The Walk For Life

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The following was posted at Kaldu.

It has been brought to my attention that the flicker account where I got some of the following photos from is actually public.  For more photos please see Walk for Life West Coast 2010.

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It was a rainy Saturday morning and we were really hoping that it would clear up like it was supposed to. Many phone calls were being made, and much discussion of where and how the youth of St. Peter, St. Mary, St. Thomas, and St. Matthew parishes would find each other… the parishes being spread from San Diego to San Jose. The youth were using this day’s occasion, to once again meet each other and together, walk, proclaim, and pray for life and it’s sanctity. And I was very proud of them, and blessed to be with them. And this walk for me was to serve as a great source of hope.

First, some background for those who might not be familiar with our diocese. St. Peter’s is a Chaldean Catholic diocese. Being pro-life is a subject that our people are not yet fully aware of. Sure, we are pro-life… any Christian has to be. But our Chaldean/Assyrian culture treats sex outside of marriage as a very immoral taboo, and along with that abortion, is an even bigger taboo. Many people in the older generations don’t realize that the amount of influence local culture has on the younger people. Unfortunately, many are unaware of the great message that the late Pope John Paul II, the Great, was emphasizing in his theology of the body, which was not so much a new message or outlook, but really a re-emphasis. Yet, these youth who came to this event are very much aware of the plight of all our brothers and sisters being killed daily in this horrendous plight upon our society… abortion. They had come, ready to walk, and to pray.

Last year was the first Walk we participated in. We had only a couple of weeks to get the word out, and a handful of people came. That handful would come away from the walk, determined to return every year until the abolition of abortion. They would also participate in the 40 days for life. A year later, they were here again, and with others with them.

We in Northern California were delighted to have the seminarians from Mar Abba Seminary join us. They had come along with almost 50 other people from John Paul the Great Catholic University, the university where they attend classes. Our group from San Jose had been expanded by a handful, and St. Matthew and St. Thomas had hands-full of youth as well.

From small beginnings, great things… The first Walk for Life had about 7,000. Last years, had over 30,000. This year was even bigger… my guess 35,000. Although numbers do not determine the importance of an issue, it enheartens us to know so many others give are willing to walk for such an important walk. It a delight to see older people, priests, friars, nuns, and others walking.

And yet, there was something even more significant: the number of young people, high school, college youth. Everywhere I went, and everywhere I looked, they were the majority. They were singing in groups, praying, carrying signs, and happy to be there despite the rains! These young people in America are active and involved in this fight against the plague of abortion. They are idealists, and want to make the difference, to proclaim God’s love, and the sanctity of life! They are not asleep, or too busy playing their Playstation3’s and watching their tv’s. They have created outreach programs, campus ministry programs, and prayer groups.

Our diocese youth are the same: idealistic, and filled with apostolic zeal for the sanctity of life. Everyone I talked to about the issue was passionate and dedicated. Our seminarians have been involved in prayer groups in front of abortion mills. So have many of the youth from San Jose, Turlock, and Ceres. We had listened sympathetically to confessions from the “Silent No More” group of men and women who told us their terrifying personal experiences with abortion. Even then, we were amazed and encouraged by their firm stance in witnessing and proclaiming the message of life. Those confessions had touched the hearts of our youth and they would be involved again, in 40 days for life, and the next walk, and other programs. Some would preach the message of life to friends and school mates, not fearing to be pro-life in a society that will ridicule them and oppress them for that. And everyone wanted to make next year’s walk a bigger event for our diocese.

This year, I once again thanked Fr. Pavone, from Priests for Life, for all his hard work and diligence, and took the opportunity to get a photo with him, and a blessing as well.

Looking back at the walk, I fondly recall one site that stood out. Small kids, very young in age, had walked through rain, and when one man started reciting the entire rosary {not just five decades, but all decades}, they were quick to pull up beside him, pulling out their rosaries and joining in. Blessed be God! I don’t know how much they understand about what abortion is really, and I don’t know how much they understand the “philosophical” and “legal” aspects of the “debate”, but they had a love for God, and the prayer of the rosary which they prayed for the intention of life. Luckily, one of our youths saw it as well and took a photo of the two standing next to the man saying the rosary. I was very happy to see that photo.

I have faith, and hope… Love will overcome.









— This last one is a photo from St. Peter and Paul Church in Little Italy in SF.  This is where we went to pray after our walk.

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One Response to “The Walk For Life”

  1. Ian Says:

    “I have faith, and hope… Love will overcome.” A befitting and wonderful ending to an inspiring and challenging post. Thank you.

    And thanks be to God for all that were there, and especially the zeal of the young which often challenges and convicts us of older years.

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