The following article, by Joanna Thurmann and Deacon Steve Herrera, appeared in the official newspaper of the Diocese of San Jose as “Women’s March Echoes Jesus’ Call to Discipleship”:

On January 21, millions marched across the nation, including over 25,000 in San Jose, in an epic event that was both deeply personal and powerfully communal. Sister marches took place in all fifty states and in cities around the globe as far away as Antarctica. It was not a political protest as much as a social movement; though one day after the inauguration, it made a profound statement of solidarity across a wide range of social issues, from immigration to environmental protections.

For Catholics, the values of the march aligned particularly well with Catholic Social Teaching regarding respect for human rights, the common good, care for creation, and solidarity with the poor and vulnerable. It was an expression of deep faith in Christ and of active discipleship.

“Jesus and his disciples would have marched with us if they were here today in support of the people he named in the Beatitudes. Regardless of who they voted for, everyone should feel safe and comfortable in having joined us,” expressed Monica Rising of a newly-formed Gandhi Team which, along with other peace centers, delivered education and training on nonviolence. March participants learned about creative and active nonviolence as a powerful force of personal and social transformation, while Peace Ambassadors learned conflict de-escalation skills to ensure march safety.

Father Jon Pedigo, Director of Projects for Peace and Justice for the Diocese of San Jose, drew particularly enthusiastic applause for his speech on Silicon Valley’s poverty and homelessness, as well as the rights of immigrants. He also highlighted the need to protect the rights of our Muslim and undocumented brothers and sisters and emphasized that there could be no peace without justice in our country and local community. Visibly moved by his passionate and prophetic words, the crowd chanted back “Si, Se Puede!” (Yes, we can) in response.

The march was a powerful witness of God’s grace and love amidst fear and uncertainty. For Catholics especially, it was an opportunity to walk with the two feet of love in action, charitable works and social justice. We are the ones we have been waiting for.

Full story at The Valley Catholic.

To contact the Valley Catholic, which is the official diocesan newspaper of San Jose, please call 408-983-0260.

To contact the Diocese of San Jose, please call 408-983-0100.

[CCD story updated February 14 to include above video of Father Jon Pedigo speaking at the Women’s March. In the video, Father Pedigo says this about abortion: “women have to make a decision that is much more personal and cannot be captured by legislation”.]