October is Respect Life Month: activities include Life Chains, dinner, festival
During this Year of St. Joseph, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops looks to his example as the protector of Jesus and Mary as Respect Life Month begins and asks, “St. Joseph, defender of life, pray for us!”
That prayerful reflection begins next Sunday, Oct. 3, which is Respect Life Sunday. On that day, people across the Diocese of Peoria will stand up for the sanctity of human life by participating in Life Chains. (For a story on the Diocese of Peoria’s annual Respect Life Dinner, set for Oct. 2, click here.)
Now in its 34th year, Life Chain is meant to be a time of peaceful witness, with pro-life advocates of all ages holding signs and praying along major intersections in their communities. The signs, which are provided in most places, offer the message that “Abortion Hurts Women,” “Abortion Kills Children,” and “Jesus Hears, Heals and Forgives.” They also urge people to “Pray to End Abortion” and “Pray to Change Hearts.”
In keeping with Life Chain principles, graphic signs are not permitted and people are asked to refrain from all political activity.
At press time, Life Chains were to take place in the following communities on Oct. 3:
- CHAMPAIGN: West Kirby Avenue at Hessel Park, from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
- GALESBURG: Knox County Right to Life invites people to stand along Henderson Street, from Losey to Dayton streets, from 1:45 to 2:45 p.m. Signs will be available at 1:30 p.m. There will be a closing prayer and announcements at 2:45 p.m.
- NORMAL: Participants will stand along the sidewalk in front of Epiphany Church, 1000 E. College Ave., from 2 to 3 p.m.
- PEORIA: Central Illinois Right to Life will provide links to Life Chain from 2 to 3 p.m. on the sidewalk along Knoxville Avenue, from Destiny for Women’s Health Center, 2805 N. Knoxville, to Empower Life Center, 1825 N. Knoxville. In between is Planned Parenthood. Signs will be available at the intersection of Knoxville and Hanssler starting at 2 p.m.
For more Life Chain locations, see your parish bulletin or contact your parish respect life coordinator.
FESTIVAL OF LIFE
Autumn Lindsey will be the guest speaker for the Festival of Life, which will be held on Sunday, Oct. 24, at Bethel Baptist Church, 1196 N. Academy, in Galesburg. The event begins at 2:30 p.m. and will be hosted by Knox County Right to Life.
The gathering will also include the reading of the first place pro-life essay in the contest sponsored by Knox County Right to Life.
Lindsey is from Washington state and became involved in the pro-life movement when she joined her local Students for Life chapter in 2016. The following year, she filmed a video rebuttal to a Teen Vogue article promoting abortion. She is now the student spokesperson for Students for Life of America.
Doors open at 2 p.m. Those who attend are asked to follow the COVID-19 protocols that are in place at the time of the Festival of Life.