whose names are often in the news and on TV and the front pages of the papers, and yet, as we spoke, they seemed like my next door neighbor, very down to earth individuals, people who love their country, concerned for the country’s future and their own, many with their kids or young teens in tow, most of whom wore their faith and patriotism on their sleeve. It was a remarkably heady evening!

Two very special moments occurred when two young men, at different times, came up to me and introduced themselves as “a great fan of EWTN and Joan’s Rome!” I mean, really, my fans in the midst of so many thousands of people!

The day ended with another miracle – a ride back to the hotel in a private car!

“…PROMISES TO KEEP AND MILES TO GO BEFORE I SLEEP…”

“…PROMISES TO KEEP AND MILES TO GO BEFORE I SLEEP…”

I have almost finished a column I planned to post today but have just learned that the room I am using at IWP as a temporary office is about to become a lecture hall so I will have to stop writing and uploading photos and post the entire column either later tonight (it is already after 6 pm) or tomorrow. The time consuming measure is preparing the photos. More later – stay tuned.

I have in recent cays posted a lot of Vatican and other news on my FB page (facebook.com/joan.lewis.10420)

POPE TO TRUMP: MAY YOUR DECISIONS BE GUIDED BY SPIRITUAL, ETHICAL VALUES THAT SHAPED AMERICAN HISTORY

POPE TO TRUMP: MAY YOUR DECISIONS BE GUIDED BY SPIRITUAL, ETHICAL VALUES THAT SHAPED AMERICAN HISTORY

Following is the message that Pope Francis sent yesterday to Donald Trump on the occasion of inauguration as president of the United States:

The Honorable Donald Trump
President of the United States of America
The White House
Washington

“Upon your inauguration as the forty-fifth President of the United States of America, I offer you my cordial good wishes and the assurance of my prayers that Almighty God will grant you wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high office.

“At a time when our human family is beset by grave humanitarian crises demanding far-sighted and united political responses, I pray that your decisions will be guided by the rich spiritual and ethical values that have shaped the history of the American people and your nation’s commitment to the advancement of human dignity and freedom worldwide.

“Under your leadership, may America’s stature continue to be measured above all by its concern for the poor, the outcast and those in need who, like Lazarus, stand before our door.

“With these sentiments, I ask the Lord to grant you and your family, and all the beloved American people, his blessings of peace, concord and every material and spiritual prosperity.

FRANCISCUS PP.”