October 28, 2016

Parishes, pro-life organizations live out call during Year of Mercy

Pastor Dustin Spitler, left, of Vision Baptist Church in Riley, and Ron Marsh of Eastside Baptist Church in Terre Haute hold signs in Terre Haute on Jan. 22 to stand in support of life during the local solemn observance of the Roe v. Wade decision. (Submitted photo by Tom McBroom)

Pastor Dustin Spitler, left, of Vision Baptist Church in Riley, and Ron Marsh of Eastside Baptist Church in Terre Haute hold signs in Terre Haute on Jan. 22 to stand in support of life during the local solemn observance of the Roe v. Wade decision. (Submitted photo by Tom McBroom)

Compiled by Natalie Hoefer

Each year, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops recognizes October as Respect Life Month.

In recognition of this focus, The Criterion has compiled pro-life highlights from around the archdiocese over the last 12 months.

It is impossible to list all of the pro-life activities throughout central and southern Indiana since Respect Life Sunday on Oct. 4, 2015. But this roundup offers a sampling of many of the good works accomplished to embrace life at all stages.
 

  • On Oct. 8, 2015, St. Joan of Arc Parish hosted a talk by Safe Haven Baby Boxes founder Monica Kelsey. She was a driving force behind Indiana House Bill 1016 to have infant incubators (“boxes”) placed in locations such as police and fire stations, hospitals and nonprofits dedicated to child welfare.
     
  • The first ever “Future Full of Hope: Honoring Children We Have Entrusted to the Lord” service was held on Oct. 15, 2015. The service is for families and individuals who are grieving pregnancy loss, infant loss, or childhood loss, including stillbirths, ectopic pregnancies, abortions and miscarriages. It was such a success that it is now a Mass rather than a service, and it will be offered twice this year: on Oct. 28 at St. Mark the Evangelist Church, 535 Edgewood Ave., in Indianapolis at 6:30 p.m. (RSVP by Oct. 25 at 317-446-4248 or lizfcp@indyfertilitycare.com), and on Nov. 11 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 1752 Scheller Lane, in New Albany at 6:30 p.m. (RSVP by Nov. 8 at 812-944-2065 or lhamilton@olphna.org).
     
  • At St. Joseph Church in Sellersburg, part of St. John Paul II Parish, a talk was given on Jan. 16 to raise awareness on human trafficking. Sellersburg is just off of I-65, a human trafficking route commonly taken from Chicago through Louisville and further south.
     
  • A snowstorm may have trapped many buses traveling home from the Right to Life March in Washington, but the weather held for two marches on Jan. 22 in the archdiocese—in Indianapolis and in Terre Haute—plus a vigil service the night before in Indianapolis.
     
  • In February and March, archdiocesan involvement in the 40 Days for Life campaign contributed to an international result of 631 lives being saved from abortion, and six abortion workers quitting.
     
  • A 6-foot-by-4-foot traveling missionary image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the unborn, visited St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Bedford and Mother of the Redeemer Retreat Center’s Sacred Heart Chapel in Bloomington for veneration in March and April.
     
  • On April 23, three sites in the archdiocese—one in Bloomington and two in Indianapolis—hosted “#ProtestPP” rallies, sponsored by a coalition of state and national pro-life groups in response to revelations that Planned Parenthood was involved in the illicit trafficking of aborted babies’ body parts. Around the nation, 60 such protests were held.
     
  • St. Matthew the Apostle Parish in Indianapolis unveiled a new memorial to the unborn on May 1. A list of known memorials in the archdiocese can be found by logging on to www.archindy.org/plfl/memorials.html.
     
  • On June 30, U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt granted a preliminary injunction on an Indiana law that would have gone into effect on July 1, making it illegal for women in Indiana to have an abortion due solely to discrimination based on the race, gender or disability of a fetus. Other parts of the law were upheld, including requiring abortion providers to give information on perinatal hospice care; a ban on group counseling before an abortion in favor of one-on-one counseling; a clarification on when the state-mandated ultrasound must take place; an update on Indiana’s admitting privileges law; and an update to the “Termination of Pregnancy” form.
     
  • In July and August, two Planned Parenthood referral offices closed in the archdiocese, one in Avon and one in Terre Haute. Four additional facilities were closed throughout Indiana, all due to a decrease in patronage and funds.
     
  • St. Meinrad Parish in St. Meinrad hosted an information session on foster parenting on Aug. 7, designed to answer questions for those who wish to become a “champion for children.”
     
  • To promote well-being at all stages of life, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Richmond (the merged faith community of the former St. Andrew, Holy Family and St. Mary parishes) offers free blood pressure screenings after all Masses on the first weekend of each month.

 

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