Knights place monument in Upper Quad

After raising more than $2,000 last semester, the St. Thomas Knights of Columbus installed a monument just north of the Murray-Herrick Campus Center.

The pro-life monument features an image of the Virgin Mary and infant Jesus and a quote from a Vatican homily from Pope Benedict XVI: “Each of us is a result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed. Each of us is loved. Each of us is necessary.”

St. Thomas Grand Knight Paul Shovelain said, “The quote from Pope Benedict is actually a very pro-life quote. It’s not just for little children, but for adults, as well … not only the unborn. Not only the students on campus here, but also the elderly.”

The Knights started looking into monument possibilities last year, after the grand knight two years ago brought up the idea.

Last semester, the Knights raised the money with a jellybean-guessing contest in the middle of April. Each guess cost $2 and the winner won a TV, purchased with money from the Undergraduate Student Government.

With 1,000 guesses for the contest and donations from local Knights of Columbus chapters, the St. Thomas Knights raised enough money. They talked to the Rev. John Malone, vice president for mission, to approve the image and quote. The Knights also talked to Jerry Anderley, associate vice-president for facilities, to find a location.

“With its proximity to the chapel, we figured this would be a good location,” Shovelain said. “We also wanted it to be visible … This location is visible to the Upper Quad and it has great visibility to campus … I think that’s a good choice.”

The monument cost $4,000, but the company gave the Knights a discount.

“The company saw the importance of the pro-life movement and the values of life are high on their priorities,” Shovelain said. “He realized the need to promote the values of the Catholic faith and this was a great way to promote the faith on campus and give an awareness to the students.”

The monument will be blessed and dedicated on Oct. 22 with a Mass and a visit from Bishop Piché.

Mary Kenkel can be reached at

55 Replies to “Knights place monument in Upper Quad”

  1. Solome,

    Thank you for your contribution to the discussion. It is greatly appreciated and I am thankful for the intellectual challenge. I want to be clearer, or more clear than in my first post, that I never expressed either implicitly or explicitly that all Catholics hold to the viewpoint that was expressed. I was simply providing the objective truth that we hold to within the tenets of the Catholic faith. This being said, those with views against life including those of Catholics for Choice are contrary to the truths of the Church. They negate the truth that abortion is never safe and someone is always hurt. Someone dies and the woman lives with post-abortive trauma afterward. Also, in rare instances there can be damage to her reproductive system like a perforated uterus. Additionally, there is a strong link to breast cancer in women who have had an abortion: Are these issues ever discussed in pro-choice groups?

    The Catholic Church believes that all life is sacred and good, therefore worthy of being protected, even if that view is not expressed by all of her members. Also, contraception should not be seen as an option for the preservation of the natural dignity of marriage. Contraception creates a barrier that reduces men and women to a lustful instead of a loving action. The expression of marital intimacy is intended to be freely given (never given against the will of either spouse), total donation of self (each withholds nothing of his or her being from the other), faithful (the intimacy is neither intended or expressed with or for someone else), and fruitful (the couple gives life to their marriage in the unitive action and is open to the possibility of life every time their marriage is consummated. Even in relatively infertile times, they are open to the possibility of the transmission of human life). A portion of what you quoted from Catholics for Choice was that men and women are trusted to make moral decisions, This is true, the key here being that it is a moral decision. Each person is endowed with free-will, the ability to choose the objective good in a good circumstance. No one would freely choose to do something that he or she perceived to be evil. Each choice is intended with a good intent in mind. The dilemma comes from when one chooses something perceived as good, and it later is revealed to him or her or by one’s own conscience that the action was wrong. Policy makers and advocates are free to support policies that create a more just and compassionate society. This is why legislation is necessary that protects all life, otherwise it is neither compassionate nor just. A child cannot protect himself or herself either in the womb or after birth, this is why it is necessary that both compassion and justice that society and in particular his or her parents are to provide for its protection, welfare, and stability. Ectopic pregnancies are allowed to be terminated by the principle of double effect when neither the fetus implanted outside of the uterus nor the pregnant mother will survive. The intent here is performing a life-saving operation that will save the life of the mother. The unintended consequence is that the fallopian tube is removed and the baby will die. Good ends cannot be justified by immoral means. In this event, the end is to preserve life, which the only life that can be preserved is that of the mother. Bringing the child to term would actually kill both of them. Is this what you mean by life-saving interventions being blocked by sectarian interests? I think not, because this is sanctioned by the Catholic Church. Ironically, the statement proposed by Catholics for Choice stating that life-saving health interventions has a myopic view of Whose life is worthy of being saved which in itself is a sectarian interest, held by those who support abortion and other means, which is in itself self-contradictory. Lastly, contraceptives with birth control in particular are all meant to diminish normal human function and transmission of life. No other medicine out there, unless I am ignorant of its existence, is meant to diminish normal human functioning or to stop it for a period of time. Does this sound like a life saving or preserving means? No, we have been inculturated or simply have not looked critically beyond the public opinion or that of our own doctors with anything beyond complicit trust. It is easier to be ignorant and remain in vice than it is to seek the truth.

