Annual dinner, Life Chains to mark Respect Life Sunday, Oct. 4

COMMITTED TO promoting life from the moment of conception until natural death, people of faith in central Illinois will continue to take their message to prayer and to the streets on Oct. 4, which has been designated as Respect Life Sunday by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

This year’s theme comes from the words of Pope Benedict XVI: “Every Child Brings Us God’s Smile.”

Among the activities planned for next Sunday are silent witnesses known as “Life Chains,” which will take place in communities around the Diocese of Peoria — as well as the United States.

Later that day, those who support life will gather for the 28th annual Respect Life Dinner at the Cater Inn in Peoria. A benefit for the Family Resources Center, this year’s dinner features radio and television personality Teresa Tomeo.

Later in the month, Knox County Right to Life will host David Bereit, the national director of 40 Days for Life, at its annual Pastor’s Dinner and Festival of Life, and Quad City Right to Life is planning a presentation by Jill Stanek, the registered nurse who spoke out about aborted babies who were allowed to die without medical care at her hospital.

“MY MESSAGE will be one of awareness and hope,” Teresa Tomeo said in a letter to the committee planning the Oct. 4 Respect Life Dinner in Peoria. “I will tell our guests how to make a difference in the media. But I will also remind them to always be hopeful and as Winston Churchill once said, ‘Never, never, never give up.'”

She explained to the committee members that she is optimistic “because God is in charge. We will win in the end.”

Born in New Jersey, Tomeo moved to Michigan when she was 5 and has lived in the metro Detroit area ever since. She has been a broadcaster and reporter for nearly 30 years and has worked primarily in the Christian media for the last decade.

Tomeo may be most familiar to central Illinois Catholics for “Catholic Connection,” a program that can be heard on Ave Maria Radio, EWTN Global Catholic Radio and Sirius Satellite Channel 160. “Tween” girls may know her for the book series she wrote for them, “All Things Girl.”

“She’s a very motivational and inspiring speaker,” said Jan Smith, director of the Family Resources Center. “I’ve listened to her tapes and read her books, and I think she has a lot to offer.”

Tickets for the Respect Life Dinner, which will begin at 6 p.m. at the Cater Inn, 1224 W. Pioneer Parkway, are $25 for reservations made before Sept. 28 and $27 after that date. Paid tickets with name cards will be distributed at the banquet facility before the dinner.

To purchase tickets, contact the Family Resources Center at (309) 637-1713.

SPALDING PASTORAL CENTER | 419 NE MADISON AVENUE | PEORIA, IL 61603 | PHONE (309) 671-1550 | FAX (309) 671-1595
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