Aborted Babies Remembered at Life Chains in Diocese Oct. 6
By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
October 10, 2019
DIXON—The remains of 2,246 aborted babies discovered recently in the Illinois home of a deceased Indiana abortion doctor, were memorialized Sunday in Dixon by participants in the Life Chain gathering along Galena Avenue.
 
Life Chain Organizer Margaret Brechon, of St. Patrick Parish in Dixon, said she asked the 40 participants who gathered at John Dixon Park to pray for each aborted baby and for their families, and to give each baby a name.
 
“I got the idea to give the babies names from hearing an interview with pro-life priest, Father Frank Pavone, and to give out 3-by-5 inch cards for people to write the names and display them as they pray,” Brechon said.
 
Life Chain participant, Mike Sharboneau, of St. Patrick Parish, said he came Sunday afternoon because the right to life is the first right of every human being. 
 
“It’s a God given right. Without life, nothing else matters,” he said.
 
Father Keith Romke, pastor of St. Patrick Parish, led the group in prayer. Some participants came from St. Anne Parish in Dixon, and other nearby parishes.
 
“It’s incredibly important to witness to what we believe,” Father Romke said.
 
The faithful selected their pro-life signs and then stood for an hour on sidewalks along two blocks of Galena Avenue. The messages on the signs were designed to encourage the public to help work to protect innocent human life.
 
The ecumenical effort drew Catholics and non-Catholics across the Rockford Diocese.
 
Over 100 pro-life supporters lined Illinois Rt. 72 in West Dundee in front of St. Catherine of Siena Parish. 
 
Respect Life coordinator Dan Biggins thanked all who came to participate. “I hope one day our group will be so large that we will line Route 72 from Randall Road all the way to the Fox River,” he said.  
 
Debra Wojaczynski was pleased to see the Life Chain was active in Crystal Lake. “This is meaningful for me to join everyone here today,” said Wojaczynski, a member of The Evangelical Free Church of Crystal Lake. “I have two adopted children and am an avid supporter of life.” 
 
Father Brian Geary, pastor of St. James Parish in Belvidere who stood with his parishioners, said, “As a local shepherd of souls, I think it encourages the faithful to see their pastor speaking out on behalf of life and the lives of the unborn. I hope this encourages other Catholics to make a public witness for life.”
 
Jesus Hernandez, a Belvidere parishioner, said, “Because God gives us life, it is important that we respect all life including the unborn, the disabled and the elderly.”
 
The Semyonov family, also from Belvidere, participated together. 
 
“I think it’s really important that we show our children how much we value life as Catholics in today’s world,” said mom Sarah Semyonov. “We’re hoping that as our children someday become parents themselves, they will continue on being witnesses for life.”
 
Pat Szpekowski and Lynne Conner contributed to this story.