December 13, 2022  |  By:   |  Press Releases  |  

—Inspirational speakers include an emotional, physical and sexual abuse survivor, Down syndrome advocate, and couple who work together in mental health—

Archbishop José H. Gomez will be joined by inspiring speakers and performers at OneLife LA on Saturday, January 21, 2023, in downtown Los Angeles. In its 9th year, this celebration of life themed “Our Mission is Love,” will highlight the work of building a culture of life that honors human dignity from conception to natural death, uniting people of all backgrounds throughout Southern California.

“OneLife LA is not a single day event, but a movement that is meant to be lived throughout the year,” said Michael P. Donaldson, senior director of the Archdiocese’s Office of Life, Justice and Peace. “This year’s theme, Our Mission is Love, speaks to our calling to honor the dignity of all humanity and to recognize that each of us are made in the image and likeness of God.”

Among the speakers is Jess Echeverry, a woman and family advocate and speaker, who has survived parental divorce and alcoholism, as well as emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Her testimony includes dark times of physical and sexual violence, teenage pregnancy, years of homelessness, abortion, same sex attraction and two attempts at suicide.  Her book “Dazzled” details her life experiences in a way that lifts up and enlightens others who are searching for ways to heal.

Lauren Costabile is the Founder and Executive Director of Hearts of Joy International.A New Jersey native, Lauren is a speaker and fierce advocate for those with Down syndrome. She is deeply passionate about serving this population and showing the world the immense gift that are these children. Lauren also counsels and provides education about Down syndrome and heart defects to families, communities and orphanages around the world. 

Ricardo and Modesta Pulido have been married for over 43 years. They have seven children and four grandkids. Since 2010, both Rick and Modesta have been involved with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI/South Bay) which has given them the opportunity to be state trainers and to teach family to family classes and prepare other parents who want to be NAMI teachers and share their experiences with other families who have mental health problems.

Brenda Noriega is a national speaker. She collaborates in national and international ministry committees, including the International Youth Advisory Body for the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life in Rome. Brenda is passionate about a holistic and transformational pastoral approach that includes life, dignity, justice, and mission.

Benito Medrano is the Young Adult Ministry coordinator for the Diocese of Orange, CA.  Previously, he worked for the Office of Formation and Evangelization in the Diocese of Fresno as Hispanic and Youth and Young Adult Ministry Coordinator which included ministry to migrant communities and Spanish-speaking apostolic movements.

Chika Anyanwu is a Catholic evangelist, former Confirmation coordinator/youth & young adult minister, and the author of “My Encounter: How I Met Jesus in Prayer.” Her missionary zeal is inspired by a love of Christ and the Church, the lives of the saints, and a desire to see people live in the knowledge of their worth, while affirming the dignity of others.

Father Victor is a Capuchin Franciscan Friar and Priest, and a native of Southern California. Besides doing retreats, talks, and conferences, Father Vic loves to share the Gospel message through Catholic Rap music in live events, social media, and Spotify, going by the moniker, “Bro Vic.”

Katie Prejean McGrady hosts the Ave Explores podcast, a long-form interview style podcast that digs into various Catholic topics relevant to people who want to learn more and live their faith in a real, practical way. The show has accumulated over 275,000 downloads and has been honored by the Catholic Media Association.

OneLife LA 2023 performers include Array of Hope, a band created in New Jersey to evangelize and spread the gospel through music; Kairy Marquez, full-time worship leader and speaker from Dominican Republic who is daughter to a former Aguilas del Cibao baseball player; and Francis Cabildo, a singer-songwriter, worship leader and speaker from Southern California.

Spearheaded by the Archdiocese’s Office of Life, Justice and Peace, OneLife LA was celebrated in-person in January 2022. To see more highlights of OneLife LA 2022, please visit OneLife LA – Forward in Hope – YouTube

For more information, or to register for OneLife LA 2023, visit onelifela.org or #1lifela.


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