Annual Display of Crosses at York and Madison Streets Grabs Drivers' Attention

Each cross represents an abortion; the display will be up until during October.

Editor's Note: This article first was published in Oct. 2011. The crosses went up again at Visitation Parish on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013. Do you agree with the church sending its message this way? Do you agree with the message?



It's provocative, it's a conversation starter, it's a 14-year tradition at Visitation Catholic Church. And, many feel it is not only a mission, but an obligation of those in the Catholic faith.

Every October, in honor of Respect Life Month, about 30 parishioners get together on the lawn of Visitation to plant thousands of white crosses. This year, that day was Saturday, Oct. 1.

Each cross represents one of the 4,000 abortions that occur each day, parishioner Paul Esposito said.

"We installed approximately 3,675 crosses this year, and we will have the full 4,000 next year," he said.

This year, to go along with the church's major build-out and remodel, the display consists of new white crosses, made by the parishioners, themselves. And, for the first time, the vast majority of crosses can be seen in one area, on the west side of Visitation Parish along York Road.

"The new addition of a parish center to our church gave us a larger lawn on York Road," Esposito said. "Since York Road is busier than Madison Street, we lengthened the display on York to nearly the full length of the new parish center. We feel the new configuration of the display brings into better focus the staggering number of abortions performed in the U.S. each day and ensures more passersby see it."

Every year, the display elicits reaction on both sides of the abortion issue.

Some people have said they completely avoid driving near the intersection of York and Madison streets while the display is up. One person yelled out, "abortion rocks!" as he drove by on Saturday, Esposito said.

"On the other hand, another person engaged us in a long dialogue and gave us a financial contribution toward the maintenance and upkeep of the crosses," he said.

In addition to the new crosses, parishioners have added a new sign to the display this year. It includes a number for Project Rachel, for women who have had abortions.

"Project Rachel aids those who have been hurt by abortion to obtain healing and forgiveness," Esposito said. "We felt that this aspect of pro-life ministry was missing from our earlier signs and needed to be addressed."

The display will be on the church lawn until Oct. 22.

Jim Court November 28, 2011 at 03:48 AM
While I often agree with your thinking, I could not disagree with you more on this. Look at the development of a fetus and tell me a late term abortion is not the destruction of a human being. If a woman is murdered while pregnant, isn't the killer charged with two murders?
Dmitri November 28, 2011 at 02:26 PM
Dear Sam, You are scientifically correct on the beginning of life at conception. However, if you read the next four discussions of Mr. Russell below, you'll notice that he has had a total change of heart and reasoning. I prefer to treat my opponent charitably and with dignity.
Molly hayes October 13, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Huh? I almost drove off the road. Is abortion a problem in Elmhurst? I don't think abortion is a pertinent issue there, is it? How about something more meaningful to the community, like having local teenagers help/give a helping hand/soup kitchen to other people or communities who are here, on earth? So weird they let somebody sign off on that. What a blip! -Molly Hayes
NancyC October 15, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Yes Molly, abortion is a problem in Elmhurst and for Elmhurst, Just read the local school news about the new push for more students in the STEM subjects. Only God knows for certain how many STEM scholars lives have been snuffed out from the abortion holocaust, and it does not stop at our borders. Abortion is or should be every persons problem, especially every person who says they care about others.
WLA October 09, 2013 at 03:21 PM
It's their property and they can do what they want with it. I do believe the Holy Father warned against the Church focusing to much on abortion, gay marriage and contraception. I think this goes against his statement on those issues. I don't see too many unwed teenage mothers here in Elmhurst, I wonder why.


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