Thousands of people attended Sunday’s sixth annual OneLife L.A. in downtown Los Angeles, billed by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles as a celebration of the beauty and dignity of every human life from conception to natural death.
OneLife LA began at noon Saturday at Olvera Street with Archbishop Jose H. Gomez delivering welcoming remarks, followed by a walk to Los Angeles Historic State Park, where speakers shared their personal and life-affirming stories from 2-4 p.m.
“We are one family, and we have one mission,” Gomez said. “God is calling us to sanctify the world, to redeem this world through our works of love, through our deeds of compassion. So, God gives us this mission. God is calling us to stand up when we see the dignity of others being violated. He is calling us to oppose and overcome the evils that we see around us. Our God will not let us rest until every human life is respected, and that begins with the life of the child who wants to be born.”
The keynote speech was delivered by Cyntoia Brown-Long, an author and advocate for criminal justice reform who spent 15 years in prison starting at the age of 16 for killing a man who had solicited her for sex.
She called the gathering a “powerful celebration of ALL life.”
Brown-Long was born to an alcoholic, teenage mother who was a victim of sex trafficking. She experienced a sense of isolation, low self-esteem and alienation that drove her to a predator.
Brown-Long’s life took a dramatic turn when the prison education principal took her under her wing and introduced her to a spiritual path. Her sentence was commuted by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and she was released from prison in Nashville, Tennesee, on Aug. 7, 2019.
“OneLife LA is not an event, it is a movement,” Gomez said. “It is a movement of love that sees in every person the beauty of God’s creation, a child of God.
“Love is the reason for our lives, and love is the reason we commit ourselves to defending the child in the womb, the poor and the homeless, the prisoner and the sick, the elderly and the disabled, mothers in crisis and young people in need of foster care.”
Following the conclusion of OneLifeLA, a Respect Life Mass was celebrated by Gomez at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.
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