    Moving to your next point: women around the world cannot get an abortion even if it would save her life is a commonly held, but in many instances fallacious view. Moreover, it is a view that lacks love. I am not speaking from the point of an emotionally uplifting or perhaps dually gratifying feeling, but that of always seeking to do what is good for the other. This may be seen as some as being selfless, though this actually the normative idea. We as a human species are often selfish. Love is not an innately human activity, though it is given by God to be given to others and for others. What mother would rightly choose to preserve her life over that of her child? In procuring an abortion, she negates the life of the infant and also herself in her maternity. This should not be seen as an emotional or intellectual trickery, procuring the abortion changes two lives a baby once was and a mother once was. Ends do not justify the means. We CANNOT go around deciding who lives and dies. Yet, this is what abortion does, in choosing to preserve the life of the mother, another life is killed. Why is her life that has already been in existence more worthy than one that has just begun? In understanding either fatherhood or motherhood correctly, is it not the purpose even if implicitly to desire the fullest life for one’s child and to do anything legitimate and moral to see that he or she has the best life possible? Why limit your view to its sympathetic expression to rape survivors in war torn countries and not express it to all rape survivors. Rape rarely results in the rape survivor becoming pregnant the statistics vary according to how they are reported but vary from less than 1 to roughly 5%, being reported by both pro-choice and pro-life sources. The exact statistic will be hard to pin down due to reporting of rape not always happening. Even in the event of a rape, which I would feel to be terribly traumatic and life-changing, why should a woman then be able to inflict a life ending result on another human being. I know 9 months is a long time to deal with the resulting pregnancy from a rape, but is this so much more significant than bringing the child to birth and then giving it up for adoption? Death is a permanent result it cannot be undone.

    Another assumption you propose is that 40 million people living with HIV or AIDs that their use of condoms is better than them being called to live chastely. Is it a safe assumption on anyone’s part that condoms stop the transmission of the HIV virus? No, you would point that it is absurd and that under ideal circumstances a condom is roughly 90-95% effective. Curious, how even with condom usage a person would be putting his or her (they do make condoms for women) partner in danger of infection. This does not seem very loving to me. The effectiveness of a condom being reduced by heat, cold, transportation, and proper use and ensuring the absence of slippage or breakage. I suspect but do not know from personal experience that in the moment of a couple preparing for sex, either married or unmarried, that this is the first thing that enters their mind versus the pursuit of pleasure. It is a fallacy that condoms were intended for love, but to make sexual pleasure more accessible. Abstinence on the other hand is 100% effective all the time and an entirely loving action as well. When a chaste couple is dating or when a married couple is called to periodic chastity is there a negation of love? No, we as a society at large believe that love is always fulfilled in sex with whomever we “love.”

    I find your statistics both interesting and startling. Are you telling me a majority of Catholics support a public option for abortion? I would agree with you that many are in favor of contraception, but the statistics I have found do not seem to correlate with what you are presenting. Were all Catholics polled in all representative demographics and regions? Were the results selectively representative? I will not limit the poll to my own experience, but I do not remember ever partaking or hearing of a national poll. Casting that objection aside, there are many ways to misrepresent statistics of a poll. Assuming, that your poll is indeed valid, were the Catholic explicitly aware that the healthcare reform was going to provide for publicly procured abortions or was it presented more subtly? The only data you provided for was regarding those being polled actively attending their respective churches in varying frequencies.

    I am in agreement with CFC president Jon O’Brien when he states that the opinion of the USCCB and Catholic Bishops is often not that of the people. This does not mean that they do not have their interests in mind. Reproductive healthcare cannot contain procedures that diminish, alter, or stop the transmission of life. Furthermore, who is this “Bishop of Value?” I find it interesting that he became involved though his name is not mentioned. This draws some skepticism from me because I question now whether he is truly a Catholic bishop or if he is from some apostate group that identifies itself as Catholic. Why else would he go unnamed other than to protect his own interests and views? Additionally, the girl did have many pregnancy options but they all start with delivery of a baby.

    Attending to scripture, you point out that I neglected to state that Jeremiah was a prophet to the nations. This neglect was unintentional and should not be seen as a subjection of a biblical view on others. You are correct that this chapter deals with the calling of Jeremiah to the vocation of a prophet. This could not have been achieved if his mother had a prochoice view. Jeremiah in order to do God’s will had to undergo very human actions, conception, birth, and life. My quote in no way misrepresents that we are all created for and by God through natural means. Our greatness starts in humble ways including cellular division and natural human development. We as humanity ARE all called to be prophets, in our humanity we seek to do great things. By our humanity, we make the unseen God seen. His fingerprint is evidenced in His creation, most significantly in the human as a creature. You are correct in stating that most of us are not capable of performing great miracles. We are all capable of bearing though, even with great effort, the miracle of love as selfless action for others. This verse is not out of context at all. God is seen as both our source and summit, our beginning and also our natural end.

    In the Bible, is not man (meaning humanity) seen as being something separate or unique from all of the rest of the animal kingdom? I will not argue with lent support from scripture because this does not seem compelling for you. But does man not have a faculty that seems to be deficient in all the rest of the created world? This is the use of reason. Animals don’t have a devotion to God other than in how they are created. In man’s humbling before his Creator he sees his deficiencies and offers Him the praise He is due.
    Psalm 139:13-16 appropriates this reverence in awe of God and thankfulness for being a created being. This is precisely the point God starts life and God is the only subject who can rightly call people to death. Where did I state that a fetus deserved more protection than women? In fact, I have been arguing the whole time that they deserve equal protection and equal dignity. You seem to arguing solely for the protection of a woman and disregard for the life of the child.
    The Book of Exodus clearly indicates that the fetus does not have the same legal status as a person (Chapter 21:22-23).

    In Exodus 21:22-23, you provide that there is clear evidence that the fetus does not have the same legal rights as a woman. This and the verses to verse 25 are not arguing for legal rights of either life, but setting an early statute of limitations regarding the amount of revenge that is allowed to be taken. Exodus 21:1-22:17 are laws that set up a early legal code in Judaic society. Laws are meant to conserve and protect life and bring restitution when injustice has been committed. I believe that it is also important to not look at a verse or selection of verses without the full context of the moral law of the Bible. God is allowed to start and end life as he pleases because He is perfectly just and merciful; human beings lack that same liberty and cannot choose who lives and dies. All life is sacred.

    You are correct that not all people are Catholic or Christian, but incorrect in thinking that this does not matter. The United States was founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs and its laws and documents reflect those beliefs. I understand that in a nation that is losing its values and morals that it is easy to want to disregard all morality; however, morality ensures that you live the best life possible.

  2. Kathryn,

    You ask: “why spend a few thousand dollars on a memorial rather than spend the same money on something that would actively benefit the principle the memorial was meant to represent?” You seem to think that this spending of money was pointless or wasteful. But I think if you ask the question “what is the point of spending that much money for a silly piece of stone which does nothing to actually help stop abortion” you need to ask a similar question of “why spend millions of dollars on putting up memorials in all of America’s public places, city parks, national malls, military bases, etc… to our veterans and to those who have died or simply served in our military?” You’d have to ask, “why did we just spend millions to erect a WWII memorial in Washington D.C., even though the number of WWII vets are diminishing at an exponential rate and when we could have used that money to support living vets, injured vets, and their families?” I think this monument has a similar reason to be erected. It serves as a reminder of the horrendous injustice and horror of abortion, and of all those innocent people who are mistreated, injured, or murdered in our society, country, and community. It is a reminder to people to continue their efforts to end injustice and to always remember its terrible consequences. Like war memorials, it also is a statement that we will not abandon to fight and strive to protect what is right, good, true, beautiful, and just. Like memorials to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for us, it is not supposed to make you feel warm and fuzzy, but it is supposed to make you feel more determined to become a better person and citizen. Our society tends to forget things very quickly. We need memorials so that we may never forget. To me, these memorials are priceless. My grandfather fought in WWII, and when I saw the WWII memorial in D.C., I almost burst into tears of grateful “sorrow” for their sacrifice. I think the pro-life memorial is supposed to do something similar to us on-lookers. Even if it doesn’t though, it at least reminds me to pray for the end of abortion every time I walk by. And if every student on campus said a similar prayer every time they passed by, the monument would indeed be “worth” the cost, and without price.

  3. Daniel- First, I don’t think memorials per se are without merit.

    Second, I absolutely do question whether erecting a WWII memorial that cost millions was worth it. I do think it’s incredibly important to remember what happened so as to hopefully prevent it from happening again, and I do believe in honoring those who served, as well as the victims. However, we aren’t honoring our veterans by failing them with respect to health care. We aren’t honoring our veterans by failing to address their homelessness rate. If in spending millions on a war memorial, we prevent those same funds from addressing more pressing needs, then yeah, I think that’s a problem. While I think a WWII memorial is absolutely a good thing, I think we also need to be responsible to those who served, so one that costs millions when our veterans’ basic needs aren’t met seems irresponsible to me.

    Third, there’s a serious distinction between the abortion issue and WWII. WWII is over. Image if Obama built a memorial to those serving in the Iraq War now, before it’s over, rather than direct that money toward life saving technology, defense, weaponry, etc. I have no doubts that that would be irresponsible spending. That’s not to say that raising awareness isn’t important, or doesn’t ever have impact, I just think no matter the cause one should prioritize what’s most helpful. That’s the essence of what I was trying to say about directing the money toward something actively beneficial. Not only do I think trying to mitigate the conditions that lead women to have abortions would have been ultimately more helpful to the pro-life cause, I also think that’s something a lot of pro-choicers would have been willing to get behind.

  4. Funny how Paul “Paula” Milner pretends to be a girl so he can dominate a decision which is completely a female matter…. other men commenting on this board on behalf of the antichoice movement also knew that he was pretending… thats “juvenile” if you ask me…..

  5. Solome,
    Why is this “completely a female matter?” One of St. Thomas Aquinas’s self-evident precepts is that we should protect human life. Abortion is obviously contradictory to this and is therefore a going against the nature of everything, and is thus a matter of concern for all humans as a whole.

    What is really juvenile is to say that living in a society where parents kill their own children is a fitting activity of human beings.

Comments are closed.