If you were on 100th Street at about 10 a.m. Sept. 25, you would have seen the Battlefords Right-To-Life walk in progress.
A police escort began the procession that included a large banner and many people, of all ages, carrying signs and colourful balloons. Approximately 130 people laced up their running shoes and came out to the annual event.
Participants turned onto Railway Avenue at the end of 100th Street and walked out to the Frontier Mall and then along the service road, eventually arriving at City Cemetery.
At the graveyard, the group were met by members of the Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree Honour Guard.
All gathered near the Monument to the Unborn that was erected by the organization, dedicated and blessed in the Fall of 1991, where a short prayer service was held. Micheal Hudec was MC for this portion of the event. The first speaker was Father Ron Dechant.
Dechant emphasized how a mother's heart is "hardwired" to that of her children - not unlike the firewall of a computer. He noted how mothers do not forget their children, even if they have given them up for adoption or suffered their loss through miscarriage or abortion.
Dechant also powerfully stated that the pro-life cause was "not a Catholic issue." He said it was also not a "Christian issue" but rather a "societal issue." He noted the walkers were not "protesting" but rather demonstrating to society how things should be.
Stella Legario, a former nurse at the Battlefords Union Hospital, recounted a personal experience she had on a ward when she was brought "face-to-face" with the issue on the job site. Legario was asked to assist a doctor, who has now passed away, with an abortion he was performing. Stella was upset by this, as it went against her conscience and she told the doctor she would be unable to help him, she would be leaving the hospital and returning home. Later, she was called back to complete her shift on another ward, as the adminstration was unable to find anyone to replace her on the roster at such short notice. In the days that followed, Legario was assured by a supervisor in charge that she "had done the right thing" standing up for what she believed in.
Father Gerard Legaspi shared from personal experience about a woman who came to him, worried and unsure what to so as she was pregnant with her third child. The Filipino woman and her husband lived in abject poverty and were unable to adequately supply the needs of another baby. And so Legaspi, who was in the early stages of his religious training, offered to take the child into his own immediate family. This "baby" is now 17 years old and was raised by a sibling and is considered to be Legaspi's parent's "first grandchild."
Jim McLane then led a series of prayer intentions. The service concluded with the scripture song, "Isaiah 49," which was led by Kaylene McQuaid. Patrick Hudec and Stephen McLane accompanied the singing on their guitars.
From the cemetery, the walkers were bussed back to St. Joseph's Catholic Church, where lunch was served and participants visited briefly, before going on about the remainder of their day, knowing they, too, had demonstrated what they believe.