On Saturday, January 24, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò will join at least 10 Catholic and two Anglican bishops at the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco. The nuncio, Pope Francis’s ambassador to the United States, will bring a message from the Holy Father to the tens of thousands of pro-lifers of all races and creeds expected to attend.
The walk, which begins at 1:30, is preceded by the Walk for Life rally, featuring speakers. Last year the San Francisco board of supervisors issued a resolution condemning the walk’s banners. This year the walk’s banners once again adorn Market Street without any public objection.
Rally speakers include Julia Holcomb, who became the legal ward of Steven Tyler of the band Aerosmith. Becoming pregnant at age 17 she was coerced into having an abortion, an experience which changed her life. With the help of her faith, Holcomb rebuilt her life, and now works for the strengthening of life and the family. Holcomb will be joined by Jim and Joy Pinto, hosts of EWTN’s “At Home with Jim and Joy,” where they share the pro-life message. The Pintos will be followed by Rebekah Buell, who, when young and pregnant for the second time, took the RU-486 abortion pill. The final speaker is the Reverend Clenard Childress, who has been with the Walk for Life West Coast since its inception. He is the founder of blackgenocide.org.
Since its founding in 2005, the Walk for Life West Coast has become the largest annual event in the Catholic Church in the Bay Area, and one of the largest in the country.
Lisa Hamrick, a walk co-founder, told CalCatholic that about 700 youth and young adults from Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada (and all over California) had used the Housing Registration function on the walk’s website to request lodging during the walk. They will stay with five local churches and three religious orders.
Spiritual opportunities include the Vigil for Life at San Francisco’s St. Dominic’s Church, hosted by the Sisters of Life, which includes adoration and confessions and Mass celebrated by San Jose’s auxiliary bishop Thomas Daly; all-night Eucharistic Adoration at San Francisco’s Saints Peter and Paul Church (both events on the night before the walk). Opportunities on January 24 include the Walk for Life Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral at 9:30 am, celebrated by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and concelebrated by 10 bishops and many priests from San Francisco. Following the walk, a special Mass in the Extraordinary Form will be celebrated at St. Francis of Assisi Church in San Francisco at 5:00 pm.
On January 23, from 4:00-9:00 pm the Humanity and Life Ministry of the diocese of San Jose is hosting a pro-life youth rally at Our Lady of Peace Church in Santa Clara, and, on January 24 at 7:30 pm Oakland’s Bishop Michael Barber hosts a Catholic Underground event for young people at St. Mary Magdalen Church in Berkeley. On the day after the walk, Sunday, January 25, Students For Life of America will host their West Coast Conference (an all-day event) at St. Mary’s Cathedral.
For a full schedule of events at and around Saturday’s Walk for Life West Coast, click here.