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Prayer vigil marks national day of remembrance for the unborn

Bishop James Conley of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann lead a procession to a memorial to the infant martyrs, victims of abortion, at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Kansas City, Kansas, following a prayer service in the Holy Redeemer Chapel at the cemetery. LEAVEN PHOTO BY MARC ANDERSON

by Marc and Julie Anderson

KANSAS CITY — Sponsored by Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, Priests for Life and the Pro-Life Action League, Gate of Heaven Cemetery here was one of 54 sites across the United States to become a place of prayer for aborted children as part of the eighth annual National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children.

The solemn prayer vigil was sponsored locally by several pro-life organizations, including Planned Parenthood Exposed, the Kansas City Coalition for Life/40 Days for Life in Overland Park, the Kansas City chapter of the LIFE Runners and the archdiocese.

At the service held in Holy Redeemer Chapel at the cemetery, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Pro-Life Activities, offered reflections about the meaning and dignity of human life. Kathleen Shea, a counselor at the Wyandotte Pregnancy Clinic, also spoke, and a closing prayer was offered at the Memorial of the Unborn by Bishop James Conley, of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, and a native of Overland Park.

About the author

Marc & Julie Anderson

Freelancers Marc and Julie Anderson are long-time contributors to the Leaven. Married in 1996, for several years the high school sweethearts edited The Crown, the former newspaper of Christ the King Parish in Topeka which Julie has attended since its founding in 1977. In 2000, the Leaven offered the couple their first assignment. Since then, the Andersons’ work has also been featured in a variety of other Catholic and prolife media outlets. The couple has received numerous journalism awards from the Knights of Columbus, National Right to Life and the Catholic Press Association including three for their work on “Think It’s Not Happening Near You? Think Again,” a piece about human trafficking. A lifelong Catholic, Julie graduated from Most Pure Heart of Mary Grade School and Hayden Catholic High School in Topeka. Marc was received into the Catholic Church in 1993 at St. Paul Parish – Newman Center at Wichita State University. The two hold degrees from Washburn University in Topeka. Their only son, William James, was stillborn in 1997.

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