On Saturday January 17, 2015 I had the privilege of going to the first annual onelife LA. This is a pro-life march and overall event which is meant to help turn this country around- and specifically that of Los Angeles and Southern California, from a culture of death, to a culture of life. Approximately 15 thousand attended this event, and marched through the streets of downtown Los Angeles, California, from all walks of life in celebration of the dignity of human life and the absolute truth that life starts at conception and finishes only in natural death.
The event officially began right after the blessing from Bishop Jose Gomez of the diocese of Los Angeles. the holy bishop stated “Bless us as we seek to make the city of the angels and all Southern California a place where every life is welcomed, protected, and cared for from conception until natural death…In the Christian vision, every human life is precious — created by God with transcendent dignity and endowed with rights that no one can deny or take away. OneLife LA celebrates this vision and calls us to action — to love life, to care for life and to protect life at every stage and every condition, beginning with the most vulnerable in the womb,”
The march took off starting at Placita Olivera, the historical sight of Los Angeles. The pro-life marchers began to walk through the closed off path. The pro-life marches including myself walked through the streets of downtown Los Angeles with shirts or banners which showed a pro life message.
Various of the people who marched in this event shared their joy in participating in this historical event. Ethan Southard a seminarian from St. John’s stated “It’s really beautiful. What I enjoy about this one is the inclusivity of all human life from conception until natural death. We’ve got the whole city of Los Angeles surrounding us, and we’re here in the middle just celebrating life.”
The march officially ended in Grand park but the official event just got started. For the next two hours, various pro-life speakers gave various statements, testimonials, information, and various other statements. Amongst the most famous of these include Karyme Lozano who starred in the epic movie For Greater Glory, Eduardo Verastegui who starred in the pro-life movie Bella, and who is himself an ardent pro-lifer, Carl Anderson who is the Supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, David Bereit the national director of 40 days for life, Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, the first Superior General of the Sisters of life, and many more speakers.
Bishop Jose Gomez gave the first of the many pro-life talks at the second half of the Onelife LA event. Bishop Gomez stressed the dignity of life and urged Catholics to listen to the words of Saint Pope John Paul II who stated the necessity of moving away from the culture of death to the culture of life.
Eduardo Verastegui who is a pro-life advocate stressed how God has used him as an actor as a means of saving various lives from unnatural death and abortion. He stated that this is most definitely true when he took part in the movie Bella. Verastegui stated ” I never thought in a million years that by me going there (abortion clinic) to do my homework as an actor that I was going to be used by the grace of God to save a life.”
Eduardo Verastegui has used his money and profit to found Manto De Guadalupe a pregnancy clinic in Los Angeles, which helps those who want to choose life but who don’t have the financial ability to do so.
The Bishops besides Jose Gomez who were present at the event include, auxiliary bishop Dominic Luong, from the diocese of Orange, Bishops Gerald Barnes and Rutilio del riego of the diocese of San Bernardino, and Bishop Armando Ochoa of the diocese of Fresno.