Pre-Walk for Life West Coast events kicked off this morning with a pro-life Youth Rally hosted by the Sisters of Life in the St. Francis room of St. Mary’s Cathedral. About 140 young people came from Star of the Sea middle school in San Francisco and Our Lady of the Pillar middle school in Half Moon Bay. They were joined by High School students from Notre Dame of Belmont and a group all the way from St. Mary’s High School in Phoenix.

There were also a good number of priests and seminarians in attendance.

The rally was fantastic. It was anything but an example of “talking down” to kids. Franciscan Brother Isaiah and the Sisters of Life don’t need to pretend to be hip–their honesty is hipness enough. The presentations were too rich to try and summarize, but EVERY diocese in the country needs to host a pro-life youth rally with the Sisters of Life!

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Brother Isaiah: “Who are you Lord? and who am I? It is in His light we see who we are.”

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Sr. Bethany really gripped the young people with her discussion of friendship and dating. “What is dating? What’s its purpose? Dating is a preparation for marriage. You either end up married or breaking up.”

She asked the young people to consider how significant is a kiss: “Its importance is downplayed in our culture.” She asked them to touch their lips “go ahead, touch them, grab them….these very lips are going to be placed on the lips of your beloved husband, you will use them to cover the faces of your sweet children with kisses.”

“God has ordained that new life arises out of love…on the wedding night the couple become one physical embrace one expression of those wedding vows.” “To engage in sex with someone I am not married to becomes a counterfeit marriage act. It’s not honest. Sex isn’t something that is intended to be shameful and dark. We live in a culture that degrades marriage.”

“Abortion promises it will take you back to yesterday. But what happens is it creates a new wound. Women are nurturers, men are protectors. What happens with abortion is a blow to a man’s masculinity.”

Sr. Therese Marie talked about her life and her vocation. One of the thing most attractive about the Sisters of Life is how much fun they have. When Sr. Therese talked about herself as a little girl she said she thought she was pretty holy–and all the other Sisters broke out laughing.

Bishop Thomas Daly of San Jose was in attendance (that’s him putting down his briefcase), joined by some other priests and seminarians. They had to sit at the back! Following the rally, His Excellency celebrated Mass for the young people in the Cathedral.

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The young people at every diocese in this country need to hear this truth, deserve to hear this truth, they have a right to hear this truth.  It ought to be a compulsory part of Catholic Education.