The following comes from a Jan 19 story in Angelus, the online paper for the Los Angeles archdiocese.

The first annual OneLife LA, heralded as a celebration of the dignity of every human life from conception to natural death, drew thousands from all over Southern California to downtown Los Angeles.

The Jan. 17 event began in the historic La Placita Olvera, where the rapidly growing crowd encircled the gazebo at the plaza’s center.

After a prayer from Archbishop José Gomez, the assembled crowds began a walk through downtown. They processed along the barricaded route past the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and ended at Grand Park.

OneLife LA posters depicting pregnant women, families, the elderly, and the disabled bobbed above the sea of walkers.

Attendees from every part of Southern California sported t-shirts or carried banners labeled with their home parish, city or organization.

Jessica Bois, who attends Christian Assembly church in Eagle Rock, hoped that the event would raise awareness.

“Obviously people know that the pro-life movement exists, but I appreciate that they are having speakers share their experiences today, especially for those who are uncertain about their views on different life issues.”

Ethan Southard, a seminarian in his sixth of seven years of formation at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, has been to the Walk for Life in San Francisco several times, but valued the holistic and celebratory aspects of OneLife LA.

“It’s really beautiful. What I really love about this one is the inclusivity of all human life from conception to natural death,” Southard said. “We’ve got the whole city of Los Angeles surrounding us and we’re here in the middle just celebrating life.”

Beyond the food trucks at the park’s entrance, many of the walkers unfurled blankets upon the grass. To escape the intense sunshine some sought shade behind the sparse foliage of the trees in Grand Park.

Community organizations focused on dignity of life issues set up booths along Grand Park’s perimeter to encourage future volunteers….

Ryan Bomberger, who served as the event’s keynote speaker, is co-founder of The Radiance Foundation, a life-affirming organization that addresses social issues through media content. Bomberger, an adoptee and adoptive father, tied together many of the event’s themes by emphasizing the value and beauty of each individual life.

“We live in a culture that is deceived into thinking that we can define the value of human life. All we have to do is look at history and see what happens when men or women or governmental institution decides who has value and who doesn’t. It’s not exactly a good turnout: the Holocaust, slavery, and abortion in America.”

The audience enjoyed performances from musicians Paulina Cerrilla and Miriam Jackeline Solis. The event concluded with a concert performed by Josh Garrels, a singer-songwriter originally from South Bend, Ind., whose orchestral folk music incorporates Christian themes.

Among those in attendance was Lisa Ebiner Gavit, who founded USC Students for Life and served as president for two years. Now a graduate student, she has retired from that role but still lends support at pro-life events.

“As college students, we face a lot of bias on campus, especially from fellow peers. We’ve been openly mocked in class for what we do. So it’s really inspiring to see all the support, especially from young people.”

Clyde Allen from St. Peter Claver Parish in Simi Valley came with his wife, youngest child, and two buses full of fellow parishioners, all wearing matching t-shirts imprinted with the OneLife LA logo. Allen said his hope is “that we expose our youth to an awareness and understanding of the importance of respecting life….”

To read the original story, click here.