"The first annual celebration, led by Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, promoted a culture of life, where every human life is valued, especially the marginalized"
Approximately 15,000 people from all walks of life from throughout Southern California united in downtown Los Angeles yesterday for OneLife LA to celebrate the beauty of every human life from conception to natural death. The first annual celebration, led by Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, promoted a culture of life, where every human life is valued, especially the marginalized.
"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," said Archbishop Gomez.
The event started at La Placita Olvera, the birthplace of the City of Angels, with remarks and a blessing from Archbishop Gomez and the auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese, Bishop Dominic Luong of the Diocese of Orange, Bishop Gerald Barnes and Bishop Rutilio del Riego of the Diocese of San Bernardino, and Bishop Armando Ochoa of the Diocese of Fresno. The blessing was followed by a Walk for Life to Grand Park, for a family-friendly celebration featuring music, exhibits and food along with a strong roster of local and national speakers and powerful, life-affirming testimonies from a family who chose life over abortion, a victim of human trafficking, a former foster child, and a young girl championing life while facing a terminal illness.
Keynote speaker Ryan Bomberger shared his personal story of adoption into a home with 13 children, his driving inspiration for the work he does as the Chief Creative Officer of The Radiance Foundation, an organization he co-founded with his wife Bethany. Speaker Angela Guandon offered her testimony as a survivor of human trafficking, and Brandi Moore shared how, through the support of mentors she met through Kidsave, she survived an attempted suicide after living in 25 foster homes, where she was placed following a broken relationship with an abusive mother.
Other speakers included Rick Smith, better known as Noah's Dad, who began a blog to do "something really unique by telling the story of our son's life. We believe that he has a story worth sharing; the story that all children (regardless of disability) are so worth loving. The story that Down Syndrome is ok."
Supreme Knight of Columbus Carl Anderson, retired professional baseball pitcher Jeff Suppan, and actors Patricia Heaton, Karyme Lozano and Eduardo Verastegui, were among the presenters at OneLife LA. Mexican singer Miriam Solis and The Voice finalist Paulina Cerrilla performed during the event, which also featured a free, one-hour concert with Josh Garrels.
Participants were encouraged to "Be Somebody to Somebody" in their own community championing life beginning at conception, and getting involved with good works through organizations that feed the homeless, find families for foster kids, support pregnant women to choose life, free victims of human trafficking, and walk with those facing the end of life. The following organizations offered life-affirming activities for participants so that they may continue to share the message of OneLife LA throughout the year: 40 Days for Life, App for Life, Get on the Bus, Save the Storks, World Relief, Birth Choice, KidSave, CA Nurses for Ethical Standards, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Good Shepherd Center, Oasis, American Wheelchair Mission, Manto de Guadalupe and The Radiance Foundation.
OneLife LA was hosted by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Dioceses of Orange, San Bernardino, San Diego and Fresno. The event was made possible by the generous contributions of the Knights of Columbus, Right to Life League of Southern California, Dan Murphy Foundation, Carrie Estelle Doheny Foundation and the Catholic Communication Collaboration. For more information, visit onelifela.org
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