Unborn Jesus

The Great Sign

Blog

2005 01 22 - San Francisco

March for Life (Over 6000

participants in attendance)

Having participated in the Sacramento March for Life for the last 3 years, I thought I understood how events were supposed to unfold. Nevertheless, the San Francisco March for Life was to take a different course. Four members from SS Peter and Paul in Wilmington, -Maria, Guia, Connie and I -rented a SUV Ford Explorer for the long ride. We departed Friday the 21st after the 8:00 AM Mass. Before that, Father Peter gave us a blessing and then we left to meet members of the Teotokos group from Saint Peter Chanel in Hawaiian Gardens. We met them by the Long Beach airport and followed them all the way to San Francisco. Maria, Guia, Connie and I were acquainted with the Unborn Jesus Holy Hours. In one way I could say we were the Unborn Jesus representatives. From the Teotokos group were Mary, Shane, Tony, Tim and Angelo. Mary leads the Teotokos group in praying the Rosary and in reading good books on our Lady. They all are very devoted to the Mother of God. I got to drive first. In order to entertain our group, I told them the story of our Lady of Guadalupe in Spain and its link to her apparition in Mexico. I talked for hours, but that kept me awake. After our first stop for gasoline, Guia offered to drive until night time. I then had a nap until it was time to take over the wheel again. In San Francisco, we stopped at Saint Anthony Parish where the men were going to spend the night. Mary took the other 3 ladies to their destination - the Heritage Hotel. There was no time to lose. At 4 in the morning I was to lead 2 Holy Hour dedicated to the Unborn Jesus and it was close to midnight when I finished setting down. I went to bed right away. I prayed to be able to wake up on time since I was to pick up the ladies from SS. Peter & Paul on the way to adoration. Providentially, the name of the church was also SS. Peter & Paul. Before I went to San Francisco, I called Karen, the adoration coordinator, and requested to lead a Holy Hour to the Unborn Jesus. Karen agreed for 20 minutes of group adoration followed by 40 minutes of quiet prayer during each hour. When I woke up in the morning, a series of incidents threatened the Unborn Jesus Holy Hours from taking place. After a 2:30 AM shower, I headed to the patio and closed the rectory door behind me. The priest that received us when we arrived warned me the patio's gate was tricky to open. Well, I tried to do as he told me, but I did not have any success. I pushed and pulled, but it kept lock. I looked at the geometry of the system, and it made more sense to push the gate, but no matter how much I tried, it would not open. I then started knocking at the rectory door. Since no one could hear me, I then called Shane on my cellular. It took three attempts before he was able to wake up of his sleep. I explained to him my situation and he sent Tim to the rescue. Tim tried pushing as I did, then he analyzed the gate on his own and opted for pulling it instead. The gate graciously opened. It was like it was laughing at me. Since I was running out of time, I thanked Tim, ran for the SUV truck and drove through that opened gate in a flash. Guia, Maria and Conney were ready at the Heritage Hotel lobby. I picked them up and we headed towards the church. I followed the map I got back home from Map-quest. All I thought I had to do was to turn the corner at the hotel and follow the street about 5 miles to the church. I did not count on San Francisco’s notorious three-dimensional landscape. About 2 miles along the way, the hills were becoming stepper and stepper. We kept going towards our destination until we reached the top of a hill where the way down appeared to be almost a straight drop. There was even a sign that warned trucks to find an alternative route. Once again, it seemed the Unborn Jesus Holy Hour in San Francisco was going to pass into history as an uncompleted project. Well, back-tracking our route from the down hill path and finding a way around it was the only thing that made sense. When we reached the other side of the hill, we realized our original route had become a one-way street in the opposite direction. In order to reach the church, I had to take the a parallel street which required us turn to the right and then, at the proper intersection, turn twice around the block to reach the church. It was 15 minutes before the hour when we reached the park in front of the church. We spent some time finding a parking space. We hurried towards the church with the hand-out prayers and the Unborn Jesus Banner. There we were well received by the substitute adoration coordinator. He mentioned to me that Karen had told him of my coming. Then he extended