Friday, July 29, 2022
This monument to the unborn child was moved from the Provo City Cemetery to the entrance of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Orem.
OREM — In 1995, Provo City Cemetery hosted a memorial for unborn children donated by Council 1136 of the Utah Knights of Columbus. The monument was installed near the southern entrance to the cemetery, but recently the Knights received a phone call that the monument had been removed. and stored.
When one of the knights went to the cemetery to ask what had happened, “he was informed that there was a complaint from a lady who had recently buried her baby and complained about the image of the monument, so they had to remove it”. said John Gauchi, the grand knight of the council.
The monument had been placed next to the grave of Baby Jane, an infant abandoned in the Provo River in February 1992. Both monuments were placed at the head of the “Babyland” section of the cemetery, which is the final resting place. for babies who have only lived a short time.
News of the kidnapping hit Gauchi hard.
“At first I was a little irritated and I thought, ‘Why?’ Then I was very sad that they took it down. However, “When I saw a picture of it, I kind of understood where the complaining lady was coming from,” he said.
On one side, the monument depicts the image of a fetus with the inscription “Memorial for the unborn victims of abortion” and quoting Psalms 127:3: “Behold, children are an inheritance of the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is its reward. The back of the monument reads “Saint Francis of Assisi Parish Knights of Columbus Council 1136”.
Although Gauchi was saddened by the removal of the monument, “I understood that this lady was mourning the loss of her baby,” he said.
The cemetery’s decision was something of a blessing in disguise. Several of the Knights in the parish, including Gauchi, had had the idea for some time to create a special garden or memorial to Saint Francis of Assisi for unborn children, so when they learned that the monument had been removed “We also knew the timing was right. … We thought, ‘Now that we have this, it’s the right time to have this memorial in our parish,'” Gauchi said.
The Knights arranged for the monument that was in the cemetery to be transported to the parish. Walker Monument, a company that serves cemeteries in Utah, helped the Knights transport and install the monument at the entrance to the church.
Having the monument at the parish is important, Gauchi said, because “remembering the importance of life is fundamental. … It’s the most important thing we can do, especially with what’s going on in the world.
He is relieved the Knights were able to save the monument, he said. “The process was more difficult than expected, but with a little help and support, he is now in our parish.”
The whole incident with the monument made him sure that God sends messages in mysterious ways, he said.
“I honestly think this memorial is exactly that. … Now that we have it in our parish, I can see now how God is working,” he said, especially because the very weekend they installed the monument at the parish, the Knights were also organizing the Silver Rose, a national program that promotes the dignity of all human life.
“Having both at the same time was a huge blessing,” Gauchi said. “I was so happy to have been able to be a part of this.”
Father Eleazar Silva, parish priest of St. Francis of Assisi, said having the monument at the parish is a blessing.
“The idea is beautiful because with it we strengthen our conviction of our faith in God and in life. … We had the chance to defend life at all its stages,” the father said. Silva said.
The monument is a tangible reminder of the importance of protecting and respecting life at all its stages, Fr. Silva said, and having it at the main entrance of the church gives parishioners the opportunity to s stop and think.
“People were very happy to receive it,” he said. “We were very sad, thinking he was lost but … now that he is here in our possession, all the people in the parish are very happy to see him present, to be able to celebrate him.”