Respect Life activities set in diocese throughout October

The Measure of Love Is to Love Without Measure is the theme for this year’s observance of Respect Life Sunday and parishioners across the Diocese of Peoria will be demonstrating that love in a variety of ways on Sunday, Oct. 3.

One of those activities will take men, women and children to the streets to build Life Chains in communities throughout central Illinois. Started in 1987, these peaceful and prayerful public witnesses are held in more than 1,200 cities in the United States and Canada each year.

Another powerful witness to the sanctity of human life is expected from James and Kathleen Littleton, who are the featured speakers for the 2010 Respect Life Dinner that evening. A fundraiser for the Family Resources Center in Peoria, the dinner will be held at 6 p.m. at the Cater Inn, 1224 W. Pioneer Parkway, also in Peoria. (See the related story.)

Knox County Right to Life will keep the message going with its annual Pro-Life Pastors Dinner on Saturday, Oct. 23, and Festival of Life on Sunday, Oct. 24. The keynote speaker for both events will be Abby Johnson, who was the director of a Planned Parenthood facility in Texas for nine years and now speaks out against abortion.

The dinner will begin at 7 p.m. in the parish center of Corpus Christi Church, 273 S. Prairie St., Galesburg. The cost is $10 per person and reservations may be made by calling Pat Conklin at (309) 343-2852 by Oct. 8.

The Festival of Life will take place at Bethel Baptist Church, 1196 N. Academy St., Galesburg. The evening will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a pro-life presentation by the students of Costa Catholic Academy. Admission is free and refreshments will be served.

A code of conduct published by Knox Country Right to Life encourages Life Chain participants to be courteous to all, to be safety conscious and “to be prayerful as you stand — show Christian love.” They are also urged to “bless those who curse you.”

That peaceful and prayerful witness includes holding signs that remind passers-by that “Abortion Kills Children,” “Jesus Forgives and Heals,” “Abortion Hurts Women” and “Pray to End Abortion,” among other things.

Information sent to The Catholic Post and reported online at indicated that Life Chains in the Diocese of Peoria will be held on Sunday, Oct. 3 (unless otherwise noted) in the following locations:

— Champaign: Kirby Avenue at Hessel Park, from 2 to 3 p.m. Signs may be picked up at 1:30 p.m.

— Farmer City: Main Street at Highway 54, from 2 to 3 p.m.

— Farmington: Sunday, Oct. 24, from 1 to 2:15 p.m. at the intersection of Route 116 and Route 78.

— Galesburg: Sponsored by Knox County Right to Life, the Life Chain will be held at Main and Broad, from 1:45 to 2:45 p.m. Signs may be picked up from 1:30 to 1:45 p.m. A “Rally on the Square” is planned for 3 p.m.

— Macomb: Highways 136 and 67, between Lafayette and Randolph at Chandler Park, from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

— Mendota: Route 34 and Highway 251, from 1 to 3 p.m.

— Normal: College Avenue at David Anderson Park, from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

— Peoria: University Street from 7405 N. University to the Metro Centre, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Pick up signs at University and Northmoor at 2 p.m.

— Quad Cities: Sunday, Oct. 25, from 2 to 3 p.m., Middle Road at Happy Joe Drive in Bettendorf, Iowa. Pick up signs at 1:30 p.m. at the Women’s Choice Center.

Begun in 1972, the U.S. bishops’ Respect Life Program combines education, prayer, service and advocacy to bring church teaching on the value and dignity of human life to the Catholic community and beyond. Respect Life Sunday is observed in virtually all of the 195 Catholic dioceses in the United States.

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