Members of St. Jude's Parish in Londonderry are raising funds to build a memorial garden honoring the unborn on the church grounds this fall. The memorial, as depicted in this conceptual illustration with plants and shrubs labeled, will honor the memory of infants lost to miscarriage, stillbirth and abortion. (COURTESY)
Parishoner starts ball rolling on memorial for unborn in Londonderry
LONDONDERRY — Attending a church service at his sister’s New Jersey parish last year, longtime Londonderry resident Ed Renfer noticed a small monument surrounded by flowers.
After learning that the little garden had been planted in remembrance of infants lost to miscarriage, stillbirth or abortion, Renfer was touched by the poignant gesture.
“I knew this would be a beautiful addition to the grounds at St. Jude’s Parish,” he said.
After getting the go-ahead from church pastor, the Rev. Robert Couto, Renfer, who serves with the Bishop Newman Council 6949 Knights of Columbus of St. Jude Parish, began developing a plan.
He’s hoping to transform an existing garden on the north side of the church into a memorial to the unborn sometime this fall.
The centerpiece of the re-landscaped garden will be a specially designed granite monument, with a carving of Jesus embracing a small child.
“It will be a place where people from the surrounding community, not just from the parish, can come and reflect,” Renfer said, noting a bench is already located nearby.
Donations are currently being accepted to help complete the project, he noted, while any additional funds needed will come from the Knights’ previous fund-raising efforts.
Those wishing to assist the Knights with the garden project may submit contributions to: Memorial Garden, care of St. Jude Parish, 435 Mammoth Road, Londonderry, 03053.