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  February 5, 2007VOL. 45, NO. 3Oakland, CA

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Walk for Life draws more than 20,000 to S. F. event

Teens who get an abortion need special care, comfort

Diocese offers post-abortion healing program

New pastor joins Holy Spirit/Newman Hall Parish

The sacrament of Confirmation -- anointing in the Spirit

Decisions on dying: Italian case highlights complex issue

Officials examine clergy collaboration with communists

Meeting signals improved Vatican-Vietnamese relations

Vietnamese Catholics
to celebrate New Year

KQED to air story of six nuns who marched in Selma

Show love on Valentine’s Day with fair trade chocolates

Report urges change in Catholic schools

COMMENTARY
Report urges change in Catholic schools

A budget and health care drama is playing out in Sacramento

OBITUARIES
Deacon Frank Beville

Sister Mary Baptista Dean, SNJM

Sister M. Hilary Cotter, SHF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Walk for Life draws more than 20,000 to S. F. event

Oakland Bishop Allen Vigneron joins participants along the Embarcadero for the Walk for Life.
JOSE LUIS AGUIRRE PHOTO
Behind teenagers and young adults carrying a 20-foot-wide banner reading “Abortion hurts women,” thousands of pro-life supporters walked peacefully down the march route along the San Francisco Embarcadero, often praying and singing. San Francisco Archbishop George H. Niederauer led an opening prayer before the walk, calling on participants to see the image of God in every person.
CNS PHOTO/Greg Tarczynski
Women stand on the stage at the March for Life rally in Washington, Jan. 22.
CNS PHOTO/PAUL HARING

East Bay Catholics were among the 25,000 pro-life advocates who walked through San Francisco on Jan. 20 in a public call to end abortion in the United States. Oakland Bishop Allen Vigneron joined them on the third annual Walk for Life West Coast, first celebrating Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral, then accompanying participants at an enthusiastic rally at Justin Herman Plaza and march along the Embarcadero to the Marina Green.
The San Francisco walk marked the 34th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision on Jan. 22, 1973, that legalized abortion in the United States.
Tens of thousands also gathered in Washington D.C. on Jan. 22 for the 34th March for Life. President George Bush spoke by phone to the crowd on the National Mall at the start of the two-hour rally that preceded a peaceful trek around the Capitol to the steps of the Supreme Court. “A true culture of life cannot be built by changing laws alone. We’ve all got to work to change hearts,” he said.
Large numbers of teens and young adults participated in both the San Francisco and Washington D.C. demonstrations as well as smaller walks and rallies throughout the country.
Dolores Meehan, co-founder of the west coast walk, said the pro-life movement “is quite alive” and it is “a growing movement that is young, wonderful and vibrant.”
Speaking to the crowd in San Francisco, Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, added that it is a “civil rights movement.”
Vera Lord also addressed participants, noting her deep grief following an abortion. “The dirty little secret behind what they call choice is that the baby isn’t the only one who dies; part of our souls dies, too,” she said. “We must make abortion not just illegal, but unthinkable.”
Many marchers held large banners declaring “Abortion hurts women” and “Women deserve better than abortion.”
“San Francisco is well-known for its countercultural protests -- the gay pride parade, anti-war protests and anti-Bush protests,” said Meehan. “We wanted to send a message that it’s OK to be pro-woman and pro-life -- even in the city of San Francisco.”
Despite the presence of several hundred protesters supporting legal abortion, scores of motorcycle officers and hundreds of police officers on foot created a protective corridor for marchers and there were no incidents or arrests.
In Los Angeles, interfaith leaders representing Christian, Muslim and Buddhist communities joined with Los Angeles Cardinal Roger M. Mahony Jan. 20 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels for the annual Respect Life Mass “as a sign of their shared belief in the sanctity of all human life,” an archdiocesan news release said.
During the Mass, choirs performed “Requiem for the Unborn” written in 1995, and 157 candles were lit to represent the number of abortions performed that day in Los Angeles County.
The 2008 Walk for Life West Coast is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 19.

(Jerry Filteau and Nancy Frazier of Catholic News Service and Stan Devereaux of Christian News Wire contributed to this story.)

 

 


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