San Diego, CA-
On Sunday, June 26th, 2022, Cardinal-elect Robert McElroy of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego led a religious procession through the streets of downtown San Diego, CA. It marched from Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, an Italian National Parish in Little Italy, to the Cathedral of San Diego called St. Joseph's. Hundreds of Catholics were there, including numerous sisters, monks, priests, and other clergy and religious. But what was most inspiring to me were all the hundreds of just plain lay Catholics of diverse races and backgrounds, including many Italians of course, that walked with it, all singing and praying.
As we paraded through the streets, stunned onlookers, many of them tourists or residents who just didn't know about our procession that day, looked on in awe and interest. Many just enjoyed the spectacle of so many Catholics in religious garb, the candles, the incense, the gold Monstrance holding the Eucharist that was seated on a bed of flowers, the different banners of the many church societies and groups, with the singing and praying parading through the city streets lined with high-rises. Some onlookers, of course, were religious themselves and enjoyed this event in a special way, some were not who may have been upset at seeing such a religious display in the street that also momentarily blocked some roads and traffic. While this procession was not about abortion, or anything political, there were some signs held by marchers that were pro-life, so this too may have upset a few spectators.
The procession was led by the 4th Degree Color Guard of the Knights of Columbus. I was there representing my Knights of Columbus council and my parish, carrying our banner. My Knights of Columbus council has mostly Italian members being based out of an Italian National Parish and in Little Italy. Other parishioners provided security, as well as America's Finest police force, the San Diego Police Department who assisted in blocking off the streets and in keeping pro-abortion protesters away. There were reports from law enforcement that some po-choice extremists have threatened violence both against the churches and the procession. However, while there were a few protesters that morning at the 12 noon Mass at Our Lady of the Rosary, there were none during the procession that started at 4:00 pm, and it went off without any issues. To be clear though: yes, as Catholics we are against abortion and there were some pro-life signs there, but this was not a "protest." Of abortion or anything else. This was a call to Catholics to have a better relationship with God and the Eucharist, to convert and change the world for the better by following Jesus Christ and being examples as Christians. We hold religious processions like this a lot, they have nothing to do with politics.
The procession ended at St. Jospeh's Cathedral about 6 blocks away where inside there was a benediction and sermon given by Cardinal-elect Robert McElroy. I am eternally grateful to the young members of the Our Lady of the Rosary choir that took turns with me holding my Knights of Columbus council banner. And to the San Diego Police Department #SDPD #sandiegopolice for providing security. #backtheblue