For over 30 years October has been known as “Respect Life” month, with pro-life activities and devotions. Here at Divine Word College, this means displaying the crosses of the innocents on the lawn in front of the college, signifying the death of unborn babies killed by abortion.
Fr. Bill Shea, SVD, is the moderator of the “Seminarians for Life” at DWC. The student group put up its annual display of the crosses on Saturday, October 4, joined by other “Students for Life” groups and adults from Beckman High School in Dyersville, the LaSalle Pastorate and Dubuque Community Church. The LaSalle Pastorate is composed of students from five parishes: St. Francis in Balltown, Holy Cross in Holy Cross, Holy Trinity in Luxemburg, St. Joseph in Richardsville and SS. Peter and Paul in Sherrill. Eighth-graders from Dyersville also joined the students, helping to place 440 white crosses on the grass in front of Divine Word College. Each cross represents 10 abortions performed every day for a total of 4,400 abortions.
John and Sue Lukasik, members of the Dubuque County Right to Life organization, constructed and painted the crosses. Each year after the crosses have been displayed in various areas, they store them at their home. “We went to a rally in Washington, D.C., in the early 1990’s,” says Lukasik. “There were 4,400 crosses on display on the mall in front of the White House. “Covering almost the size of a football field, it had such an impact on us that we went to the Right to Life Board here in Dubuque, and we agreed to display crosses each year here in our area.”
Though each cross represents 10 innocent babies killed by abortion each day, Lukasik says, “Those numbers have certainly increased by now, but we use them as a representative symbol. We like to get the young people from various youth groups involved.” Some of the participating students plan to be part of a Right to Life bus trip to Washington D.C. in January 2009.