Diocese of San Jose newspaper says Women’s March echoed Jesus’ call to discipleship

"The march was a powerful witness of God’s grace and love amidst fear and uncertainty"

Women’s March San Jose. In this image, featured on the Valley Catholic website, a protester holds a sign saying “abortion on demand and without apology”. (Photo: The Valley Catholic/Deacon Steve Herrera.)

The following article, by Joanna Thurmann and Deacon Steve Herrera, appeared in the official newspaper of the Diocese of San Jose as “Women’s March Echoes Jesus’ Call to Discipleship”:

On January 21, millions marched across the nation, including over 25,000 in San Jose, in an epic event that was both deeply personal and powerfully communal. Sister marches took place in all fifty states and in cities around the globe as far away as Antarctica. It was not a political protest as much as a social movement; though one day after the inauguration, it made a profound statement of solidarity across a wide range of social issues, from immigration to environmental protections.

For Catholics, the values of the march aligned particularly well with Catholic Social Teaching regarding respect for human rights, the common good, care for creation, and solidarity with the poor and vulnerable. It was an expression of deep faith in Christ and of active discipleship.

“Jesus and his disciples would have marched with us if they were here today in support of the people he named in the Beatitudes. Regardless of who they voted for, everyone should feel safe and comfortable in having joined us,” expressed Monica Rising of a newly-formed Gandhi Team which, along with other peace centers, delivered education and training on nonviolence. March participants learned about creative and active nonviolence as a powerful force of personal and social transformation, while Peace Ambassadors learned conflict de-escalation skills to ensure march safety.

Father Jon Pedigo, Director of Projects for Peace and Justice for the Diocese of San Jose, drew particularly enthusiastic applause for his speech on Silicon Valley’s poverty and homelessness, as well as the rights of immigrants. He also highlighted the need to protect the rights of our Muslim and undocumented brothers and sisters and emphasized that there could be no peace without justice in our country and local community. Visibly moved by his passionate and prophetic words, the crowd chanted back “Si, Se Puede!” (Yes, we can) in response.

The march was a powerful witness of God’s grace and love amidst fear and uncertainty. For Catholics especially, it was an opportunity to walk with the two feet of love in action, charitable works and social justice. We are the ones we have been waiting for.

Full story at The Valley Catholic.

To contact the Valley Catholic, which is the official diocesan newspaper of San Jose, please call 408-983-0260.

To contact the Diocese of San Jose, please call 408-983-0100.

[CCD story updated February 14 to include above video of Father Jon Pedigo speaking at the Women’s March. In the video, Father Pedigo says this about abortion: “women have to make a decision that is much more personal and cannot be captured by legislation”.] 



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  1. Oh, puh-leeze!

    “It was not a political protest as much as a social movement;…” Bull. It had two purposes: to oppose the elected President of the United States and to support abortion, not necessarily in that order. At least one anti-abortion women’s group wanted to join their march and was turned away.

    But that would be just fine with the Diocese of San Jose and its Ordinary. Obviously is.

  2. Look closely at the picture that accompanies the story: the white sign in the center reads, “Abortion on demand and without apology.” Yes, that picture was printed in the diocesan newspaper. Shameful.

    That sign and all the LGBT rainbow signs and shirts in the picture reveal that the women’s march was decidedly opposed to Catholic faith, despite the claims of the article’s authors. The authors had the gall to claim that the march was “an expression of deep faith in Christ and of active discipleship”?

    Fake news printed in the DSJ newspaper: the march wasn’t Catholic in the least. This story is pure leftist propaganda designed to fool people into thinking that leftist ideology aligns with Catholic faith. Leftists run the DSJ.

  3. Linda Maria says:

    I don’t think the motives for these secular “Women’s Marches” are exactly religious, in the name of Christ! Many of these women’s marches express hatred for Christ and His teachings– especially, on the sanctity of
    Christian Marriage and Motherhood! But in San Jose, were the women perhaps marching for causes related to Catholic social teaching?? Were these marchers truly Christian? Yes or No??

  4. Was the San Jose march free from the pro-abortion and LGBT signs and rhetoric that marked the San Francisco march? This otherwise seems like a cause for grave scandal.

