As San Francisco’s 14th Annual Walk for Life West Coast approaches, pro-life pilgrims are heading to the City by the Bay from as far away as Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, North Dakota, and even the island of Fiji.
Nine Catholic Bishops and one Cardinal will be in attendance: Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Bishop William Justice, and Bishop Emeritus Ignatius Wang of San Francisco; Bishop Michael Barber, Oakland; Bishop Emeritus Tod Brown, Orange; Bishop Thomas Daly of Spokane; Cardinal William Levada; Bishop Jaime Soto, Sacramento; and Bishop Robert Vasa and Bishop Emeritus Daniel Walsh of Santa Rosa.
The Walk’s invocation will be given by His Eminence the Most Reverend Benjamin, Archbishop of San Francisco and the West of the Orthodox Church of America. His Eminence will be the second prelate of the Orthodox Church to give the Walk’s invocation. The first was Fr. Aris Metrakos of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in 2012.
The Walk’s speakers this year are: Dr. John Bruchalski, MD, FACOG and Director of the Tepayec Medical Clinic in Fairfax, VA. Dr. Bruchalski performed abortions earlier in his career, but changed, and now offers care that truly helps women. Also speaking will be Mrs. Terry Beatley, founder of the Hosea Initiative. When he was dying, Mrs. Beatley met with another one-time abortionist turned pro-life activist, Dr. Bernard Nathanson. She promised Dr. Nathanson that she would continue his work of telling the American people that abortion was foisted on America through a calculated strategy of deception. Batting cleanup, as always, will be the Reverend Clenard Childress, pastor of Montclair’s New Calvary Baptist Church, and founder of blackgenocide.org, which confronts the horrific rate of abortion in America’s black community. The peroration of his speech closing the 2017 Rally, shown in the Walk’s 2018 promo video, literally brought people to tears.
Organizers were also delighted with the late confirmation that the Walk would be joined by Joe Scheidler, the founder of the pro-life Action League, who has been called “the grandfather of the American pro-life movement. Walk co-chair Eva Muntean said “I almost can’t believe this. Mr. Scheidler has been one of my heroes for decades. I am beyond thrilled that he is joining us.” Mr. Scheidler will speak, and will receive the Walk’s St. Gianna Molla Award for Pro-Life heroism.
As the pro-life movement grows younger and more energetic, marches are being held in cities and towns all over the country. Yet San Francisco’s Walk for Life West Coast still seems to exert a special attraction, especially for the young. Attendees are coming from as far away as Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, North Dakota, and Fiji.
180 buses of pro-lifers will come from all over the western United States. Hundreds of young people, many who have travelled hundreds of miles, will be sleeping on floors in San Francisco parishes. A full bus of seminarians from the Benedictine Mt. Angel Abbey in Oregon will be coming as well as a full bus of seminarians from the local St. Patrick’s in Menlo Park.
The youth and energy of the pro-life movement is manifested by the 19 events that surround the Walk. Additional events begin on Friday, January 26 and continue through Monday, January 29 and include two full nights of Eucharistic Adoration for Life, prayer vigils with confession, two days of pilgrimages by the Orthodox Christians for Life, Mass in the Extraordinary Form for Life, protests of Planned Parenthood a “Die-In” and other street events by Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust and other young pro-lifers, the Students for Life of America West Coast Conference, an Anglicans for Life symposium, the 40 Days for Life Gala, a Catholic Underground event, and a parish barbecue open to all.
As always, the day of the Walk begins with Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral at 9:30 AM. At San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza, events begin with the Silent No More Awareness at 10:30 AM. The Info Faire opens at 11:30 AM, the Rally begins at 12:30 PM, and the Walk for Life West Coast down Market Street begins at 1:30 PM.
For a full schedule of the events at and around the Walk for Life West Coast visit: https://www.walkforlifewc.com/event-info/event-schedule/