On Saturday, January 9, San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, joined by five priests from his archdiocese, celebrated an 8 a.m. Mass for Life at St. Mary’s Cathedral. The Mass was followed by a Rosary procession to Planned Parenthood’s soon-to-opened abortion business on San Francisco’s Bush Street, less than a half mile from the cathedral. The Mass and procession were the first of a series of what will be an ongoing event held on the first Saturday of each month. The January 9 event was held on the second Saturday because of the holidays.

About 140 of the faithful attended the Mass, including 20 novices from the Missionaries of Charity,  probably the largest congregation in the cathedral since the beginning of the pandemic.

The archbishop noted at the beginning of his homily that we are at the time of year when the nights are long. “It does indeed seem that there is increasing darkness in our world today,” he said. “Darkness as a metaphor for sin, for ignorance, and in particular, death…We see this culture of death all around us. Thank you for being here today. Thank you for being a light in the midst of this darkness, a light being a witness to the sanctity of human life. Thank you for being advocates, and as we should say today, activists for the Culture of Life.

“I am grateful that you have come together today, for the celebration of this Mass and for the procession to the clinic and your commitment to doing this, praying the rosary in front of the clinic on the first Saturday of the month in response to Our Lady’s request to us, to honor her Immaculate Heart on the first Saturday of the month.

“We need to tap into this power of prayer, especially because the prince of darkness, that is to say the prince of death, is right at our doorstep. We need to ramp up the power of prayer. I would hope we can do this well beyond the first Saturday of the month to every Saturday and even throughout the week if possible. We need the power of prayer and fasting to defeat the powers of darkness so that this darkness might not continue to increase but might decrease, so that Our Lord might increase. He is the One who is the giver of life, who gives us this light and goodness. This happens when we follow that example of St. John the Baptist, our model of discipleship: ‘He must increase, I must decrease.’”

The full Mass and homily may be seen here.

Following the Mass, the faithful gathered in the Cathedral Plaza and the Rosary procession to Planned Parenthood  began. Approximately 120 people joined the archbishop as he led the procession. The facility is still under construction, the windows still covered with plywood. The only notable feature is a sort of demonic figure above the entrance. The next Rosary procession will be on Saturday, February 6.

– California Catholic exclusive story by Gibbons Cooney