U.S. Province Parish Dedicates Respect Life Garden

“When human life under any circumstance is not held as sacred in a society, all human life in that society is threatened.” – Cardinal Joseph Bernardin

Father James Fenstermaker blesses the Holy Family statue

Parishioners at Holy Cross Parish, South Easton, Mass., dedicated a new Respect Life Garden on May 19, 2013, near the church.

The garden includes a 4-foot-tall statue of the Holy Family. The words from Cardinal Joseph Bernardin are inscribed on the base. The cardinal is credited with popularizing the concept of a consistent ethic of life. There are two benches at the site as well.

“My hope, and that of our respect life committee, is that the garden will become a popular, frequently used place for prayer and quiet meditation by our parishioners and, perhaps, by the wider Easton community,” Rev. James Fenstermaker, C.S.C., Pastor of Holy Cross, told members of the parish.

Holy Family in the Respect Life Garden at Holy Cross Parish in South Easton, Mass

The Holy Family, with Jesus as a young boy, “is a powerful symbol and reminder of the sanctity and importance of the family in the life of the Church and society,” he said. “It is within the family that children learn from their parents the sanctity of human life at all stages and in all conditions of human existence.”

Cardinal Joseph Bernardin spoke at the 1983 commencement at the University of Notre Dame, when Rev. James Fenstermaker received his M.Div. degree. The cardinal’s words had a profound impact on him.

“I pray that this garden and statue will help us as a parish community to grow ever stronger and more fervent in our commitment to protect the dignity and sanctity of all human life,” he said.

Fr. Fenstermaker credited the Respect Life Committee, the Easton Knights of Columbus, parishioners and the owners of Easton Memorials for their work and donations toward the garden and statue.

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