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



Walk for Life West Coast 2012 in Pictures

January 22 is the anniversary of the Roe vs Wade decision to make abortion legal in the United States, and this weekend marks that anniversary with the annual March for Life Convention in Washington D.C., concluding tomorrow with the 39th Annual March for Life on the National Mall. Events are taking place all over the country this weekend, to be in solidarity with the voices being heard in Washington.

Saturday, I was privileged to participate in the Walk for Life – West Coast, arriving on bus number 32 (out of more than 200 buses reported!) in San Francisco. As Our Lady of Lourdes Parishioners began getting off the buses to assemble the signs for the rally and walk, the sky threatened rain with a light drizzle that kept on for half-an-hour, but it could not dampen our spirits, and in the end, the Lord gave us a beautiful sunny day to testify to Life!

While waiting for the events to get underway, I decided to walk around and capture some of the signs I liked:

Unity in diversity was a sub-theme of the day:

My new friend London
and our very own Bella - Babies are Hipsters too!
One of my favorites - "Yeah Babies"

And some ‘stars’ were on the scene to encourage us:

Our own Bishop of Sacramento Diocese, Rev. Jaime Soto, seen here with our youth of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church
Father Frank Pavone happened to be waiting at a crosswalk with us for the light to change.
credit: Karl Mondon of Bay City News
And, lots and lots of people out there to support both the mother and the child.

The day was a successful one, with some reports of over 50,000 coming into San Francisco for the walk.

Next year will be the 40th anniversary of Roe vs Wade. As one of the speakers said, ’40 years is significant in the Scriptures. Drastic shifts happen.’

Let us pray that this year begins the ‘drastic shift’ back to a culture that embraces life in all its stages.

Update: St. Blogustine has A great collection of photos from the March for Life – Washington DC

The Anchoress posted many great blog posts on the sanctity of life.