to me a page with and suggested to me to pray only the Joyful Mysteries since the prayer session was to be only 20 minutes long. Before he had an opportunity to let me know what was on his mind for the second hour, I interrupted him and let him know I had prepared an adoration program and that was what we were going to do. At this point I was becoming upset since his suggestion appeared to be an additional obstacle against the Unborn Jesus Holy Hour. I did not have time to revise the program and we were already 5 minutes late. I went forward to the right side of the altar, assembled the banner and distributed the prayer hand-outs. I then kneeled somewhere among the participants and announced that the 2 following hours were to be dedicated in the honor of the Unborn Jesus. Next, I introduced the petitions: We prayed in thanksgiving for the success of the Sacramento March for Life, for the coming success of the San Francisco Walk for Life and Washington DC March for Life. We prayed for the end of abortion and that the euthanasia bill would not pass in the State Capitol. I proceeded then in leading the Angelus. After we finished, I requested a few minutes of silence. Then we consecrated ourselves to our Lady of Guadalupe, followed by another short quiet pause. And at the end we prayed the Helpers Litany of Jesus in the Womb followed by about 40 minutes of silence. That concluded the first Holy Hour. In one way I received confirmation I had done the right thing by not
modifying the program. Two ladies stood up from their pews and quietly approached me. They were holding the prayer hand-outs I gave them and through hand signals they asked if they could keep them. I nodded my head up and down. They showed their appreciation by pulling out a dollar bill which I immediately declined. They put their bill away and left tossing kisses to the air in my direction. I thanked God for the success of the first Holy Hour. The second Holy Hour I did lead the Joyful Mysteries followed by the 40 minutes of quiet adoration. At the end of the second hour, I announced the ending of the Unborn Jesus Holy Hour and requested Guia, Maria and Conney to help me carry the Banner and prayer hand-outs back to the car. On my way out the substitute coordinator approached me and shook my hand. Quietly he mentioned how much he had liked the prayers. I did apologize for ignoring his initial suggestion. I explained to him about the obstacles we had to overcome on our way to the church. We did not have time to go back to sleep since we left SS. Peter and Paul Church at 6:00 AM. We went back to Saint Anthony to meet Mary and the rest of the group. From there we went to the Cathedral Mass with Archbishop Leveda. The weather was too cold for southern Californians. I remember the members of our group shivering in the cold San Francisco morning weather. The Archbishop gave a homily composed of every pro-life verse found in the Bible. He spoke in favor of the culture of life and supported the march. When the Mass was over, we went for breakfast. Mary met Lisa, her old Collage friend, who led us through the streets of San Francisco to our different destinations during the Pro-life events. After breakfast, Lisa took us to the place where the Pro-life rally was being held. One of the most intense Pro-life experiences of my life was about to commence. There must have been more than 6000 Pro-life people gathered at the park for the rally. It was a beautiful sight composed of families, priests, nuns, young people, and every sector of the Pro-life community of San Francisco and nearby areas. Not to mention the groups that came from Southern California, Father Paccua from Florida and the Life on the Rock team from EWTN in Alabama. Huge banners of Our Lady of Guadalupe were all around; including the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the Unborn Jesus Banner. Some of the main speakers at the rally were members of Democrats for Life and Silent no More. And the main motto of the event was “Abortion Hurts Women.” At this point the Pro-abortion side started making its presence known. Backed by the City Mayor, they were holding a rally of their own not too far away. One or two members would sporadically break into our crowd shouting and asking us to reconsider our Pro-life position. Fortunately, their cries could not disturb the rally. When the rally was over, it took about twenty minutes for 6000 of us to cross the crosswalks to the bay area. Once there, in a long formation of about ten people wide, we started our three- hour march. We were protected by an array of police officers on both sides of the formation at all times. The Pro-abortion group, smaller in number set themselves on the right-hand side of the corresponding human police