Refreshed Memorial Site Setting for Remembrance Service for the Unborn
By Lynne Conner, Observer Correspondent
September 14, 2023
WINNEBAGO—“Refreshed” and updated landscaping provided background for the annual Remembrance Service for Aborted Children held at Calvary Cemetery, Sept.  9. Bishop David Malloy led prayers for the event held in conjunction with the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children  to honor the 64 million babies lost to abortion since 1973.
Those attending the service gathered at the cemetery’s Memorial Garden for Unborn Victims of Abortion, an area of the cemetery that has recently undergone some landscaping improvements. 
“This is the fourth year we have had the remembrance service for the unborn at Calvary Cemetery, and many people felt that the area around the marker could benefit from some landscaping updates and refreshments,” said Shirley Poole, a Respect Life Ministry member from St. Bridget Parish in Loves Park. With the support of Msgr. Stephen Knox, pastor, the Respect Life Ministry helped raise funds from the parish for the landscaping project which cost around $1,200.
“We hired the Grass Barbers to install plants in the space around the marker and one of our Respect Life Ministry members designed and planned where the new plants would go,” Poole said. Calvary Cemetery staff made a significant improvement by removing a Mugo pine bush that was overgrown and  crowding out the bench in the memorial garden and partially blocking the marker.
With funds raised from the parish, the Respect Life Ministry purchased around 30 plants that were placed around the memorial, including boxwood bushes, barberry bushes, and other plants that could thrive without much maintenance.
“We are thankful to Calvary Cemetery for watering and maintaining the Memorial Garden through this summer’s heat and drought conditions,” Poole said
Respect Life Ministry member Melonie Schiro was also instrumental in the memorial garden’s update and took photos to document the project’s development.
In his remarks at the remembrance service, Bishop Malloy echoed the Scripture verse of Jeremiah 31:15, which is engraved into the Memorial Garden’s marker: “Thus says the Lord, in Ramah is heard the sound of moaning, of bitter weeping. Rachel mourns her children, she refuses to be consoled because her children are no more.”
“Perhaps the reason we are here is because there is not enough wailing and mourning for those children lost to abortion,” he said. Bishop Malloy encouraged those gathered to “…see also ourselves in every child that is to be born because we were there. We spent our own nine months in love and dependence on our mothers.”
“For us as people of faith, to think about that child in the womb is to think about the human person and to recognize that that person, ourselves, and everyone we meet is created in the image and likeness of God,” he said. “They bear immense dignity because they are touched and made and loved by the 
finger of God Himself. Each one of us is a gift.”
The Remembrance Service for the Unborn concluded with the laying of flowers on the marker and praying the rosary. 
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