This year’s Walk for Life West Coast, the 19th Annual, is the first since the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade. The Walk will take place January 21 at San Francisco’s Civic Center. I spoke with Walk co-chair and co-founder Eva Muntean.
What does Dobbs mean for the Walk and pro-lifers across America?
Dobbs was stupendous, just fantastic. For the first time, we will stand together at the Walk for Life West Coast in a country where the so-called ‘right’ to kill an unborn child is no longer the law of the land. This is a battle we have been fighting for almost 50 years. January 22 would have been the 50th anniversary of the atrocity of Roe v. Wade. But thanks to pro-lifers all over America, and thanks to God Almighty, Roe will not have a 50th birthday. And what that means is many thousands of children will have a first birthday!
But, as we all know, what Dobbs means is that it is up to each state to decide whether or not to value and protect innocent human life. Some have chosen to do so, others, like our state of California, have doubled down on the massacre of the innocents. So we must and will continue to work, to pray, to provide alternatives, like supporting pro-life medical centers, and above all be a beacon of hope to women from coast to coast.
Proposition 1 passed in California with a large majority. Do you see hope for our state?
Yes, as I said, with the passage of Prop 1, California has doubled down. Are we hopeful? Well, we fought Roe for 49 years, and, lo and behold, it did not reach 50! We started the Walk for Life in San Francisco, the most anti-life city in the country in the face of relentless media and governmental opposition, opposition that has continued ever since. We are Christians. We thrive on hope, as Christians we live in hope.
What steps does the pro-life movement in California need to take?
First, last, and always, prayer. As one of our great speakers, the Rev. Clenard Childress said at last year’s rally “God kept his promise. I believe Roe versus Wade has been overturned because God remembers you. He remembers Walk for Life San Francisco.” One way or another, one day or another, God will bring back a culture of life to California. Because life is what God wants. But our concrete steps are to work slowly and faithfully in the political realm, to join 40 Days for Life, and to support pro-life medical health Centers and pro-life organizations such as the Gabriel Project which provides hope and support to women in crisis pregnancies and families that need assistance. There is no shortage of opportunities and organizations for all of us to help.
How is attendance looking for this year’s Walk looking?
It’s looking good. Tens of thousands for sure. Last year we had 48 registered buses of pro-lifers from around the state and western U.S. This year we have 100 so far. But we still have not reached our pre-pandemic totals. One reason for this is that, following our example, a number of other pro-life events have sprouted up in California — OneLifeLA in Los Angeles, for instance. While that has reduced our numbers, because lots of those people used to come to San Francisco, it is fantastic that all these pro-life events are growing.
Anything special at this year’s Walk?
Yes. On Friday the 20th St. Dominic’s is having their annual vigil for life with Vespers, Mass, and Holy Hour. This year, Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento is coming down to celebrate that Mass. Plus nine Sisters of Life will be there. And on the 21st for the Walk for Life Mass at the Cathedral, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has commissioned a new musical setting for the Mass and part of the choir will be children from St. Brigid’s school. That is always the Cathedral’s most well-attended Mass of the year, and it sounds like it will be extra special. And of course there are so many other Walk-related events — all night Adoration at Saints Peter and Paul and Star of the Sea, the Orthodox Service of Supplication before the Walk, the Stand UP4 Life Rally and March On Friday the 20th in Oakland, led by Walter and Lori Hoye. So, lots of special events.
For a full schedule of the Walk and related events, go here.
By Gibbons Cooney
From the Archdiocese of San Francisco website on the Walk:
Friday, January 20, 2023
Walk for Life Vigil Mass
St. Dominic’s Catholic Church (2390 Bush Street, San Francisco)
5:00 p.m. Evening Prayer with the Dominicans
5:30 p.m. Vigil Mass celebrated by Bishop Jaime Soto
6:30 p.m. Holy Hour and Confessions
All Night Adoration for Life
Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church (666 Filbert Street, San Francisco)
Adoration begins at 8:00 p.m. and runs through 7:00 a.m. at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church. After 9:00 pm, enter through parish office. Parking will be open.
Saturday, January 21, 2023
Oakland East Bay Respect Life Mass
Christ the Light Cathedral (2121 Harrison Street, Oakland)
9:00 a.m. Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Michael Barber
After Mass, Bishop Barber invites everyone to join him in attending the Walk for Life.
Walk for Life West Coast Mass
Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption (1111 Gough Street, San Francisco)
9:30 a.m. Official Walk for Life Mass celebrated by Archbishop Cordileone
Walk for Life Rally and Walk
Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco
12:30 p.m. Walk for Life Rally (Speakers include Rebecca Kiessling, Shawn Carney, Angela Minter, and Rev. Clenard Childress)
1:30 p.m. Walk for Life begins*
*High School students who are interested in walking with Archbishop Cordileone at the Walk for Life should contact Gonzalo Alvarado: firstname.lastname@example.org.
BBQ After the Walk for Life
Star of the Sea Catholic Church (4420 Geary St., San Francisco)
4:00 p.m. The Knights of Columbus will be hosting a BBQ after the Walk for Life at Star of the Sea. All are welcome!
All Night Adoration for Life
Star of the Sea Parish (4420 Geary St., San Francisco)
Star of the Sea will host all night Eucharistic Adoration beginning at 5:00 p.m. in thanksgiving for the Walk for Life. Free parking available.