  5. The woman who said that Jesus would have marched in the Woman’s March if he was here today is ignorant of both Jesus and the gospel accounts.

    Jesus was busy proclaiming his kingdom. He wasn’t getting involved in other people’s kingdoms.

  6. the version of the march that i witnessed in florida had very much lgbt signage, much foul language against the president on placards and quite a lot of planned parenthood- issue verbiage. planned parenthood joined the march late in the game but was a major presence,using it to its ends.

    • Bakersfield Crusader says:

      That’s what I saw in the L.A. march as well. For our safety, the participants in the annual OneLife LA event had to be moved to another park from Grand Park downtown because of the protesters. The difference is quite stark, with the Archdiocese of L.A.’s event being a joyous one that gave a foretaste of eternity in heaven and the other giving off a drastically different, even diabolical, change in climate.

  7. Jim Grisafi says:

    Why is the Catholic Church being used to promote ideology and a social movement based on freedom from morality? Where is the voice of the Church on personal morality and social responsibility that arises from the worship and love of Jesus/God?

    Why is the Church allowing itself to be used and to slowly drift away from its spiritual heritage arising from Revelation?

  8. Your Fellow Catholic says:

    There’s no question that abortion was at the top of the agenda for the women’s marches, followed by other issues like immigrant rights, LGBT and equal pay for women. And whenever you have a mass march, there will always be agendas that other people might have that the person next to them might disagree with. So I wish DSJ had been a bit more nuanced in their support of the march. I’m glad when the Church finds common cause on issues it can get behind, but it shouldn’t be afraid to underline those issues and make it clear that it disagrees with some other issues. No harm in just saying that whenever thousands of people gather, there will not be unanimity of thought.

    • Siding with enemy as usual

      • Your Fellow Catholic says:

        Gosh, I’m not sure who “the enemy” is. I took a moderate tone asking the DSJ to say that they agree with some things and disagree with other things. I didn’t side with anyone here.

        On the other hand, in the President’s New Year’s tweet, he wished a Happy NY to everyone including the “enemies” who voted against him. How bizarre is it that a President refers to the majority of American citizens as “enemies”. Then again, referring to political opponents as enemies is tried and true technique of autocratic & dictatorial leaders for the last 90 years.

        • Right, right. Obama, Hillary all good, no enemies, never had paid organizations sending out thugs to beat up Trump supporters.

          Trump, who has real enemies— even calling for his execution—of course, for him to call his enemies enemies, makes him a dictator. Classic socialist narrative.

          • Your Fellow Catholic says:

            No, actually. Trump called every person who voted against him his enemies in his New Years Day tweet. He has repeated this charge a few days ago, and repeated it just today.

            Why all this obsession with Hillary and Obama? They are now out of the picture entirely.

            Why does this President continue to view the majority of his fellow Americans as enemies?

    • Warren Memlib says:

      Any “Catholics” and the likes of you who supported that march are (to use a Commie phrase) “useful idiots” for their culture of perversion, sterility and death!

  9. The march was coordinated by Marxist revolutionaries. The “gals” were overwhelmingly pro abortion and generally nasty pieces of work. A decent Pope (thus eliminating “Red” Francis) would excommunicate this heterodox SJ prelate, as he clearly is lying. No sane person would make such a ridiculously absurd claim re Jesus and the march that was bought n paid for by George Soros.

  10. anonymous Anselm says:

    It is wonderful that our Catholic diocese of San Jose refuses to be politicized.. [irony alert].

    Also, let us see what “jon” has to say about “Father Jon Pedigo, Director of Projects for Peace and Justice for the Diocese of San Jose, drew particularly enthusiastic applause for his speech on Silicon Valley’s poverty and homelessness, as well as the rights of immigrants. He also highlighted the need to protect the rights of our Muslim and undocumented brothers and sisters..”

    US Bishops’ charities got over $91 million in tax $$ in 2016 from the Obama admin central socialist redistribution-of-wealth State. Now I wonder if they are going to preach to me that “You cannot serve both God and money?” (Lk 6;24)

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      Funny, watching the video what I mostly heard Father Pedigo say is that there are people living in their cars all around us and pointing to the injustice and inequality in that irony. That seems to me very much like what Jesus might rail against. Yet CCD and most of its followers highlights about 10 words in the speech that, when you actually look at them, merely point out that people make difficult decisions in their lives, without ever EVER contradicting Church teaching.

