OTTOVILLE — Those who visit or drive by Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Ottoville can see a new memorial that was recently dedicated that shares the church’s view that human life is precious and should be protected.
The pro-life and anti-abortion memorial is located on the south side of the church in Mary’s Grotto. It was constructed by Delphos Granite Works. It was placed two weeks ago and dedicated on Mother’s Day following the Mass.
Ottoville Knights of Columbus members decided two years ago to erect a memorial outside the church.
Jerry Hohlbein, Knights of Columbus member and trustee, said the funds to purchase the memorial came out of the organization’s financial treasury fund. The memorial costs $3,900 and is made of marble and reads “Believing All Life Is Precious Pray To End Abortion.”
”We took the dimensions of Mary’s Grotto that was already there to make sure the memorial would fit,” Hohlbein said.
He said the Knights of Columbus members pass out “End Abortion” placards during parades and hopes the memorial will be a visible message to those who see it.
This is not the first time the organization used funds to help promote the pro-life movement. Lima and Putnam County Knights of Columbus members raised $58,000 last year to purchase an ultrasound machine for Heartbeat of Lima, a pregnancy organization. Plans are to use the funds to also purchase an ultrasound machine for Putnam County Heartbeat Pregnancy Center.
The Rev. Jerry Schetter said the Right to Life issue has been important ever since Roe vs. Wade.
“Ever since that moment in time, we have come to recognize as Christians that we are 100 percent in support of life,” Schetter said. “God created life from the very beginning and intended it to be precious from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death.”
He said sometimes people need an awakening in their lives because they are busy, and it is easy to fail to recognize the goodness of life itself.
“This memorial is to remember those who have gone before us in the aspect of abortion, euthanasia or other means,” Schetter said.
Church members Anne Hemker and Diane Bendele both hope the memorial will be an encouraging message of life to the community.
Hemker, who has been a member of the church for 46 years, has four children and six grandchildren and said the right to life issue is important to her.
“I have always felt very pro-life. My parents always felt that way, and we came from large families, and it was ingrained when we were young that life is important,” Hemker said.
Bendele, a 40-year church member, has attended the March for Life Rally in Washington, D.C., twice The rally occurs in January each year to bring awareness to pro-life issues.
“Abortion is wrong, and God is the one who created life. I think this memorial is a nice remembrance of that,” Bendele said.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.