Submitted by St. Peter Church
October is designated as Respect Life Month within the Catholic Church. Parishes around the country will be involved in one or more prayer, pastoral, educational or advocacy programs.
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On Oct. 6, parishioners from St. Peter Church in Geneva installed 3,500 crosses on the church lawn. Every day in the United States, at least 3,500 unborn children's lives are ended by abortion. In our country, about 1 of every 4 unborn children are aborted. The crosses on the church grounds will remain up for three weeks. Members of the Respect Life Ministry hope to bring attention to the scope of the loss of life, motivate prayer for a change in hearts and minds, and encourage people to become prayerfully, politically and peacefully active in securing the rights of the unborn to literally "get a life."
Also during October, a Respect Life Memorial Garden is being built on the south side of the St. Peter church building. The parish Respect Life Ministry and the Knights of Columbus Council 2191, sponsored the project. The bricks in the garden have been donated by church members and friends. The centerpiece of the garden, a bronze statue of Pope John Paul II holding a baby, was created by parishioner and artist Joseph Camaioni. The garden is near completion and will be dedicated by Bishop David J. Malloy of the diocese of Rockford on Oct. 20.
Helpful resources for those needing assistance with an unplanned pregnancy:
• National Life Center, (800) 848-LOVE, www.nationallifecenter.com
• Birthright International, (800) 550-4900, www.birthright.org
• Catholic Charities Crisis Pregnancy Hotline, (866) 775-MARY (6279), www.ccrfd.org
• Nurturing Network, (800) TNN-4MOM, nurturingnetwork.org
St. Peter Church also has several active ministries that work on respect life issues across the life span. These focus on fellowship ministries, helping the poor and poor in spirit, visits to the homebound, tending the sick and more. Community members interested in inquiring about joining one of these ministries may call the parish center, (630) 232-0124.