OneLife LA Celebrates All Human Life in Southern California
OneLife LA held a life affirming family-friendly celebration in Grand Park, Saturday, January 17th.
Ricky Ricardo, Contributing Writer
A huge event was held in Grand Park on Saturday, January 17, 2015. I happened upon this wonderful, life-affirming event while enroute to The Music Center for another event.
Published on LatinoLA: January 21, 2015
The Grand Park event was the inaugural OneLife LA, the first large-scale event that celebrated all human life in Southern California.
The event was well underway, when I arrived at the park, which featured a stage set-up on Spring Street, on the west side of Los Angeles City Hall.
The event featured thousands of people from all walks of life from throughout the greater Southern California area on a warm, sunny day. The crowd came together in downtown Los Angeles for OneLife LA. This event celebrated the beauty of every human life from conception to natural death. The first annual celebration led by Archbishop Jose H. Gomez (pictured) promoted a culture of life, where every life is valued, especially the marginalized.
"In the Christian vision, every human life is precious-created by God with transcendent dignity and endowed with rights that no one can deny or take away. OneLife LA celebrates this vision and calls us to action-to love life, to care for life, and to protect life at every stage and every condition, beginning with the most vulnerable in the womb," said Archbishop Gomez.
The event in Grand Park featured various speakers giving heartfelt, heartwarming, touching testimonials about their lives that resonated with the crowd.
The crowd heard from a mother who chose life over abortion, a victim of human trafficking, touching remarks from a young girl facing terminal illness and several foster children's, amongst the speakers.
Keynote speaker Ryan Bomberger shared his powerful, heartfelt, personal story of adoption into a home with 13 children, his driving inspiration for the work he does as the Chief Creative Officer of The Radiance Foundation, organization that he co-founded with his wife Bethany. The Radiance Foundation states that "The Beauty of Hope and Purpose is that each and every one of us can find it. Sometimes, we just need someone to show us where to look. The human condition can always be elevated, can always be inspired to reach more, can always experience healing."
Additional speakers at the event consisted of Rick Smith, better known as Noah's Dad, Supreme Knight of Columbus Carl Anderson, retired professional baseball pitcher Jeff Suppan and actors Patricia Heaton best known for her role on Everybody Loves Raymond and currently star as Frankie Heck in the ABC sitcom, The Middle. The most prominent international television star, Karyme Lozano, and actor Eduardo Verastegui. Eduardo Verastegui shared several heartwarming stories, one of which was how a little boy was named after him (first name only), and how a little girl was name after one of the movies that he starred in Bella. Manto de Guadalupe is a non-profit organization founded in February 2007 by actor and producer Eduardo Verastegui. It began with the goal of conducting mission trips around the world and helps those suffering with extreme poverty through the construction of houses, floors, and roof repairs, delivery of food, clothing, medicines, educational materials, toys and free medical care.
I was very excited about the entertainment that was part of this event. Earlier in the day, Mexican singer Miriam Solis teamed up with The Voice Finalist Paulina Cerrilla to perform "Vive." Miriam Solis sang "Gracias A La Vida."
The One Life LA concluded with headlining performance, hour long set by Josh Garrels. Josh Garrels and his band solidified the afternoon with a crowd pleasing set on the tunes "Have Mercy on Me," "Farther Away," and "Over Oceans" just to name a few.
The event started at La Placita Olvera, the birth place of the City of Angels, with remarks and a blessing from Archbishop Gomez and the auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese, Bishop Dominic Luong of the Diocese of Orange, Bishop Gerald Barnes and Bishop Rutilio de Riego of the Diocese of San Bernardino, and Bishop Armando Ochoa of the Diocese of Fresno. The blessing was followed by a Walk for Life to Grand Park, for a family-friendly celebration featuring music, exhibits and food along with a strong roster of local and national speakers.
Participants were encouraged to "Be Somebody to Somebody" in their own community championing life beginning at conception, and getting involved with good works through organizations that feed the homeless, find families for foster kids, support pregnant women to choose life, free victims of human trafficking, and walk with those facing the end of life.
The following organization were on site to offer life-affirming activities for participants so that they may continue to share the message of OneLife LA throughout the year: 40 Days for Life, App for Life, Get on the bus, Save the Storks, World Relief, Birth Choice, KidSave, CA Nurses for Ethical Standards, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Good Shepherd Center, Oasis, American Wheelchair Mission, Manto de Guadalupe and The Radiance Foundation.
OneLife LA was hosted by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Dioceses of Orange, San Bernardino, San Diego and Fresno. The event was made possible by the generous contributions of the Knights of Columbus, Right to Life League of Southern California, Dan Murphy Foundation, Carrie Estelle Doheny Foundation and the Catholic Communication Collaboration. For more information, visit onlifela.org
Ricky Ricardo, Contributing Writer:
Ricky Ricardo is a Southern California based writer, music reviewer and photographer.