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California Catholic Daily has a nice story about some of our great San Francisco parishes who take in Walk for Life West Coast’s pro-life pilgrims. Excerpt:
San Francisco parishes host pilgrims to Walk for Life West Coast
Students who travel hundreds of miles to the event need a place to stay
“Making the trip to San Francisco from far away is a serious commitment of time. Most of the visitors, in keeping with the Walk’s character, are young people, high school and college students. Upon arrival they need a place to stay, some just for the night before the Walk, some for two nights. That requires a responsive commitment on the part of San Francisco’s parishes and other Catholic or pro-life institutions. Many hundreds of people will be hosted at St. Peter’s Saints Peter and Paul, Star of the Sea, St. Cecilia’s, St. Mary’s Cathedral, and the Little Sisters of the Poor.
Star of the Sea (pastor Fr. Joseph Illo) has been housing young pro-life pilgrims for the last three years. The parish housing coordinator, Lorna Feria, who also serves as a parish catechist, spoke with CalCatholic.
“This is the third year we’ve been doing it. What we really try to do is make an environment that is welcoming for high school students. Our catechists help with this, which is important, because we’ve all had child protection training. We’ve got a couple of high schools from Arizona: St. Mary’s in Phoenix and St. Timothy’s from Mesa. And we’ve got three high schools from California: Paraclete, from Lancaster, St. Augustine from Ventura, and Cathedral Catholic Academy from San Diego. We’re also hosting Wyoming Catholic College.
I’m a mother myself, and I think ‘What would I want for my kids? What would make it welcoming to come back over and over?’ On the morning of the Walk we all have breakfast together, and then we set up a sandwich bar and encourage the kids to prepare a sack lunch, because there are not that many place along the Walk for that many people to get fed. After that we all head over to the Cathedral for the Walk for Life Mass, and then down to the Civic Center for the Walk. After the Walk, when they come back to the parish, we host a barbecue with hamburgers and hot dogs. This year we expect about 600 people at the barbecue!”
Saints Peter and Paul Church (pastor Fr. John Itzaina) has hosted youth groups for ten years. The coordinator is Gibbons Cooney, the parish secretary. “This year we will host around 250-300 visitors. That’s about our usual number. We’ll host Thomas Aquinas College, who’ve been staying with us almost since the very first Walk. So far, we’ve also got St. Patrick’s from Sonora, and a group from New Mexico. They’ve been with us before, and know what to expect, which makes it a little smoother. The kids, especially the high schoolers, are always so excited. Ours is a pretty spectacular church, and the kids love it. We always have all night Adoration the night before the Walk and it’s wonderful to see these young people before the Blessed Sacrament at about 3AM. Our parishioners come all night long too.
“One of the things I love is when our parishioners who attend the daily 7:30am Mass come on the Saturday of the Walk for Life and they see all these devout young people at Mass, it just brings great joy to their hearts. Hosting the visitors is a lot of work but it’s a wonderful feeling—and when I see how young these faithful are, some in their teens, it gives me great hope for our future! It’s one of my favorite weekends of the year.”
God bless our wonderful volunteers who work so hard, and God bless these young pilgrims who come so far to stand with the littlest among us!
“Congress voted to double the budget of the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, meaning the panel will continue investigating Planned Parenthood and the sale of aborted baby body parts through 2016…
Get the answers to many of your questions with the 2017 Walk for Life West Coast trip planner!
We’ll see you on January 21, 2017!
The recent election gives reasons for pro-life optimism! LifeNews reports a very heartening statement from President-Elect Donald Trump:
“President-elect Donald Trump said in a wide-ranging interview with “60 Minutes” that his role of appointing a Supreme Court justice is ‘very important’ — and that he plans to appoint pro-life justices.
‘I’m pro-life,’ he said. ‘The judges will be pro-life.’”
Indeed, very heartening. Life News also reported:
“In an opinion column published before the election at USA Today, Trump also put the spotlight on the Supreme Court which is probably the number one issue in this election for pro-life voters. The Supreme Court has the potential to keep abortion legal for four more decades resulting in the deaths of another fifty to sixty million and more children.