      • Ann Malley says:

        The Devil is in the details, YFC. You could highlight Judas’s push to care for the poor in wanting to sell the nard used for the Lord, too. And yet, surprisingly, Jesus rebuked him.

        Are you confused as to why? After all, Judas wasn’t contradicting the call for charity to one’s neighbor. He was merely subverting the fullness of truth in his misapplication of supposed concern.

        So goes the claim of not EVER contradicting Church teaching.

        • Your Fellow Catholic says:

          Really, Ann Malley? You equate Father Pedigo with Judas? He “subverted the fullness of truth”, exactly, precisely where in that video? Where does he deserve this kind of calumny?

          And is your insight that “The Devil is in the details” one of those elements of Tradition that made you leave the Church over?

          • Ann Malley says:

            I’m comparing you to one who would defend Judas, YFC. Betrayal can come in far less than just 10 words. Really. Look to your own aiding and abetting.

            And check your own calumny. Attending Society chapels is not leaving the Church. Even though you may wish that it were. But thank you once more for demonstrating the reason why I keep my kids away from diocesan offerings. I do have a duty before God ;^)

          • Your Fellow Catholic says:

            WOW, you are something else, Ann Malley. Accusing ME of defending Judas.

            You have chosen to leave the Church. And you throw such unfounded accusation back at the Church you chosen to leave.

  11. Radical Father Prancer, threatening “no peace in our streets,” apologizes for not using crudities but only because he has “this thing” on [his stoll].

    • Thank you- the story has been updated to include this video.

    • ‘no peace in our streets’ call is cke note, friends at homeland security/learly inciting. ta

      • self-disolving email syndrome. retake: ‘no peace is our streets. is clearly inciting/ take note, friends at homeland security. citizenship is a privilege, not a right to inflame. fr needs to leave the priesthood if his stole chokes his sene of free speechs. wrong martyrdom, wrong cause.

        • now is not the time to encourage an underground railroad.the immigration crackdown had to come because we are at war with radical islam from within and from without. the mexican border was once allowed to be porous in pre-war times not long ago. the state has a compelling interest to limit freedom of transit at this moment. since fr pedigo has indicated his duplicity regarding his faithful to church teachings on life issues. the state would do well to pay special attention to the possibility that he may be willing to subvert the good of our country or be surrounded by those who would, finding a kindred spirit in him.

  12. Steve Phoenix says:

    “Somali Muslim migrant Mohammad Barry in February 2016 stabbed multiple patrons at a restaurant owned by an Israeli Arab Christian; Ahmad Khan Rahami, an Afghan Muslim migrant, in September 2016 set off bombs in New York City and New Jersey; Arcan Cetin, a Turkish Muslim migrant, in September 2016 murdered five people in a mall in Burlington, Washington; Dahir Adan, another Somali Muslim migrant, in October 2016 stabbed mall shoppers in St. Cloud while screaming “Allahu Akbar!” … 72 jihad terrorists have come to the U.S. from the countries listed in Trump’s immigration ban.” – Robert Spencer, jihadwatch.org , 2/13/17, “US Catholic Bishops Heedless of Jihad”

    Not enough have been murdered, maimed or wounded for life yet.

  13. Ann Malley says:

    Just more nuttery coming out of the Diocese of San Jose. Considering it’s the child of San Francisco, it’s no wonder.

  14. Ann Malley says:

    …perhaps the gospel should be engaged here to the degree of recognizing when a limb is an occasion of sin. As in, it should be cut off. These “diocese” are diseased and spreading disease to the rest of the body. They should be severely medicated with the Truth, treated in all charity, or removed if they continue to present themselves as a matchmaker between Christ’s flock and anti-Christ.

  15. Judging from these responses there appears to b a great nucleus of orthodox Catholics in the Bay Area. If u contact me via email perhaps we can influence local church policies?

