The seventh annual OneLife LA celebration was held on a virtual basis Saturday with the theme “The Joy of Life,” aiming to unite communities and inspire positive action promoting the beauty and dignity of every human life from conception to natural death.
“Now more than ever, we are reminded that our lives are a gift from God to be treasured and respected. We share our joy in life through thousands of small works of mercy performed throughout the year for our neighbors in need,” said Archbishop Jose Gomez, the celebration’s keynote speaker.
“We defend the dignity of every human life and decry attacks against the defenseless and the marginalized. OneLife LA is building a culture of care and sharing the joy of life when our world needs it most.”
Other speakers and performers included:
— Christopher Duffley, a 19-year-old musician, inspirational speaker and podcaster who was born prematurely, is blind as a result of retinopathy of prematurity and later diagnosed with autism;
— Karen Gaffney, the first person with Down syndrome to swim the English Channel and an advocate for the inclusion of people with physical disadvantages in families, the workplace and schools; and
— Noemi Amezcua, a foster parent for the past 28 years together with her husband and foster care recruiter for FosterAll, a Glendale-based organization that recruits prospective foster parents from faith communities and provides ongoing support to them so they can provide safe and loving homes for the thousands of children who have been abused and neglected.
Santa Monica-based Harvest Home received the second OneLife LA Service Award of $10,000 to support its mission of transforming the lives of homeless pregnant women and their children by providing housing, support and programs equipping women to become great mothers. Donations received by OneLife LA during Saturday’s virtual event benefited Harvest Home.
The celebration culminated with the 26th annual “Requiem for the Unborn” Mass celebrated virtually by Gomez.
OneLife LA is traditionally held at Los Angeles State Historic Park and preceded by a mile walk from Olvera Street.