MERRILLVILLE | Emulating the Biblical general Joshua, about 100 pro-life “soldiers” marched seven times around the Planned Parenthood office Saturday to figuratively, if not physically, bring the walls down.
“This is about the most ecumenical gathering anywhere,” said Len Reynolds, president of the Lake County Right to Life group of those assembled for the Jericho March. “We have people from Catholic and non-Catholic churches, the Knights of Columbus and others.”
Gathering before the 11 a.m. step-off in the grassy parkway outside the clinic at 8625 Connecticut St., the multigenerational group prayed with the Rev. Stephen Lonchar of St. Joseph the Worker Croatian Catholic Church in Gary. Some carried signs declaring “Defend Life” and “Every Time a Baby is Aborted, Love is Denied.”
Eugene O’Brien stood by the statue of Our Lady of Fatima from St. Stephen Martyr Church in Merrillville.
“We will carry Our Lady of Fatima on the Jericho March. It was handcrafted in Fatima (Portugal) where Our Lady appeared to the children,” O’Brien said.
Lynne Scherschel and a member of Living Stones Church in Crown Point said the Jericho March hasn’t caused the walls of Planned Parenthood to fall yet.
“Yet look at the cracks in the walls,” she said. “We want the walls to fall, just not when anyone is inside.”
Another member of Living Stones Church, Pat Longhi, of Hebron, distributed copies of a pencil drawing she created of Jesus’ head crowned with thorns to those at the march.
“We want to send a positive message to neighbors to think about abortion,” said Reynolds, a Schererville resident, who brought along his 12-year old granddaughter, Hailey Reynolds, also of Schererville. “Abortion is a holocaust. There were over 325,000 abortions in the U.S. last year.”
In full regalia, eight members of the Santa Maria Venegas Council Knights of Columbus joined a group of 30 who walked from the Diocese of Gary Pastoral Care Center along Broadway to the frontage road leading to Planned Parenthood. Michael Velasco of the Santa Maria Venegas Council Knights of Columbus and K of C state pro-life director led the procession
They walked behind a banner with “40 Days of Life” emblazoned on it. It refers to the days of Lent, Velasco said.
Four men carried a white cross with red lettering honoring babies who died due to abortions. The crosses are made by the Knights of Columbus and are available to any church through the website www.IndianaKofC.org.
Just before the march began, K of C Knight James Laud Sr., of Cedar Lake, read the story of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho from the Bible.
“We are concerned about life destroyed,” said Laud, a member of Holy Name Catholic Church.