  16. Woman’s March was supported of killing unborn babies; March for Life is supports protecting unborn babies.

  17. Where were all these so called Women and men at the Walk for Life? Their signs and pink hats are demeaning not only to Women but to the real Catholic Church. This is all about hating Pres.Trump. Many of us did not like Pres. Obama but did not take to the streets to act out our frustrations. We prayed, prayed and prayed….and when the opportunity arose, we voted Pres. Obama and his Pro abortion cohorts out of office. Do these women condone and support the killing of a child born alive during an abortion like Pres. Obama, Hillary Clinton and many of the Democrats do? Their real purpose in life is to continue funding Planned Parenthood. Same on Bishop McGrath and all in the San Jose Diocese for doing this. Trace the money back to…

  18. That video link provided by Hymie was shocking. Besides publicly belittling the President as the “Supreme Leader,” I also note that Fr. Pedigo provides a veiled reference to his approval of legalized abortion at the 3:18 point.

    I went to the Valley Catholic website and found the article, but there was no photo accompanying the article. I am assuming that was taken down in response to local pressure or due to this CCD article.

    • Fr. Michael, the link below will take you to the print edition of the Valley Catholic, where you can see that the article with the photo above appears on page 11 of the issue.


      I too went to the website to verify that the photo attributed to Deacon Steve Herrera in the print edition that had also accompanied the web version of the story has now been removed. Undoubtedly, CA Catholic Daily’s exposure of this story has embarrassed the DSJ. Good for CCD!

      Next, in response to the scandalous video of Fr. Jon, he should be removed from active ministry.

    • Fr Michael, thanks for pointing out the legalized abortion reference. I completely missed it.

  19. Deacon Steve Herrera, one of the article’s authors and the photographer of that now infamous (and disappearing) picture, teaches religion at Archbishop Mitty High School, the Diocese of San Jose’s only Catholic high school.

    No doubt his students get a hefty dose of advocacy for left-wing politics in his classes, based on his skewed reporting in this story. One could wonder how much genuine Catholicism his students get.

    • Ann Malley says:

      Archbishop Mitty High School was a bastion wherein Catholic children were indoctrinated to lose the Catholic Faith way back in the ’70’s. Oh, yes, come to Mitty where they have a “smoking” section for teachers and teens. A pass for abortion must be the carrot they use now.

      Waste of $$$ is all I can say.

  20. Wow: that video of Fr. Jon Pedigo speaking at the Women’s March is something else! Good thing there’s a permanent record of it.

    Did Fr. Pedigo, the Director of Projects for Peace and Justice for the Diocese of San Jose, also speak at or participate in the March for Life the following week? If not, why not? I think we all know the answer to that.

    If his remarks in his speech are any indication, Fr. Pedigo’s understanding of justice needs reworking.

    I look forward to reading what the Diocese of San Jose has to report about the March for Life in the next newspaper.

  21. Now not just the photograph, but the entire story has been removed from the diocese’s website. The link to the original story doesn’t work anymore.

    The link to the digitized version of the newspaper’s print edition is still active:


    Grab the full article on page 11 before the Diocese of San Jose attempts to erase all evidence of this travesty.

    I love that the DSJ is obviously squirming as a result of having been exposed for promoting leftist ideology and lying about the Women’s March being consistent with Catholic faith.

  22. As suggested in someone’s response to a previous article, might Fr Pedigo be our own Troller Jon?

    • Ann Malley says:

      If that is true, then Catholics have cause for much hope. “Jon’s” argumentation is so weak as to be farcical. Especially when he floats the dreaded “Americanism” charge to explain away American Catholics who like their Catholicism and are determined to keep it.

      • Sorry AMalley, but the modernist heresy of “americanism” is so prevalent in these pages that it needs to be called out. You are referred to Pope Leo XIII’s Encyclical “Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae” which explains this heresy to which you and many here have fallen. Note Leo’s words here: “These dangers, viz., the confounding of license with liberty, the passion for discussing and pouring contempt upon any possible subject, the assumed right to hold whatever opinions one pleases upon any subject and to set them forth in print to the world, have so wrapped minds in darkness that there is now a greater need of the Church’s teaching office than ever before, lest people become unmindful both of conscience and of duty.”