barrier. Steven, a man about 40 years old, came to offer to carry the Unborn Jesus Banner and kept it up for the first two hours. He had participated at the SS. Peter and Paul Holy Hour during the night and he spotted the banner on the crowd. He was enthusiastic and loved to carry the image of our Lady with the Unborn Jesus. The Pro-abortion formation began yelling and insulting us like I never experienced before. Some were dressed in the most immodest ways and others held immoral messages against God and the Rosary. A confused lady held a sign displaying the words “God has forgiven my abortion, who are you to judge me?” Planned Parenthood signs were also present. I recommended to some of my friends not to get upset and just start praying for them. If we got in the trap of feeling anger, we would have opened a door to the devil to disrupt our peace. And so, Angelo led us in the Rosary and the Chaplet of Mercy. We kept praying all of the Mysteries of the Rosary and as many Chaplets of Mercy we could insert in between. As time went by, the Pro-abortion insults turned into a loud cacophony which in turn became a cross to us. We could hardly hear each other praying, but we struggled to keep the prayers aloft. A Pro-abortion member threw a wet floppy ball bathed in a red liquid. It just missed me and the person next to me by a yard. I heard some people were spitting at the marchers. Then some of us realized that our March had turned into a Way of the Cross. Angelo mentioned it felt we were in one scene of “The Passion of the Christ” where Christ was carrying his Cross and the Devil was floating among the crowd following Christ, tempting them to insult Him. Indeed, our public witness to the proclamation of the Sanctity of Life had transformed into some type of Calvary. I thanked the Lord for such a beautiful gift. Three hours later, during the last part of the March, the proabortion insults decreased and their groups dissipated. Some of them were mingling among the Pro-life participants as they crossed our lines in an attempt to reach their cars. This time, quiet and tired from the long walk and yelling, they ignored us. I then ran into Ray again. The last time I saw him was at the Sacramento March for Life. He was walking since he had left his bicycle ahead of us. We chatted for a little while until the wind started to blow hard into the Unborn Jesus banner. It took the two of us to hold it in place. I thought for a moment I was going to take off from the ground since the banner had become a sail. When we arrived at the end of the walk, we took the banner down and Ray spotted his bicycle. He ran towards it and pulled a kite from a bag. Then he started flying it. He invited me to join him, but I had to decline since I had to find the members of my group. I left him then, watching him having the time of his life flying his kite. God gave him a wonderful free spirit; that is, the soul of a child. There was an incident in this park in which a group of Prolife participants found some car keys on the ground. As the Pro-lifers were searching for the owner of the keys, they saw two ladies approaching the car in the area where the keys were found. The ladies indeed realized they had lost their keys. And the Pro-lifers approached them to find out whether they were the owners of the keys. The keys the Pro-lifers found turned out to be the right keys. The ladies were very grateful to the Pro-lifers; they offered them a ride to their parking place. Two of the Pro-lifers hopped into the ladies' car and were driven to the area where they parked. As they were driving to the other side of town, they told the ladies about their involvement in the March for Life and how they had come all the way from Southern California to stand for life. The ladies were quiet and showed a silent interest in the Pro-lifers’ adventure. Nevertheless, they were very much touched by the kindness of the Pro-lifers. As Marcos retuned to pick up the rest of his Pro-life friends, back where they first met the ladies, he was then informed by his friends that the car that had given them a lift had Proabortion stickers on the rear bumper. Marcos and his friends showed kindness to those who might have insulted them during the March; what a beautiful grace. After the march, our group joined Mary's Teotokos group for dinner. There, we shared the joy of having participated in the event and we compared notes. All were smiling and in good humor. This day will be kept in our hearts forever. We had witnessed for Life under the Banner of our Lady of Guadalupe and the Unborn Child Jesus. This day will be recorded forever as another chapter in the Book of Life!
Unborn Jesus
The Word was made flesh . . .  . . . and dwelt among us!
Unborn Jesus
Unborn Jesus

