(Photo: Monica Conrow)
A Roman Catholic congregation in a small Oregon town has erected a pro-life display featuring over 500 white crosses. Parishioners from St. Francis Catholic Church of Sherwood and a local chapter of the Knights of Columbus built the display last weekend.
Fr. Ysrael C. Bien, parish priest for St. Francis Catholic, told The Christian Post that the display was meant "to promote life issues outside the confines of our parish community." Bien presided over "a simple blessing" Sunday in honor of the display, which was meant to be in remembrance of the "millions of babies" aborted since 1973.
"When a knight saw similar memorial white crosses erected in California, he got the idea and brought it to the council and myself for approval," said Bien. "The parish Respect Life committee also got involved and before you know it, parishioners, including our youth ministry members, began painting the crosses."
"The crosses will be up this whole month of January in commemoration of Roe v. Wade. Our hope is to educate large number of people, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, to the reality that millions of babies have been killed and are being killed due to abortion," said Bien. "We have erected 530 crosses, with each cross representing more than 106,000 lives lost. The estimate is that 57 million babies have been lost to abortion since the legalization of it in the US."
The positioning of the pro-life display in Sherwood is strategic as it is placed not far from major shopping centers, reported Fenit Nirappil of The Oregonian.
"The crosses are located adjacent to a storage center near the intersection of Langer Farms Parkway and Southwest Tualatin-Sherwood Road. They are across the street from busy shopping centers," wrote Nirappil. "The group recently placed a 'Choose Life' banner of an adult holding a baby's feet on Oregon street in front of an old church building on Oregon Street. The crosses are the largest anti-abortion display coming from the [Knights of Columbus] council."
In the month of January, pro-life groups across the nation are putting up displays and holding events in memory of the controversial Supreme Court decision. For the specific anniversary date of January 22, pro-life supporters and activists will come to Washington, DC for the annual "March for Life."
Bien was asked by CP if they had encountered any trouble or issues with their pro-life display.
"We have not. But I won't be surprised if we get some especially in our State of Oregon where the sterilization of religion in the public square seems to be the norm," he said.