Walk for Life – San FranciscoJanuary 27, 2010
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As I mentioned earlier, I had the opportunity to travel to San Francisco last weekend to participate in The Walk for Life: West Coast. This is probably my favorite annual event I participate in. I missed the first year, but have been to each since and hope to make it to every single one in the future. I hope that I will be able to take parishioners (lots of parishioners) as well. It is simply an inspiring event.
It inspires me because it is overwhelmingly attended by young Catholics. This post from the WFLWC media blog will give you a small taste of the youthfulness of the event. Anyone who is under the impression that the Catholic Church is irrelevant to young people need only attend this event (and the one in DC) to change their mind. The truth is that the Catholic Church is extremely relevant to young people. I believe it is more relevant to them than it is to their parents, in many cases.
There were some moments that were particularly inspiring. I stayed at St. Patrick’s seminary in Menlo Park and had the opportunity to meet seminarians not only from there, but from Mt. Angel Seminary in the Portland area and St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver Colorado. The dedication of these future priests was inspiring, as always.
Friday night a few of us drove into San Francisco to the beautiful Saints Peter and Paul Church where I was again inspired. We walked downstairs to where the Sisters of Life were hosting a little reception. I spoke to Sr. Antoniana, a very young nun from Vancouver, and we discovered that we knew a lot of the same people. Such a small world. We then ventured upstairs to Eucharistic Adoration. I got chills when I walked – at 28 I was one of the oldest people in the Church. There was a large group that traveled down from Oregon State University, and they were all reverently adoring our Lord. Other groups wandered in and out for the 45 minutes or so I was there.
Mass Saturday morning was another opportunity to observe how God is reaching young people through the Church. This was easily the largest Mass for Life in San Francisco I have been to. In fact, it was the first time I’ve seen the Cathedral full! The Media Blog has some great pictures of this.
As for the rally and protest itself, I think the best place to go for coverage is this post at Pajamas Media by “Zombie.” Zombie is actually pro-choice, but tends to lean conservative on many other issues which puts him at odds with many in his home-region. Thus, although he might agree with our opponents, I believe he identifies more with us. He covers many of the key issues in his report and I believe he gets it right, although there are one or two things I would have minor quibbles with (note that it is several pages long… read the whole thing). But there is one picture he took that I need to place here in order to take us back to the era of Jim Crow Laws where we let some people use one bathroom and made other people use another:Photo Credit: Pajamas Media
And then, of course, there is the media who failed to report on this. The WFL estimates that there were 35,000 or so people that attended. The media says it was between 10 and 20 thousand. That stuff used to bug me a lot more than it does now. I’m not sure how big the crowd was exactly, but I know a few things. It was bigger than last year, it was comprised of mostly young people, there were all kinds of ethnic minorities, and it was big enough to fill those of us who attended with all kinds of hope for the future of our Church and our Country.