“All I remember is walking down the aisle with my sparkly shoes,” Emily Kruska, 10, said in between rehearsals for the Jan. 21 Requiem Mass for the Unborn at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angeles in Downtown Los Angeles, where Archbishop José H. Gomez was the main celebrant.

Emily was one of the liturgical dancers who performed before the opening procession. She remembered the first time she took part in the Mass, when she was just 2 years old — a tradition she continues each year.

Abortion is a sad subject, Emily told Angelus News. The Mass, she said, is “to remember the people who have sometimes made the wrong choice.” She added that many couples wish they could have children, and she’d like to see a child given up for adoption and given a chance to live.

Through her involvement in the ceremony, Emily has embraced the importance of honoring all human life. She wishes that couples who are facing a difficult pregnancy would not, as she puts it, “give up right away.”

Her mother, Katy Kruska, principal at St. Bernardine of Siena School in Woodland Hillas, was at the first Requiem for the Unborn. She attended the Mass while she was expecting Emily, and said she is glad that Emily is part of a community that fosters the mentality that every person matters.

“My husband and I felt from the very start of her life — and we have a son also — that we want them to have this respect for everybody, no matter what color, no matter what gender, no matter what sexual orientation — just everybody is worthwhile and created by God,” she explained.

Kruska said these discussions need to start at a young age, instead of waiting until they are in a difficult situation where they could end up making the wrong choice.

She added that those participating in the Mass understand the importance of community. “It’s more than just the Mass, it’s more than just remembering lives lost to abortion; it’s also the community. It’s the whole community gathering together to celebrate life.”

The cathedral was at capacity during the evening Mass, with many members of the congregation standing in the side aisles. The Knights of Columbus attended in their full regalia, with their tuxedos, swords and capes. The Knights led the Ceremony of Light, where candles were lit in the darkened cathedral to remember the lives lost through abortion.

Eileen Bonaduce, the business manager for the cathedral, said about Emily and her family: “It is amazing to watch young families today — it is much more difficult in today’s society. And yet, here is a little girl who believes in the importance of honoring all human life. She is not afraid to talk about it and she wants to participate.”

Emily is happy to be able to lend her talent to the celebration. She attends a dance studio throughout the year where she practices jazz, tap and ballet.

“I just love dancing,” she said. “That’s my hobby. It’s just amazing that I get to do this every year.