Faithful gather for annual Walk for Life 2017

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By Anne Marie Rodriguez
Umatuna Si Yu’os

On Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, the Catholic Pro-Life Committee organized the annual Walk for Life 2017 at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica.

The cathedral was filled with faithful from different parts of the island as well as students and staff from the various Catholic schools and Confirmation students from various parishes.

Program director for the Catholic Pro-Life Committee, Marilu Martinez, opened the event with welcoming remarks.

Father Richard Kidd, pastor of the Our Lady of Purification Catholic Church in Maina, as part of the opening prayer, encouraged everyone present to place their arms around each other’s shoulders or to join hands.

The parishioners and faithful prayed with one, powerful and resounding voice, the Lord’s Prayer.

“United as one with that same holiness … our Blessed Mother guided us and showed us how to say ‘yes’ to God every day,” said Father Kidd as he concluded the opening prayer and introduced Archbishop Michael Byrnes, keynote speaker of the event.

“We have the shepherd in our midst, who’s been guiding us in the past several months … how to say ‘yes’ to our Lord, who will lead us today, in this walk in defense of life…” said Archbishop Byrnes.

Relating to the idea of inconvenience and in reference to the movie documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” the archbishop drew from the theme of the Walk for Life, which is a rally in opposition to the killing of our unborn babies.

“What we’re dealing with here today is another inconvenient truth,” said Archbishop Byrnes. “The inconvenient truth that what is conceived in a woman’s womb is a human child and it’s the inconvenient truth that… we are promoting.

“What is conceived in the womb … is a human child. Not a bunch of cells. Not a fetus, but a human child. That’s our intention.”

Archbishop ended his address, encouraging the faithful to take the event as “an opportunity to manifest—not just a dedication—but to manifest our joy in life that announce[s], by our behavior, that what Jesus has taught us—even though it’s inconvenient at times—is the way to abundant life.”

Marilu Martinez, expressing her nervousness about organizing this year’s Walk for Life, started her first year as Catholic Pro-Life Committee program director. She also gave a preview of the upcoming events related to the pro-life movement such as the March for Life coming in Jan. 2018.

Hopeful about the future of the pro-life movement on Guam, Marilu said, “We’re hoping we can rally our brothers and sisters from Christian communities who are like-minded [to] join us for March for Life in January.”