The Great Sign

Blog

2005 01 22 - San Francisco

March for Life (Over 6000

participants in attendance)

Having participated in the Sacramento March for Life for the last 3 years, I thought I understood how events were supposed to unfold. Nevertheless, the San Francisco March for Life was to take a different course. Four members from SS Peter and Paul in Wilmington, -Maria, Guia, Connie and I -rented a SUV Ford Explorer for the long ride. We departed Friday the 21st after the 8:00 AM Mass. Before that, Father Peter gave us a blessing and then we left to meet members of the Teotokos group from Saint Peter Chanel in Hawaiian Gardens. We met them by the Long Beach airport and followed them all the way to San Francisco. Maria, Guia, Connie and I were acquainted with the Unborn Jesus Holy Hours. In one way I could say we were the Unborn Jesus representatives. From the Teotokos group were Mary, Shane, Tony, Tim and Angelo. Mary leads the Teotokos group in praying the Rosary and in reading good books on our Lady. They all are very devoted to the Mother of God. I got to drive first. In order to entertain our group, I told them the story of our Lady of Guadalupe in Spain and its link to her apparition in Mexico. I talked for hours, but that kept me awake. After our first stop for gasoline, Guia offered to drive until night time. I then had a nap until it was time to take over the wheel again. In San Francisco, we stopped at Saint Anthony Parish where the men were going to spend the night. Mary took the other 3 ladies to their destination - the Heritage Hotel. There was no time to lose. At 4 in the morning I was to lead 2 Holy Hour dedicated to the Unborn Jesus and it was close to midnight when I finished setting down. I went to bed right away. I prayed to be able to wake up on time since I was to pick up the ladies from SS. Peter & Paul on the way to adoration. Providentially, the name of the church was also SS. Peter & Paul. Before I went to San Francisco, I called Karen, the adoration coordinator, and requested to lead a Holy Hour to the Unborn Jesus. Karen agreed for 20 minutes of group adoration followed by 40 minutes of quiet prayer during each hour. When I woke up in the morning, a series of incidents threatened the Unborn Jesus Holy Hours from taking place. After a 2:30 AM shower, I headed to the patio and closed the rectory door behind me. The priest that received us when we arrived warned me the patio's gate was tricky to open. Well, I tried to do as he told me, but I did not have any success. I pushed and pulled, but it kept lock. I looked at the geometry of the system, and it made more sense to push the gate, but no matter how much I tried, it would not open. I then started knocking at the rectory door. Since no one could hear me, I then called Shane on my cellular. It took three attempts before he was able to wake up of his sleep. I explained to him my situation and he sent Tim to the rescue. Tim tried pushing as I did, then he analyzed the gate on his own and opted for pulling it instead. The gate graciously opened. It was like it was laughing at me. Since I was running out of time, I thanked Tim, ran for the SUV truck and drove through that opened gate in a flash. Guia, Maria and Conney were ready at the Heritage Hotel lobby. I picked them up and we headed towards the church. I followed the map I got back home from Map-quest. All I thought I had to do was to turn the corner at the hotel and follow the street about 5 miles to the church. I did not count on San Francisco’s notorious three-dimensional landscape. About 2 miles along the way, the hills were becoming stepper and stepper. We kept going towards our destination until we reached the top of a hill where the way down appeared to be almost a straight drop. There was even a sign that warned trucks to find an alternative route. Once again, it seemed the Unborn Jesus Holy Hour in San Francisco was going to pass into history as an uncompleted project. Well, back-tracking our route from the down hill path and finding a way around it was the only thing that made sense. When we reached the other side of the hill, we realized our original route had become a one-way street in the opposite direction. In order to reach the church, I had to take the a parallel street which required us turn to the right and then, at the proper intersection, turn twice around the block to reach the church. It was 15 minutes before the hour when we reached the park in front of the church. We spent some time finding a parking space. We hurried towards the church with the hand-out prayers and the Unborn Jesus Banner. There we were well received by the substitute adoration coordinator. He mentioned to me that Karen had told him of my coming. Then he