National Day of Remembrance commemorates victims of abortion

BY JEAN-MARIE BRALLEY

STAFF WRITER

A sizeable crowd of Franciscan University students and others marked the first annual National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children with a memorial ceremony. The event took place on Sept.14 at Franciscan’s Tomb of the Unborn Child, where the bodies of seven aborted babies are buried.

 

Ryan Chestine, a senior and the secretary of Franciscan’s Students for Life, exhorted the crowd with Blessed John Paul II’s oft-repeated phrase, “Be not afraid!” He also quoted the late pope as saying that people must “choose to be unconditionally pro-life.”

Chestine read the names of the seven babies buried at the tomb: Francis, Clare, Agnes, Jeremiah, Michael, Andrew and Joseph. A rosary of Joyful Mysteries, each with a specific pro-life intention, as well as the Chaplet of Divine Mercy were then prayed for the seven babies and “for an end to abortion and the conversion of all involved in the evil of abortion,” said Chestine.

Junior Leah Kaisler said the day of remembrance was important because people need to recall the “huge power in prayer,” and that “there’s still a battle to fight, a battle to win.”

Jenna Leighton, a senior and the president of Students for Life, said, “The numbers of abortion are so astounding that it’s easy to dismiss them as numberless,” but it is necessary to “give dignity and grieve for their lives.” She remarked that she is passionate about the pro-life movement because “life is so beautiful…how can you not defend something so beautiful?”

The prayer service followed the 10 a.m. Mass, during which the celebrant the Rev. John Larson, MIC, reminded the congregation of the need to promote the culture of life. Many people then participated in the procession from Christ the King Chapel to the Tomb of the Unborn Child for the ceremony.

A large portrait of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the pro-life cause, was on display during the gathering. The area in front of the Tomb of the Unborn Child was decorated with flowers, holy cards depicting the patron saints of the children, and little mementos, such as a teddy bear, to honor the little ones buried there.

Franciscan’s Students for Life Club, which hosted the event, heard about the Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children through their adviser Ronald McNamara. Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, Priests for Life and the Pro-Life Action League nationally organized the Day of Remembrance. These groups encouraged people to visit and hold ceremonies at the burial sites of aborted children. The day chosen for the memorial, Sept.14, marks the 25th anniversary of the burial of seven hundred abortion victims in Milwaukee, Wis.

For more information about the National Day of Remembrance, visit www.abortionmemorials.com.

1 Comment

  1. I remember when I was a litlte kid and I first found out about abortion, I could hardly believe people would actually be allowed by law to do something like that. To me it was so obvious that if the law said you couldn’t kill anybody, that should apply to ANYBODY, period. I also didn’t understand why someone would ever want to have an abortion, because babies were nice and people always got excited when they found out someone was going to have a baby. I also knew that my parents tried really hard to have me and had tried really hard to have another baby until I was six I used to go with my mom to her medical appointments and spin around in the doctor’s chair and I thought it didn’t make sense for someone to kill a person other people wanted. If you had clothes or a book or something that you didn’t want and that other people could use, you gave it to them. You didn’t throw it in the trash.Of course, now as an adult I understand that giving your baby to someone is a lot harder than giving your clothes or books to someone, but I still think the general principle applies. Even if abortion wasn’t about killing babies, why destroy something that someone else would be happy to have? I also grew up with a lot of adopted kids; I’m from Minnesota and during my childhood Minnesota had the highest rate of Korean adoptees in the country, so you always knew who the adopted kids were because they were Asian with white parents. Considering I knew so many adopted kids, I knew it wasn’t like giving a baby to someone else was impossible.With Grace, just make sure that the enormity of the situation doesn’t overwhelm her and make her feel hopeless. I was a really sensitive litlte kid and I really internalized other people’s pain, to the point where sometimes I felt like the world was just a cold, mean-spirited place. It’s good that you’re showing Grace things she can do to actively make a difference.

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