The Knights of Columbus set up hundreds of crosses on the lawn of St. John the Evangelist Church as a visual tribute to lives lost to abortion. This observance aligns with National Sanctity of Human Life Day to encourage reflection on the value of human life amid the ongoing abortion debate.
"The Knights have been doing these for four or five years," Grand Knight Joe Blanchard, the group's leader, said. "It's been just our way of letting people know about the sanctity of life, that we support the womb to the tomb, that all life is special, and we like to try to protect it".
"We collaborate with other Knights of Columbus organizations in Bakersfield to support the Bakersfield Pregnancy Center and try to give financial contributions. We have a rosary service, and we pray for the unborn."
"It's always going to be an issue, and we want to try to help out any way we can to raise awareness. I was very happy to participate. The event was well received. We had lots of participation, not only from the Knights but also from our high school youth group, so they understand the position that abortion is wrong."
Gilberto Reyna has been a member of the Knights of Columbus St. John's Council since 1999 and said, "These crosses together create a powerful image that brings attention to the many human lives still being lost to abortion."
"The Knights of Columbus believe in human life's sanctity from conception to natural death. By being a part of this Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, we are spreading our message about how valuable all human life is."
The council provides financial support to the Bakersfield Pregnancy Center, which offers support to expectant mothers and fathers who may be considering an abortion. Their services include parenting classes, free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, adoption guidance and baby essentials such as diapers, clothes, shoes and carriers.
"When available, all are free of charge. In a combined effort with our parishioners, our St. John's Council has raised funds and, to date, has donated $4,400 to the Pregnancy Center."