On the second day of the trip to Northern California, 54 of our youth members of Saint Peter’s Chaldean-Catholic Church drove at 6AM from a quiet, relaxing night in Monterey, CA to the hustle and bustle of San Francisco, CA. Here we participated in the opening mass at the beautiful Saint Mary’s Cathedral along with hundreds of other Catholics from all around the country. It was a great sight to see the many bishops, priests, and nuns from various religious orders in leadership of those faithful laity in commune with the pro-life movement. After the mass, we walked from Saint Mary’s inFrancisco over to the start of the 11th Annual Walk For Life where there were several speakers giving testimony and witness to the culture of life in our society. One special person we were blessed to have speak and have with us was the Papal Annuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano.
Not only did we have Saint Peter’s Youth with us from our diocese present at this event, but we had also joined side by side with the youth of our Northern Vicariate churches of Saint Mary’s, Saint Thomas, and Saint Matthew’s.
We were off! We began marching in solidarity with Catholics, Anglicans, Orthodox Christians, and people of all Faiths in chant and most importantly in prayer to make known the tragedies of Abortion and show the beauty of life God offers each of his children.
We had reached the finish line after a few miles of walking through the streets San Francisco. People had seen our signs, heard our prayers, cursed at us, shouted evil and hurtful words, and protested against us the Pro-Life movement. It was a sad sight to see the deep conviction of those a part of the Pro-Choice movement in promotion of the culture of murder and death; those who take part of the present-day holocaust in America and across the world.
Though we had seen this evil present in our society during this walk it was a sweet, sweet moment to step away and capture all what was going on. Aside from giving a voice to the unborn, aside from the chants, aside from the speeches, what was present in this Walk For Life was a microcosm of the Universal Church and the spiritual life of a Christian. This walk was a microcosm in that it showcased faithful from different parts of the world united for one cause; a cause which was to bring about a culture of life. Our Lord states in the Gospel of John, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life…”(Jn 14:6) Through this event we walked the Way, we learned the Truth, and promoted Life. At the core of this Unity of believers is Christ. Because of Christ being the center of our Unity, we have a distinct strength that no other kind of unity can bring other than the conviction of truth which flows Him. It was a fresh reminder of the great power foundation of the Church where Jesus tells his Apostle Simon-Peter, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.” We heard and felt the persecution firsthand. We were confronted by the perversion of Truth the enemy instills in the world, yet we were not afraid. Why we were not afraid? There is no fear in someone when they are testifying for the truth. On the other hand, when one is testifying for something that is false, fear arises and the falsehood is eventually unveiled and exploited.
On this Walk For Life, we were testifying the truth that Abortion in all cases is murder and unethical. But ultimately, as we leave this event and go back to our homes, we are still Walking for Life. The walk does not end simply at the finish line in San Francisco. Life does not mean “that which is not death.” But life hints at a birth. A birth which all the baptized are born in which triumphs evil and death. We are to walk in confidence, to testify the truth in our minds and hearts the truth revealed to us in the Gospel of embracing life and living abundantly in the graces offered to us through the Church.