More than 200 Thomas Aquinas College students helped lead the way through the streets of San Francisco on January 22, 2011 — the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade — in the seventh annual Walk for Life West Coast. The students prayed, sang, and peacefully bore witness to the Culture of Life with some 50,000 walkers.
Roughly two-thirds of Thomas Aquinas students have attended the Walk every year since its founding in 2005, and over the years, they have increasingly taken on leadership roles within the event. This year, for example, the event marshals selected Thomas Aquinas College students to act as lead security captains along the route and to serve as personal escorts to special dignitaries such as Fr. Frank Pavone (of Priests for Life) and Abby Johnson (author of Unplanned). Says Ralph Desimone of the West Coast Walk for Life Organizing Committee, “I cannot over emphasize how critical a role the students of Thomas Aquinas College have played over the past seven years.”
Among the estimated 50,000 men, women, and children who participated in this year’s Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco were more than 200 students from Thomas Aquinas College.
Joined by the College’s head chaplain, several tutors and their families, and dozens of Bay Area friends and alumni, the students marched two miles from Justin Herman Plaza through Fisherman’s Wharf to Marina Green.
With about two-thirds of the student body present, the Thomas Aquinas College delegation was the single largest student group at the Walk.
As they did last two years, the organizers asked a large group of the College’s women to lead the march.
Peacefully, and in stark contrast to the taunting and heckling of pro-abortion protesters who lined parts of the route, they walked, they sang hymns, and they prayed the Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy on behalf of abortion’s many victims, both born and unborn.
The College’s students have participated in every Walk since the first in 2005. Because of their numbers and dedication, they have increasingly taken on leadership roles in the event, such as serving as assistant marshals along the route.
A densely packed crowd walked 20 across in a line that stretched well over a mile.
The Walk took place on January 22, 2011 — the 38th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.
The students were assisted through the great generosity of Germaine and Jim Wensley, chairman of the Thomas Aquinas College Board of Governors, who once again contributed toward the cost of chartering the coach that made the 300 mile-trip to San Francisco and back.
Invigorated by the experience, the students vow to return next year, so as to bear witness once more to the Gospel of Life.
“The culture at the College, the community was very formative for me. I saw joyful people living their Catholic faith, doing it to the best of their ability, and not being ashamed of it.”
– Rev. John Marie Bingham, O.P. (’00)
Parochial Vicar, Saint Dominic’s Parish, Benicia, Calif
“I was moved and edified by your remarkable fidelity to St. Thomas Aquinas. Your academic program proposes an original way of training men and women capable of reading, thinking and interpreting tradition correctly.”
– Marc Cardinal Ouellet
Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops