WESTERLY — All life is sacred and Catholics must strive to protect it. One Westerly parish has been doing just that on a regular basis, and they just upped their game.
A parishioner at Immaculate Conception Church in Westerly showed the pastor, Father Giacomo Capoverdi, an article from “SO Rhode Island” magazine which promoted “The Woman Project’s Petition 2.0 Quilt,” which is a pro-abortion endeavor by a group that hopes to raise awareness about the Reproductive Health Care Act (H7340). If passed, this Act will make sure that the women of Rhode Island will have the same “reproductive rights” in the state, even if Roe V. Wade is overturned on a national level. The pro-abortion quilt was displayed locally at the Savoy Bookstore in Westerly where people were given an opportunity to sign the quilt in agreement with H7340. Ultimately, their quilt will be displayed at the Rhode Island State House. Father Capoverdi decided he had to react to this in some way.
After reading the “SO Rhode Island” article and hearing about the “Petition 2.0 Quilt” at Westerly’s Savoy Bookstore, the pastor met with Westerly priests and together they decided to counter the pro-abortion quilt by having a pro-life quilt sewn and signed by those who value life. Also, the Savoy Bookstore will be asked to give equal time to the pro-life quilt as they did with the pro-abortion 2.0 quilt. Father Capoverdi said that Representative Sam Azzinaro (D-Westerly) has been contacted and will be arranging for the quilt to be hung at the State House to counter the “Petition 2.0” quilt.
“If a pro-abortion group can come into town and proselytize their viewpoint, they should also know that they will be met with a ferocious pro-life group that will counter their activities and display that there is a huge amount of support for pro-life in our town,” Father Capoverdi said.
Immaculate Conception’s Respect Life Group, under the leadership of Mrs. Nuala McLaughlin, pulled together a group of more than a dozen sewers from the different Westerly parishes, plus children as extra helpers, and within a few weeks they created a beautiful 10 foot by 10 foot quilt made of blue and pink squares with “Pro Life Quilt – Respect Life from Conception to Natural Death” sewn into the design. Mclaughlin shared that the quilt was made with “many holy hands” and is symbolic of “love, family, and for the children to live and be cozy and warm like in their mothers’ wombs.”
McLaughlin said that in Rhode Island it seems that the pro-abortion movement “is a gathering storm and we aren’t noticing it. We are just going to work and raising our families.”
She noted that most people don’t realize that the proposed legislation is going to have a big impact. In other words, this should be a red flag to pro-lifers to stay alert and support pro-life issues.
Immaculate Conception’s parishioners have already been signing the quilt and on Labor Day weekend it started traveling to St. Pius X and St. Clare parishes, as well as St. James Chapel in Charlestown.
Parishes who are interested in having the quilt at their parish before it is brought to the State House for the next legislative session can contact Immaculate Conception’s parish office at 401-596-2130 to schedule a date. When parishes sign up they will also receive a petition to sign and a hanging rack to display the quilt. They encourage pastors to give their parishioners time before and after Mass to sign the quilt and petition. An educational and spiritual goal of the quilt, as stated on their informational flyer, says “Please pray that all who see the Pro-Life Quilt will have a change of heart and begin to respect life from conception to natural death.”
The pro-life group at Immaculate is quite active. The group also hosts movie nights, a yearly dinner for the Deborah Fallacaro Pregnancy Center, a pro-life display at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Festivities in July, and the group also has a current display at each church entrance showing week by week how baby Jesus developed in Mary’s womb. The group also sponsored two teens from the Westerly High School’s Life group to go to a rhetorical weekend in Louisiana where they learned how to debate pro-life issues. They also host the Ancora free ultrasound van at Immaculate Conception on the first and third Wednesdays of each month.
Rosaria Guido, one of the sewers, made an insightful comment that sums up the entire process of this Pro-Life quilt coming to be. She stated that “seeing the evil inspired the good” because reading about the pro-abortion quilt project inspired Father Capoverdi to counter it with a positive message of life and goodness to all who see it.