I am excited forOneLife LA this weekend.
We will be walking for life again this Saturday, Jan. 19. From our city’s first church at La Placita on Olvera Street we will march to the Los Angeles State Historic Park, proudly proclaiming the beauty and holiness of human life.
This year marks the fifth anniversary of our annual walk for life and family, and our program this year is probably our most ambitious.
The reason we gather for OneLife LA is to commemorate one of the saddest days in our country’s history — Jan. 22, 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court made abortion legal.
In the years since Roe v. Wade, we have seen how allowing the killing of children in the womb has slowly led to a change in our society’s attitudes about life outside the womb.
Post-Roe America is a place where human life in so many ways is treated as cheap and disposable, and where the human person is more and more regarded as “something” and not “somebody.”
There is so much we could protest against the way our society treats the unborn, the elderly, the sick, the disabled, and the poor.
But OneLife LA is about the light, not the darkness. We believe in overcoming the evil that we see by the good that we do.
OneLife LA is not only an event, it is a vision. In a society that promotes a selfish “me against you” individualism, OneLife LA celebrates people who are living lives of self-sacrifice, generosity, and service.
In a society where people seem more isolated and more divided, we are bringing people together, building community, and strengthening people’s sense of empathy and solidarity with others.
This year’s OneLife LA lineup is all about people who are making a difference through the creative solutions they are applying to the problems of our times. You will meet people working to change our abortion culture, and those who are helping the homeless.
You will meet advocates for the disabled, and those working to strengthen families and to keep college kids Catholic, and many more.
I am happy that this year we are welcoming back Rick Smith, founder of Hope Story. Rick was with us at our inaugural OneLife LA, and he is a fearless fighter for the dignity of those like his son, Noah, who are born with Down syndrome.
One terrible outgrowth of our abortion culture is that most children with Down syndrome today are destroyed in the womb rather than given the chance to be born. Rick, Noah and their family are a beautiful witness to the joy that comes when we open ourselves to welcome life.
Our keynote speaker this year is Lizzie Velasquez, a beautiful soul who has used her experience of “cyberbullying” to teach millions about the power of forgiveness and love. I encourage you to read her story and interview at AngelusNews.com. There is a courage and holiness in her words that I find rare and inspiring.
With the issue of online shaming and “cyberbullying,” OneLife LA this year takes us into the darker corners of this culture that no longer values human life. There is no escaping the fact that our society is getting meaner. We get accustomed to the meanness, the casual cruelty becomes a part of the air we breathe in our culture.
I do not think it is coincidence that the nastiness of our online culture has come at the same time when we face an “epidemic” of loneliness in our society, along with alarming rates of addiction, mental illness, and suicides. These are signs that post-Roe America is not well.
Understanding the moral and spiritual roots of the problems and healing the wounds — these are pro-life issues. This is the duty of a people of life.
What we are really witnessing in post-Roe America are so many symptoms of a crisis of the human person. We have lost the truth that the human person is made for beauty, goodness, and glory — that every person is created and loved by God and redeemed by Jesus Christ.
We are here to give life to the world. This is why Jesus came and this is what God is calling each of us to do. We need to help people to find their way back, to know the truth, the deeper meaning of human life.
This is the mission of OneLife LA!
So please join me on Saturday for this beautiful walk for life. And bring your family and your friends.
Also, plan to join us after OneLife for our annual Requiem Mass for the Unborn, held at 5 p.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. I promise it will be a special day.
Pray for me and I will be praying for you.
And let us ask our Blessed Mother Mary to help us work together and to confront the meanness in our world with kindness, compassion and love.