Mass with Bishop Jenky on Jan. 25 among Respect Life activities planned in January

A group from the St. John Paul II Catholic Newman Center at Illinois State University in Normal sings as they process up Dearborn Avenue with thousands of other participants in last year's March for Life Chicago. The Diocese of Peoria is sponsoring a bus to this year's event on Jan. 13. (The Catholic Post file/Tom Dermody)

Respect life advocates from around the Diocese of Peoria are planning to pray together and march locally, regionally and nationally as the 46th anniversary of the Supreme Court decisions legalizing abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy approach.

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, is inviting all clergy, religious and faithful to join him at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria on Friday, Jan. 25, for Mass and eucharistic adoration for the legal protection of the unborn. The theme for the prayerful observance, which begins at 6:30 p.m., is “Every Life: Cherished, Chosen, Sent.”

(Related story: Bishops invite all to participate in ‘9 Days for Life’ prayer, action campaign Jan. 14-22)


The Diocese of Peoria is also sponsoring a bus that will take people to March for Life Chicago on Sunday, Jan. 13. It will leave from the Spalding Pastoral Center, 419 N.E. Madison, in Peoria at 7 a.m.

The pilgrimage is open to adults who are 18 or older, and will include Mass at 10:15 a.m. at St. Mary of Perpetual Help Church in Chicago. The group will stop for dinner and night prayer at St. Mary in Pontiac on the way back.

March for Life Chicago will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Federal Plaza in Chicago’s Loop. Pilgrims will hear from keynote speakers Jeanne Mancini, president of National March for Life, and Ryan Bomberger, founder of the Radiance Foundation, as well as Cardinal Blase Cupich of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The cost for the bus pilgrimage is $25, which includes all meals. There is a reduced rate of $10 for current college students.

The deadline for reservations is Monday, Jan. 7. To register online, visit For more information, contact the Office of Evangelization and Faith Formation at (309) 671-1550 or

.In addition, Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Peoria will send hundreds of students to Washington, D.C., for the National March for Life on Friday, Jan. 18. This year’s theme is “Unique from Day One.”


A memorial service for the unborn victims of abortion will be held at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 22, on the west steps of the old McLean County Courthouse, Center and Jefferson Streets, in Bloomington. The speaker will be Elder Andy Mitchell of Christ Church PCA, Normal.

The service is sponsored by the McLean County Right to Life Committee.


Melissa Coles

Melissa Coles, whose reunion with her son is the subject of a documentary, will be the featured speaker for the Sanctity of Human Life Rally on Thursday, Jan. 24 at Riverside Community Church, 207 N.E. Monroe St., in Peoria. Her talk is part of a program that begins at 7 p.m.

Sponsored by Central Illinois Right to Life, the evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with a prayer march from the church around the block where the Federal Building is located, at Main and Monroe. Refreshments will be served after the rally.

Coles was a young, pregnant mother who was abortion bound, but had a change of heart. Instead she had the child and placed him for adoption. Their story is told in “I Lived on Parker Avenue.”


Dr. Annevay Conlee

Knox County Right to Life will sponsor an interdenominational prayer service on Sunday, Jan. 27, at First Church of the Nazarene, 1501 Webster St., in Galesburg. It will begin at 6:30 p.m.

The speaker will be Dr. Annevay Conlee of OSF Medical Group and OSF HealthCare St. Mary’s Medical Center in Galesburg. She will give a presentation on “The Humanity of the Unborn Child.”

A free-will offering will be accepted for the Women’s Pregnancy Center, and refreshments will be served.



The monthly Quad Cities inter-parish pro-life Mass will be celebrated on Sunday, Feb. 3, at St. Mary Church, 412 10th St., in Moline. It is scheduled for the parish’s regular 9 a.m. liturgy.

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