Walk for Life Mass features soaring, expressive music in honor of life, martyred saint

By Valerie Schmalz

Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone commissioned a special prolife Mass from composer Chris Mueller last spring, believing it would bring notes of beauty and hope to the looming 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade at the Walk for Life West Coast Mass Jan. 21.

Instead, in a terrific surprise, he said, the sacred music of the Mass of the Memorial of St. Agnes, Virgin and Martyr marked the first Walk for Life Mass after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe. “Little did I know, nor anyone else for that matter, that there actually would be something happy to celebrate,” the Archbishop said in his homily. “What so many of us dreamed of, prayed for and worked hard for during the course of half a century came to pass: the overturning of this monstrous decision.”

 “While the now historic Dobbs decision is a great step forward in building a culture of life in our society, in another sense it adds new and even greater challenges, especially here in our own state of California, which promises to be a so-called ‘sanctuary state’ for abortion” with the passage in November of a state constitutional amendment protecting unrestricted abortion until birth, Archbishop Cordileone noted.

At the Walk for Life West Coast Mass, the light voices of the St. Brigid School Choir, led by choir director and cathedral music director Christoph Tietze, in counterpoint with the resonant voices of adult choir members, filled the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption for the special Mass for life.

Santa Rosa Bishop Robert Vasa, Stockton Bishop Myron Cotta and Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto concelebrated along with a number of priests.

Click on the below links to enjoy the experience firsthand.

Read the Archbishop’s homily here. Listen to his homily here.

View and listen to the Mass here.

Read more about the Walk for Life Vigil and Walk here.


(Photo by Dennis Callahan)

Click on the images below:

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Priests listen during the Walk for Life West Coast Mass. (Photo by Dennis Callahan)
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Worship Director Laura Bertone and St. Joseph Academy in San Diego. (Photo by Dennis Callahan)
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