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Joyous car caravan along waterfront celebrates life

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SAN DIEGO — An estimated 150 vehicles participated in the local pro-life community’s largest annual event, the San Diego Walk for LIfe, which this year joyously rolled on downtown streets instead of marching at Balboa Park.

Bishop Robert McElroy and Auxiliary Bishop Ramón Bejarano joined other faithful under sunny, blue skies at the waterfront in the early afternoon of Jan. 30. They rode in cars, SUVs, pick-ups and even convertibles around the County Administration Building, looping round several times. Their cars were decorated with simple, homemade signs, as well as large, elaborate ones that covered virtually the entire vehicle. Their messages ranged from “Pray to end abortion” to “Love them Both” to “Each child brings God’s smile. Don’t miss out on it.”

Meanwhile, other participants lined Harbor Drive hoisting signs in English and Spanish and blue flags, cheering the passing vehicles.

Bishop McElroy rode in car driven by Auxiliary Bishop Bejarano. After doing a couple of loops around the county building, Bishop McElroy stepped out and joined those standing on Harbor Drive, waving to the caravan’s drivers and passengers.

The  car caravan was held at one of the busiest intersections of the city, providing high visibility for the event. It had been postponed from the original date of Jan. 16, which had coincided with a rally of pro-Trump activists. Organizers of the caravan, including the San Diego Catholic Diocese, had opted to hold it instead of a walk in the face of restrictions meant to slow the coronavirus.  In addition, they held a week’s worth of virtual programming that explored this year’s theme, “Live, Serve and Embrace Life.”

Michelle Gonzales stood on Harbor Drive near Hawthorne Street holding a sign that said “Life is beautiful,” one of the legions of faithful who cheered the cars in the caravan as they rolled by.

“I think it’s important to stand for life, and for the unborn, from the womb to the tomb,” she said.

Gonzales, a parishioner at St. Rose of Lima, had participated in the Walk for Life the previous seven years at Balboa Park. She wondered if a car caravan would make an impact.

“It’s great turnout,” she said. “We’re getting a little more exposure. It turned out nicer than I thought.”

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