  23. the fbi.gov website has a box at the right top of the page that reads ‘send a tip’. it’s possible that they have not yet made note of fr pedigo, but they probably need to due to the willingness to incite crowds to ‘no peace’. who knows what he is suggesting to his friends off camera whom he serves in latino ministry. if anything, half the fear has been stirred up by those who accuse the president of creating a climate of fear. if you report fr pedigo, try to mail or hotlink the video. he truly may not be aware of the harm he can cause and indeed might benefit fromt a friendly visit from the local fbi…

    • ‘no peace. line 2, should have read ‘no peace in the streets. while he might attempt to soften this by quoting paul vi’s line’no peace without justice’, it carries a much more dangerous undertone and echo after the recent fiery outbursts and destruction on the berkely campus. the tinder is very, very dry right now and little is needed to spark it.

  24. The Women’s March/es were called “spontaneous” and “grassroots” actions, however, ‘self-described liberal feminist Asra Q. Nomani, writing for New York Times affiliate Women in the World, revealed that after studying the “funding, politics and talking points of the some 403 groups that are ‘partners’ of the march,”contrary to the non-partisan rhetoric used in these marches, they were not really “women’s march” but were rather “for women who are anti-Trump…”’

  25. Last sentence: “We are the ones we have been waiting for.” Wow! Such fashionable conceits.
    How about? “We have found the enemy and it is us.”

  26. That article was of the Devil, along the lines of “turn these stones into bread.” A complete focus on earthly matters, just as atheistic communists do. Did the priest in the video mention God or Jesus once? Did he preach repentance from sin? Did he preach turning to God? No. He preached left-wing, Democrat Party, big-government talking points. Satan has his minions doing his work in San Jose.

  27. Peoples: This is a teaching moment, so I will deign to tell you people how you should comport yourselves; plus Hymie, when appropriate I provide pertinent citations and quotes to buttress my points, which a troll does not do.

    If you have a concern, you direct it to the appropriate pastor, which could be the priest himself, the bishop, the Holy Father, or the nuncio. According to Canon Law (212:3) the lay faithful has “the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church” and you can even let others know about your concerns.

    HOWEVER, when you do so, you are to do this “without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence.”

  28. The link to the original story on the DSJ website is now active again. I suppose the DSJ decided that it was better to face the music than be susceptible to charges of attempting to cover up or hide their deeds. The picture (see photo above on this page) that originally accompanied the story on the website and appeared in the print edition is still absent from the web story page, however.

  29. I needed some penance so I took another listen. It was uglier the second time! I also picked up this time Fr. Pedigo’s support of the LGBT movement, veiled once again, just before the abortion reference. He also had gratuitous slams against the Church and dogma early on in the speech. Quite ugly.

    • Yes, very “veiled” lingo, very clever is “friar jon”, FrMichael: clever as a serpent but I think he lacks the part about the dove’s innocence.

  30. Steve Phoenix says:

    For the full picture on Fr. Jon Pedigo, a rich source of inspiration is his facebook site for his homilies. Here you can “hear” “Fr jon” in his own words:


    He subtitles it: ” Homilies that affirm progressives and inspire activists.”

    Of course, all for Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: All for you, Jesus!

  31. plus Hymie says:

    Ask not for whom the belle trolls; it trolls for free (or is that “fee”? I always forget.)

  32. Steve Phoenix says:

    I have a print copy of the Diocese newspaper (“Valley Catholic”) for 2/7/17. Very interesting, other statements in the article quoting Fr. jon Pedigo, p. 11, written by Deacon Steve Herrera & Joanna Thurmann.

    “‘Silence in the face of injustice is ingnoring the call of Jesus.’ Injustice in broad terms is anything that threatens human dignity, equality, and right to development, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, economic or immigration status.”

    Sounds remarkable, that the Gospel that Jesus preached of conversion and the redemption from sin, is now little more than “race, gender, ethnic, national, sexual orientation, economic, immigration-status equality”. And what is this “right to…

  33. In re the video: That America’s so-called poor have cars, let alone ones large enough to sleep in, is it any wonder then that the world’s teeming huddled masses yearn to break free of the very workers’ paradises so beloved of the speakers?

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COMMENTS POLICY: Comments are limited to 750 characters and will be truncated at 750. Comments should not contain offensive or libelous language. Please strive to be civil. All comments are subject to approval by our moderator and to editing as the moderator deems appropriate. Inclusion of your email address is optional.