As always, I'm hesitant to post this because it has to do with a hot moral issue. But the purpose of this whole blog thing is to let people know what I'm up to, so it would be wrong for not to post this. If you disagree with me on this, thats fine. You don't have to be offended. Contrary to public oppinion, I can still love you even if I think you're wrong (and I believe the same is true of you).
I'll open with a quote from one of JPII's encyclicals... please read it and do not be afraid. (thanks to Amy Welborn for showing me this quote).
I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To the same Father and his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life. (99)
This post will be brief from here on out. Last weekend I was in San Francisco for the Walk for Life West Coast. It was the second time I went, and hopefully won't be the last. Myself and two other guys packed up the car Friday Morning and went to San Francisco. There, we met up with some other seminarians from the Seminary in San Fran. First thing we did was head to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at the Beautiful Saints Peter and Paul church in SF. Here are some pictures I found on their website... it was beautiful.
After I was done praying we went and visited with the people from the parish... and it turns out we knew some of the same people from my home diocese. It is definately a small Catholic World we live in.
We got up early the next morning to head to Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral. This was one of the highlights from the trip, watching people (mostly young) stream into the church. Afterwards, I had a special treat to drive one of San Francisco's auxilliary Bishops to the march. We had a great conversation.
We came to Justin Herman Plaza and one thing was immediately clear. This was going to be bigger than last year, when there were 15000 marchers. Here is a picture I took. I took a picture of the crowd from this same spot last year and almost fit everyone in one frame... this year, it took me three frames and people were still streaming in.
After some speakers, most notably Fr. Pavone and Rev. Clenard Childress (when I find the links to their talk I will post them), we went out and started marching. This event is notable for the "intesity" of the "hostility" between the protesters and Counter protesters. Yes, there are a lot of counter protesters, but when you are marching, it just doesn't seem that intense. Yeah, there were people simulating all kinds of sexual acts, expecting that to intimidate us or something, and there was a lot of cursing going on, but it just doesn't really matter. This was pretty much the worst of it:
At the end of the walk it was again apparent that we had a lot more people than last year. I haven't heard anything official yet, but I have heard from some places 25,000 people marched total. Here is a quick shameless plug for my former University and Newman Center (see link on right). They sent 20 students down for this thing. Also, there were three of us alums down here marching as seminarians. Here we are, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the Background... I'm on the right, and my friend Matt is in the middle (studying for my diocese) and the guy on the left is Brother Matthew studying for the Dominicans.
Not much else to report really. Shout out to Thomas Aquinas College, Stanford Students for Life, and Berkeley Students for Life for having good numbers. TAC had about 200 students there, I think. It was a great experience and I hope to attend again next year. To all the WWU folks there, it was great to see you and I can't wait to see you all again.
Thats all I got. If you have any questions, or want to call me out on something you disagree with, feel free to email me. Take care.