Walk for Life West Coast 2013

As reported (under the radar), the Walk for Life West Coast grew from last year’s attendance, topping the 50,000 mark. It was an incredibly beautiful, sunny day, and although the wind was pretty cold, we were so thankful (especially after seeing our brothers and sisters in DC braving below freezing temperatures the day before!).

I attended the walk for the third year running now, and I never tire of meeting the people at this peaceful demonstration for life. Looking at the pictures, it amazes me to see the diversity. Young and old. Healthy and frail. People of every culture and skin color. Most of them God-fearing, and all of them brought together for the sake of the unborn and their mothers.

Here are a few pictures I managed to take during the day.

Taken around 11:00am, with still an hour and a half to wait before the rally began. The ‘Abortion Hurts Women’ sign was the backdrop for the stage.  
Here’s some early arrivals with their own handmade signs. Young families were everywhere…lots of strollers and wagons!
By 12:30, the crowd was pretty substantial, much more dense. Joyful anticipation in the air as the rally got underway!

At the rally, we were graced with the presence of Papal Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò who came to pray with us, and relayed a message from Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, stating the walk witnessed to the “moral imperative of upholding the inviolable dignity of each member of our human family, especially the smallest and most defenseless of our brothers and sisters.”

People are ready to march with their messages in hand.

There were seven speakers at the rally, each giving inspiring testimony to their pro-life values. At the close of the rally, walkers readied their signs and quickly made their way to the McAllister and Market Streets.

The Walk begins, armed with signs and prayer.
This was a group of citizens, just as diverse in ethnicity as in various ages.
Both young and golden years, walking together.
One of the youngest marchers armed with a ‘Life’ Balloon!
One of many Church groups represented, this one taking a picture at the END of the walk…lots of happy faces.

Of course, there were some groups protesting alongside the marchers, occasionally yelling out their position for having abortion on demand, sterilization and contraception freely available. The pro-life marchers would simply drown out the opposition by shouting out ‘pro-life’ over and over again.

Between the two groups, one distinction was clear. If one wanted to measure the difference between the pro-life movement and the pro-abortion, one didn’t have to look too hard to find it.

Peace. Joy. Love. Kindness. Forbearance. Faithfulness. Self-Control.

It was evident everywhere in the attitude of the marchers for life. And there is no law that can be made to take that away.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” 

Galatians 5:22-33

Special thanks to Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Sacramento, for letting me tag along for the day!

And a special thank you to Matt Cassens at St Blogustine for asking if I’d be posting on the Walk this year. He posted too on the DC Event.

Others who blogged about this:

Walk for Life West Coast Blog

Live Action News



Look at the Happy People!

As thousands take to the streets in Washington D.C. for the 39th annual March for Life, in protest to the the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision that allowed for 54 million abortions, President Obama released the following statement:

“As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman’s health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right. While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue- no matter what our views, we must stay united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant woman and mothers, reduce the need for abortion, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption. And as we remember this historic anniversary, we must also continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.”

Steven Ertelt and Elizabeth Scalia have some good insights on their posts regarding the president’s remarks.

On my post, Walk for Life West Coast 2012 in pictures, it is encouraging to see a so many people – especially a lot of young people – who too are seeking to ‘fulfill their dreams’ by coming out to stand by what they believe. And a comment hits home as to why the March for Life movement has been so effective:

“I have been at every west coast walk for life. Since I cannot walk the walk any more, I sat and watched those who did as they passed by on Larkin and turned down Market St.. A happier group of people I have never seen. Laughing, singing, praying, pushing strollers, wheelchairs. We are family. I wanted to call to negative passers-by, “hey! look at the happy people! Maybe you should check them out!” You are wonderful! A model of Goodness, Kindness, of Christ and His Blessed Mother.. God bless you all and Mary love you.”

Which brings up the stark contrast between the pro-life camp showing up in the thousands:

credit: Karl Mondon of Bay City News

and the pro-abortion camp that is, well, not in the thousands:

Justin Herman Plaza, SF, 11:19am || credit: Walk for Life West Coast Blog

But beyond the numbers the stark contrast comes with what the scriptures refer to the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Walking shoulder to shoulder down Market Street, despite the early morning chill still in the air, my heart was warm, to be in the presence of a joy and peacefulness that filled the air. It was almost intoxicating, to the point the small bands of protesters we passed by were hardly noticed.

The evidence of these ‘fruits’ in one’s life, points to the presence of the Holy Spirit working in him.  Where we see the fruits manifested, God’s presence is there.

May the Lord bless each person who took a stand for life in all its stages, from the San Francisco Bay to the Washington Mall. May their voice continue to resound through the whole world, and may God be with them, that they will continue to reflect joy to the world.