extended to me a page with and suggested to me to pray only the Joyful Mysteries since the prayer session was to be only 20 minutes long. Before he had an opportunity to let me know what was on his mind for the second hour, I interrupted him and let him know I had prepared an adoration program and that was what we were going to do. At this point I was becoming upset since his suggestion appeared to be an additional obstacle against the Unborn Jesus Holy Hour. I did not have time to revise the program and we were already 5 minutes late. I went forward to the right side of the altar, assembled the banner and distributed the prayer hand-outs. I then kneeled somewhere among the participants and announced that the 2 following hours were to be dedicated in the honor of the Unborn Jesus. Next, I introduced the petitions: We prayed in thanksgiving for the success of the Sacramento March for Life, for the coming success of the San Francisco Walk for Life and Washington DC March for Life. We prayed for the end of abortion and that the euthanasia bill would not pass in the State Capitol. I proceeded then in leading the Angelus. After we finished, I requested a few minutes of silence. Then we consecrated ourselves to our Lady of Guadalupe, followed by another short quiet pause. And at the end we prayed the Helpers Litany of Jesus in the Womb followed by about 40 minutes of silence. That concluded the first Holy Hour. In one way I received confirmation I had done the right thing by not
modifying the program. Two ladies stood up from their pews and quietly approached me. They were holding the prayer hand-outs I gave them and through hand signals they asked if they could keep them. I nodded my head up and down. They showed their appreciation by pulling out a dollar bill which I immediately declined. They put their bill away and left tossing kisses to the air in my direction. I thanked God for the success of the first Holy Hour. The second Holy Hour I did lead the Joyful Mysteries followed by the 40 minutes of quiet adoration. At the end of the second hour, I announced the ending of the Unborn Jesus Holy Hour and requested Guia, Maria and Conney to help me carry the Banner and prayer hand-outs back to the car. On my way out the substitute coordinator approached me and shook my hand. Quietly he mentioned how much he had liked the prayers. I did apologize for ignoring his initial suggestion. I explained to him about the obstacles we had to overcome on our way to the church. We did not have time to go back to sleep since we left SS. Peter and Paul Church at 6:00 AM. We went back to Saint Anthony to meet Mary and the rest of the group. From there we went to the Cathedral Mass with Archbishop Leveda. The weather was too cold for southern Californians. I remember the members of our group shivering in the cold San Francisco morning weather. The Archbishop gave a homily composed of every pro-life verse found in the Bible. He spoke in favor of the culture of life and supported the march. When the Mass was over, we went for breakfast. Mary met Lisa, her old Collage friend, who led us through the streets of San Francisco to our different destinations during the Pro-life events. After breakfast, Lisa took us to the place where the Pro-life rally was being held. One of the most intense Pro-life experiences of my life was about to commence. There must have been more than 6000 Pro-life people gathered at the park for the rally. It was a beautiful sight composed of families, priests, nuns, young people, and every sector of the Pro-life community of San Francisco and nearby areas. Not to mention the groups that came from Southern California, Father Paccua from Florida and the Life on the Rock team from EWTN in Alabama. Huge banners of Our Lady of Guadalupe were all around; including the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the Unborn Jesus Banner. Some of the main speakers at the rally were members of Democrats for Life and Silent no More. And the main motto of the event was “Abortion Hurts Women.” At this point the Pro-abortion side started making its presence known. Backed by the City Mayor, they were holding a rally of their own not too far away. One or two members would sporadically break into our crowd shouting and asking us to reconsider our Pro-life position. Fortunately, their cries could not disturb the rally. When the rally was over, it took about twenty minutes for 6000 of us to cross the crosswalks to the bay area. Once there, in a long formation of about ten people wide, we started our three-hour march. We were protected by an array of police officers on both sides of the formation at all times. The Pro-abortion group, smaller in number set themselves on the right-hand side of the