‘I will restore the constitutional rule of law and nominate Supreme Court justices who will do the same.’”
This is also very heartening. We look forward, with hope, to a restoration of the constitutional right to religious freedom, that has been under so much attack recently.
One of the nicest things at the Walk for Life West Coast is the participation of our wonderful young people! This year we had a group all the way from the Diocese of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Here’s a very comprehensive article by Alex Merrifield, about the Walk, that appeared in 4E Voices, the online publication of the Bartlesville Oklahoma public schools. The photo is of a flyer from the Diocese of Tulsa.
Bartlesville Catholic Youth goes to West Coast Walk for Life
February 2, 2016
The Bartlesville Catholic youth left town around 9 p.m. to travel to San Francisco Jan. 20, joining many others from the Catholic diocese of Tulsa and Oklahoma City. After 30 long hours, the group arrived in the bay area around 6 a.m. on Friday.
The students went to San Francisco for the West Coast Walk for Life, an event held in downtown San Francisco every year since 2004, around the time of the famous 1973 Supreme Court case that legalized abortion; Roe vs Wade. The intent of the West Coast Walk for Life is to walk and pray for the end to abortion, the reversal of Roe vs Wade, to end federal funding of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, and other unnatural deaths such as assisted suicide and capital punishment.
In past years, the church youth group has gone to Washington D.C. for the March for Life DC, but this year decided to head west for the Walk for Life West Coast, which was somewhat of a smaller event compared to the 600,000 who marched in D.C. The local mainstream media projected around 55,000 people there, but some projections put the actual amount between 75,000 to 100,000 people.
The morning of the march, the group attended the Mass for Life at 9:30 a.m.; the mass was celebrated at St. Mary’s Cathedral by the archbishop of the San Francisco diocese, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. In his homily, Cordileone spoke of the sanctity of life from conception to death, speaking of what is right in God’s eyes compared to the law of the country, state or city.
“…there are those who would defend the practice by deflecting the argument to questions of legal technicalities regarding what is and is not against the law, thus side-stepping the real question, the much bigger question. But the big question cannot be ignored, it has to be answered, there is no getting around it: what does this say about us as a society?”Cordileone said.
After the mass was over, the group walked back to the civic center plaza, which is where the annual pre-march rally was held. This year’s speakers included several influential prolife activists from the United States and several from all around the world, including Mexican prolife activist and singer Emmanuel and Obianauju Ekeocha of Culture of Life Africa.
“They tell us the lie that women– in order to have opportunities and in order for us be successful– we must have abortion rights. I stand here before you not just as a black person or an African person. I stand here before you as a woman to say we should never have to buy success with the blood of our babies,” Ekeocha said.
Ekeocha continually challenged Planned Parenthood and other organizations similar to Planned Parenthood, calling for a change in culture to the entire world.
Another notable speaker was David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress, the man behind the recent string of videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the selling and buying of aborted baby parts and fetal tissue. Daleiden spoke with confidence and passion, talking about the lessons he has learned and the identity of a baby in the womb.
“The videos raise the biggest question that Planned Parenthood and their allies cannot answer. That is how on the one hand in our country the humanity of the baby fetus is not considered to be equal enough to our own in order to be totally protected by law, but at the same time it is precisely their equal and identical humanity to our own that makes them so valuable for sale,” Daleiden said.
Following the rally, the mile and a half walk began down Market Street, led by many priests, deacons, nuns and other church leadership. There were also thousands and thousands of youth of the next generation from San Francisco, other places in California, Arizona, Nevada, and of course, Oklahoma. Throughout the walk, the group faced many counter-protesters, many of them shouting vulgar terms and giving vulgar hand gestures.
“The counter-protesters were cool and all, but I got sad because they had so much hate, and God is not about hate,” sophomore Nathan Lauritsen said.
The West Coast Walk differed from Washington D.C. in the way that there were more counter-protesters and people with opposing viewpoints.
“There were a lot more pro-choice people there than Washington D.C.,” sophomore Paige Sauer said. “Seeing the way they acted really helped confirm my views.”
