SAN DIEGO — “Witness for Life” is the theme of the 12th annual San Diego Walk for Life, and organizers are making it easier than ever for participants to put that theme into practice.
The walk, which is the region’s largest pro-life event, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan. 13, at Waterfront Park in downtown San Diego.
The event strives to bring the community together to celebrate the gift of life. The event recognizes the fundamental worth of every person from conception to natural death, and its participants stand up for the unborn and their parents.
About 3,000 people are expected to attend the event. Among them will be not only Cardinal Robert W. McElroy, but also all three of the diocese’s auxiliary bishops – Ramón Bejarano, Michael Pham and Felipe Pulido.
The centerpiece will be an approximately quarter-mile walk along city sidewalks with pro-life signs and banners, which will be led by a group of about 25 students from Cathedral Catholic High School.
Cardinal McElroy will be one of the featured speakers. Another one will be Patricia Sandoval, a bilingual speaker whose story was told in the book “Transfigured: Patricia Sandoval’s Escape from Drugs, Homelessness, and the Back Doors of Planned Parenthood.”
The line-up also will include two testimonials – one by a local woman who became pregnant at age 16 and chose to keep her baby; another by a woman who also chose life, but opted to place her child for adoption.
A bilingual opening prayer will be led by Bishop Bejarano. Dr. Jim Garlow, the former senior pastor of Skyline Church in La Mesa, will offer the closing prayer.
Participants will have time to visit about 50 exhibitor booths, representing crisis pregnancy centers and other organizations that support pregnant women and unborn children.
For the first time, commemorative T-shirts will be available to participants. Shirts can be pre-ordered for $15 at sandiegowalkforlife.org or purchased on the day of the event for $20.
Maria Valencia, who serves in the Diocese of San Diego as associate director of Culture of Life, expressed hope that wearing the same T-shirts will foster “team spirit” among participants.
This year’s walk also will feature its first-ever video contest. Participants were invited to make a one-minute video reflecting on how they personally witness to life, why it is important to do so, or how to further the Culture of Life.
A winner and a runner-up will be selected in three categories – Family, Youth & Young Adult, and Open Submission – based on which videos receive the most “likes” on social media. The videos can be viewed and voted upon on YouTube (@SDWalkForLife) and on Facebook and Instagram (#SDW4L). The voting period will run from Jan. 1 through Jan. 13; all of the videos will be screened at Waterfront Park, with participants able to vote during the event itself.
As a spiritual preparation for the walk, a Multicultural Novena for Life will begin on Friday, Jan. 5. Details are available at sdcatholic.org/event/multicultural-novena-for-life.
For more information, visit sandiegowalkforlife.org.