corresponding human police barrier. Steven, a man about 40 years old, came to offer to carry the Unborn Jesus Banner and kept it up for the first two hours. He had participated at the SS. Peter and Paul Holy Hour during the night and he spotted the banner on the crowd. He was enthusiastic and loved to carry the image of our Lady with the Unborn Jesus. The Pro-abortion formation began yelling and insulting us like I never experienced before. Some were dressed in the most immodest ways and others held immoral messages against God and the Rosary. A confused lady held a sign displaying the words “God has forgiven my abortion, who are you to judge me?” Planned Parenthood signs were also present. I recommended to some of my friends not to get upset and just start praying for them. If we got in the trap of feeling anger, we would have opened a door to the devil to disrupt our peace. And so, Angelo led us in the Rosary and the Chaplet of Mercy. We kept praying all of the Mysteries of the Rosary and as many Chaplets of Mercy we could insert in between. As time went by, the Pro-abortion insults turned into a loud cacophony which in turn became a cross to us. We could hardly hear each other praying, but we struggled to keep the prayers aloft. A Pro-abortion member threw a wet floppy ball bathed in a red liquid. It just missed me and the person next to me by a yard. I heard some people were spitting at the marchers. Then some of us realized that our March had turned into a Way of the Cross. Angelo mentioned it felt we were in one scene of “The Passion of the Christ” where Christ was carrying his Cross and the Devil was floating among the crowd following Christ, tempting them to insult Him. Indeed, our public witness to the proclamation of the Sanctity of Life had transformed into some type of Calvary. I thanked the Lord for such a beautiful gift. Three hours later, during the last part of the March, the proabortion insults decreased and their groups dissipated. Some of them were mingling among the Pro-life participants as they crossed our lines in an attempt to reach their cars. This time, quiet and tired from the long walk and yelling, they ignored us. I then ran into Ray again. The last time I saw him was at the Sacramento March for Life. He was walking since he had left his bicycle ahead of us. We chatted for a little while until the wind started to blow hard into the Unborn Jesus banner. It took the two of us to hold it in place. I thought for a moment I was going to take off from the ground since the banner had become a sail. When we arrived at the end of the walk, we took the banner down and Ray spotted his bicycle. He ran towards it and pulled a kite from a bag. Then he started flying it. He invited me to join him, but I had to decline since I had to find the members of my group. I left him then, watching him having the time of his life flying his kite. God gave him a wonderful free spirit; that is, the soul of a child. There was an incident in this park in which a group of Prolife participants found some car keys on the ground. As the Pro-lifers were searching for the owner of the keys, they saw two ladies approaching the car in the area where the keys were found. The ladies indeed realized they had lost their keys. And the Pro-lifers approached them to find out whether they were the owners of the keys. The keys the Pro- lifers found turned out to be the right keys. The ladies were very grateful to the Pro-lifers; they offered them a ride to their parking place. Two of the Pro-lifers hopped into the ladies' car and were driven to the area where they parked. As they were driving to the other side of town, they told the ladies about their involvement in the March for Life and how they had come all the way from Southern California to stand for life. The ladies were quiet and showed a silent interest in the Pro-lifers’ adventure. Nevertheless, they were very much touched by the kindness of the Pro-lifers. As Marcos retuned to pick up the rest of his Pro-life friends, back where they first met the ladies, he was then informed by his friends that the car that had given them a lift had Proabortion stickers on the rear bumper. Marcos and his friends showed kindness to those who might have insulted them during the March; what a beautiful grace. After the march, our group joined Mary's Teotokos group for dinner. There, we shared the joy of having participated in the event and we compared notes. All were smiling and in good humor. This day will be kept in our hearts forever. We had witnessed for Life under the Banner of our Lady of Guadalupe and the Unborn Child Jesus. This day will be recorded forever as another chapter in the Book of Life!
The Word was made flesh . . .  . . . and dwelt among us!