Cemetery of the Innocents

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500 white crosses have been erected for The Cemetery of the Innocents on the lawn of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, 1870 W. Oak St. (Photo by Ward Deglar)

500 white crosses have been erected for The Cemetery of the Innocents on the lawn of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, 1870 W. Oak St. (Photo by Ward Deglar)

Take every man, woman and child in New York City, some 20 million souls. Add the population of Tokyo, another 37 million, for a total of 57 million people. This is the approximate number of unborn babies killed by abortion since the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.

In observance of this grim statistic, St. Alphonsus Catholic Church on Oak Street has installed a Cemetery of the Innocents. The site will help call attention to this fall’s observance of “40 Days for Life,” a time of vigilance and prayer for the unborn observed by Christians everywhere. 500 white crosses in this cemetery stand as a stark reminder of those innocents who died by abortion and the 4,000-plus abortions still carried out in the United States every day.

Inside of each of the crosses is a simple sheet of paper – a certificate of spiritual adoption of an unborn baby. Each certificate bears the baby’s name, the names of the adoptive parents and the date.

There will be vigils, silent prayers and reflection over the next 40 days. You’ll see people walking slowly, almost painfully among the crosses. We can only wonder if, among those who died without being born, someone might have found a cure for cancer or a solution to world peace. How many Nobel laureates would have emerged? How many composers, authors, poets, statesmen?

Or try to imagine those great cities of New York and Tokyo totally empty – streets and buildings utterly devoid of human life.


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