16th annual Respect Life March scheduled for Sunday in Tyrone

In February of 1987, Peter Kreckel of Tyrone was leafing through his most recent copy of the Knights of Columbus monthly magazine when a specific article caught his eye.
It concerned a fisherman’s discovery of a dead infant in the Mahoning River. After weeks of investigation, a positive identification was never made.
So the local chapter of the Knights of Columbus decided to intervene. It decided to adopt the child and provide a proper burial service.
Three days after Kreckel read the article, the same thing happened in this area.
The body of a dead infant was found in Antis Township. As in Ohio, an investigation revealed nothing.
“We just felt the proper thing to do was take this child as our own and do the same thing as the chapter in Ohio,” said Kreckel, who is the pro-life director for St. Gregory Council No. 1218, Knights of Columbus, Tyrone Council. “We saw it as an obligation.”
The council made all the provisions and with the help of funeral director Ted Feller, “Baby Agnes Doe” was committed to Oak Grove Cemetery in Tyrone on June 20, 1987.
“Since that time, we’ve used Baby Agnes Doe as the focus for pro-life support in Tyrone,” said Kreckel.
This Sunday, hundreds of pro-life supporters will gather in Tyrone for the 16th annual Respect Life March.
The program is scheduled to begin at noon with a prayer service at St. Matthew’s Church. The service will be followed with a 1.25-mile march to Oak Grove Cemetery to the grave of Baby Agnes Doe for another short prayer service.
“Our goal is simply to pray for unborn children now,” said Kreckel. “We need to respect life at all stages and want this march to reflect that.”
Kreckel said normally, about 125 people attend the annual march, noting that a good number influx from other areas, including Renovo, Huntingdon, Altoona and Williamsport. Last year, the largest turnout ever occurred with 180 people marching up the hill.
“A lot of people come year after year,” he said. “And every year, we see a lot of new faces.”
The Tyrone Borough Police Department and local fire police officers will escort the walk. Kreckel said those who may not feel able to make the 1.25-mile hike, are able to ride behind the procession in vehicles.
“You will enjoy the fellowship as we draw upon the strengths of each other as we battle the lack of respect of life at all stages, from the unborn child to the terminally ill,” said Kreckel. “Please join us as we walk prayerfully and meditate upon the atrocities.”
Kreckel said those attending are encouraged to make a sign showing support of the pro-life movement.
Following the services, a luncheon of sandwiches and soup will be provided in Parish Hall.
For more information, contact Peter Kreckel at 684-2898.