I hate these sorts of events. There, I said it. However, I go anyway, with the family and others from out parish.
Thousands and thousands of people showed up:
And these pictures are only some fraction of the people there – you’d need a helicopter or something to get everybody in one picture.
Mass before the Walk was at St. Mary’s Cathedral, which was packed, with maybe as many people standing as filled the pews. Archbishop Cordeleone gave a wonderful homily in his usual plain-spoken style. There were I think 14 bishops and dozens and dozens of priest. Lots of college and high school students and young parents and kids. At 55, I was probably in the upper 15% age-wise. We got there only 15 minutes early, and so had to stand.
After the speakers spoke at the Civic Center, we unfurled our Queen of All Saints parish banner, and drew a small crowd – from St. Francis Parish. QAS was there someplace – the Knights of Columbus ran buses – but we never found them. It was a big crowd.
The St. Francis contingent, mostly Filipino women who recognized us from Simbang Gabi, wanted me to lead a rosary – I’m tall and kinda grizzled looking, I suppose, making me the obvious choice? I dunno.
So I did, amidst the crowd noise, occasional band or heckler (very few of those) and other people singing songs. I tend to keep my eyes on the ground on these walks, for the dual purpose of not having to see what the fine citizens of San Francisco will do to offend us this year and not stepping on a streetcar rail or subway grate and breaking my ankle.
It was intense. Over and over we intoned ‘fruit of thy womb’ and ‘hour of our death’ – while marching to end abortion. Catholic repetative prayer for the win! (Hi, Renee!)
Back home now, headed out to a fund-raising dinner for the annual Mexico trip to build homes for people living in cardboard boxes and tarps. I need to sit down.