San Francisco

Catholic Parishes Join Together for Massive March Into San Francisco

Hours before the sun rose on a quiet corner of South San Francisco, thousands gathered for a 12-mile walk for the Our Lady of Guadalupe observance in the Bay Area.

The "Cruzada Guadalupana" faith walk on Saturday included more than 40 Catholic parishes unifying in prayer for the health of the sick, immigration reform, peace and global justice, organizers said.

Founders of the local observance, Pedro and Martha Garcia, began at All Souls Church, located at 315 Walnut Ave., where the procession held a short service.

Old and young gathered together with umbrellas, ponchos and bags filled with water preparing for the long walk.

In the early morning, just a few porch lights flickered on. A handful of households came to their porches, greeted by the sight of a massive line singing quietly and chanting in unison.

By 8:30 a.m., as Banda music was added to the procession, the mood brightened, voices grew louder and laughter began filling the air.

With each stop at Catholic parishes along the way, the crowd grew larger, even as rain pounded harder and faster on the procession.

By the fourth stop in San Francisco, tens of thousands had filled the street.

"As you go along the way, people start adding and adding," Pedro Garcia said.

He remembered 23 years ago, the first procession had just 80 people beginning, and 240 people joining in by the end.

The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption in San Francisco, California, fills as tens of thousands finish the annual "Our Lady of Guadalupe" 12-mile walk. - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

After arriving to the steps of Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption in San Francisco, the crowds celebrated mass with Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone.

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