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Annual Respect Life March scheduled for January 20

The 21st Annual Respect Life March is scheduled for Sunday, January 20, beginning at noon.
The event will begin with a prayer service at St. Matthew Church in Tyrone.
Participants will then walk the 1.25 miles to Oak Grove Cemetery to the grave of Baby Agnes Doe for another short prayer service.
Individuals are encouraged to bring a sign; if you are unable to walk this distance, feel free to join in by driving at the end of the procession.
A hot luncheon will be served at the parish hall after the march.
In a press release, St. Matthew Church parishioner Peter Kreckel wrote, “(The public is) cordially invited to spend a couple hours as we publicly show our love for all of God’s most defenseless children, both born and unborn.
“You will enjoy the fellowship as we draw upon the strengths of each other as we continue to battle the lack of respect of life at all stages, from the unborn child to the terminally ill. Please join us as we walk prayerfully and meditate upon the atrocities.”
Kreckel gave The Daily Herald an in-depth background of why participants annually walk to the gravesite of Baby Agnes Doe.
He said the remains of a female infant were discovered in an abandoned dump on Kerbaugh Road near Bellwood on February 5, 1987.
After months of investigation, the remains of the baby were turned over to the Knights of Columbus.
A “Mass of the Angels” was celebrated on June 20, 1987, giving the child the dignified Christian burial that she deserved. She was then given the name Baby Agnes Doe, after Saint Agnes, the patron Saint of little girls.
Her remains were then buried in a plot of land set aside by St. Matthew Parish that would serve as a focal point for Pro-Life activities.
Last year, the prayer service at the cemetery was held at a new memorial site.
Jonathan Hampton, Troop No. 20 from the Church of the Good Shepherd, fulfilled the requirements to become an Eagle Scout by updating the memorial grave site for Baby Agnes Doe.
What had happened over the years was that grave stones began crowding the original site. To help remedy this, the grave site was moved to a large open area at the other end of the cemetery, and a memorial large enough to support the gathering held there each January was created.
The march is sponsored by the St. Gregory Council No. 1218 Knights of Columbus.
For more information, contact Kreckel at 684-2898 or email pharmcanoe@aol.com.