“The March itself was so much louder and more intense than the DC March,” Catholic youth director Greg Pellegrino said. “The counter-protesters also made it very interesting because we got to see people that don’t think the way we do.”
After the end of the walk, the youth went to Chinatown and Little Italy the rest of the night, touring the interesting places of San Francisco. The following day, they visited the Mission Dolores, a Spanish mission built in 1776. They also visited the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi and attended mass there. That same Sunday, Jan. 24, they started the bus ride back, eventually getting back into town late Monday night, Jan. 25.
Here is a Walk for Life West Coast slideshow by a guy called Chief Big Faith on youtube. We like it because he took a LOT of photos which show a lot of different signs and groups from the Walk:
More and more groups are posting pictures and tidbits of their experiences at the Walk. Here’s a photo and short description from Consistent Life, who had a table at the Walk’s Info Faire:
“The West Coast Walk for Life in San Francisco had no blizzard to contend with, and our table there was busy. Lisa Stiller reports: “We were pleased to find several students who embraced the CL ethic, and some who were open to discussions. The presence of petitions to abolish the death penalty in California promoted much discussion both days about connections between the life issues. Those petitions are to put abolition of the death penalty on the state-wide ballot in November.”
Above: Lisa Stiller (left), Tom Webb (middle), and John Ahlbac (right) at the West Coast Walk table.
Here is a second article from The Wanderer, the nation’s oldest Catholic newspaper, on the Walk for Life West Coast. Excerpt:
Prelate Notes Unworthy Communions: San Francisco Pro-Life Rally Urged to Continue Fight
As an African pro-life leader saluted U.S. pro-lifers and urged them to continue their fight for babies and moms around the world, two American pro-life strategists told The Wanderer of plans to help keep abortion giant Planned Parenthood in disarray.
This was part of the scene January 23 at the nation’s second-largest annual pro-life gathering, the Walk for Life West Coast, which assembles on the broad plaza in front of San Francisco City Hall for speeches, then marches curb-to-curb on major thoroughfare Market Street through downtown.
Before the 12:30 p.m. rally, Catholic Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone celebrated a packed 9:30 a.m. Mass at St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, which looks down from a hilltop onto City Hall. He commented in his homily about Catholics who unworthily receive the Eucharist.
Cordileone didn’t mention names. However, local Democratic Cong. Nancy Pelosi has become renowned for energetically promoting the Culture of Death while claiming to be a faithfully practicing Catholic and receiving Communion….
Our friends from the Traditional Latin Mass Society were exhibiting at the Info Faire, and always they took great photos. Here’s Sr. Agnes Mary Donovan, receiving the St. Gianna Molla award from our shepherd Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, on behalf of the Sisters of Life:
The TLM Society’s blog describes their day (beginning excerpt):
It was a full day for us last Saturday (Jan. 23, 2016), as we started the day getting organized for the Walk For Life Info Faire at Civic Center Plaza. This is what we’ve been doing for the past couple of years before the Walk For Life Program, where we display and distribute materials, flyers, brochures on the Traditional Latin Mass, along with 50 other vendors (ranging from pro-life pregnancy clinics to Diocesan and religious communities). We also volunteered to take photos of our fellow vendors at the Info Faire…
That’s be Barbara Simpson, San Francisco’s own “Babe in the Bunker” writing in World Net Daily.
Barbara nails the ongoing media bias against the Walk for Life West Coast in her own inimitable fashion.
Talk about media arrogance. Instead of taking professional responsibility seriously, mainstream media – and even “less-stream media” – now only cover events and report stories that comport with their own political point of view.
There was a time when citizens could look at print media – newspapers and magazines – and watch and listen to electronic media – television and radio – and know what was happening in the world around them.
That’s not to say there weren’t left- and right-leaning media, but there were enough of each so people could pick and choose and get the facts.
Now? Forget it. The mainstream is liberal-left, through and through, and the total number of outlets gets smaller ever year.
The result? Any semblance of truth and balance is gone.
The best and latest example is the annual Walk for Life.