Assumption Grotto Church in Detroit, Michigan (above) as it appeared at 7:00am on June 27, 2008, just hours before the remains of unborn infants would arrive for their Mass and burial in the Grotto cemetery, with an over-capacity crowd.
EDIT July 1, 2008: After viewing the photostory here, see news about available audio on this event in a blogpost I made today.
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Click on any pic to enlarge. This is a mega-photo post, probably larger than I have ever done with over 50 photos.
This post may be edited with additional details, names and links as I get them. For those wanting to use pictures for commercial purposes or blogs/web pages, please see my notes at the bottom. Only a small portion of the 149 photos available are shown here. The rest are at another site.
GUIDED BY THE BLESSED MOTHER
Because I am an amateur photographer, I have asked the Blessed Mother and my Guardian Angel, as I have so many times to guide me and to show me what to shoot. I served as a witness like anyone else who was in attendance, but through my lens all of you viewing this blogpost are now witnesses, as well.
I would like to thank Our Lady, my Guardian Angel and Almighty God for the honor to share with you one small part of this story.
A DIGNIFIED FUNERAL
What you do for the least of these...
It is an act of mercy to bury the dead. These babies got a funeral and burial with the highest level of dignity. I can't say how many people were there, but believe there were no less than 600. All I know is that the Sanctuary was full of clerics and altar boys, the pews were filled to capacity, the wooden risers periodically used by the choir in the back were full, and people were still standing in the aisles, in the vestibule, and even out on the front steps.
FINAL RESTING PLACE - A PLACE OF WARMTH
The grave marker to the right at the intersection is the final resting place for the babies. They join numerous others in 3 caskets, also buried there previously. As a member of the parish, I can tell you that there isn't a more beautiful place to be buried, not just because of the physical beauty, but because of the many who enter just to pray. It is the home of our Grotto, where outdoor Masses are celebrated, and Marian hymns sung. Each Sunday during the warmer months, the Blessed Sacrament will pass by this grave following the Noon Mass with a Eucharistic procession and Benediction.
For those who died such a cold death, they are buried in a place full of devotion, warmth and love.
Fr. Frank Pavone, MEV of Priests for Life (2nd picture below), stands next to the grave marker for the unborn who are buried there. It also serves as a memorial to all the babies who have suffered the horrors of abortion.
Below, Fr. Pavone awaits the hearse which will be carrying the babies
Mass began with a full procession, which included the Knights of Columbus. The tiny casket can be seen at the bottom of the photo. In it are the remains of three babies whose lives ended with miscarriage, along with the remains of aborted babies. Those babies were given the dignity of having names, printed on cards that were handed out: Rachel, Joshua, Victoria, Adam, Mary, Jacob, and Grace.
FAQ: Can unborn, unbaptized babies receive a Catholic burial/funeral?
Bishop John M. Quinn filled in for Bishop Daniel Flores, who had a death in the family. Our sympathies and prayers go to him and his family.
After Mass, a procession started out the front of the Church and over to the parish cemetery. God graced us with pleasant weather in between daily, sometimes violent and drenching storms.
Fr. Frank Pavone gave a powerful graveside eulogy. Stay tuned to EWTN's Defending Life, which airs on Friday evenings at 10:00 here in Michigan. There were camera crews there - one taping, I believe for Fr. Pavone, and the other with St. Michael's Media.
Below, is Monica Migliorino Miller, PhD of St. Mary's College of Madonna University, and Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, which made this funeral possible (center, below). A press release/statement was made earlier in the day in front of the Livonia clinic pertaining to these babies and how they were found.
Next to Monica is Todd Borek of Borek-Jennings Funeral Home, of which there are several in Michigan. These babies had the dignity of a proper funeral arrangement with his help, including the hearse.
Grotto's pastor, Fr. Eduard Perrone (below).
The crowd was too big to get in a single shot. I walked in different angles, but could not get the kind of elevation needed for a good overall shot.
Faces, sorrowful, and in prayer, speak volumes.
Henry Root of Ave Maria Radio (below) told me that he would be airing what was taped soon. I believe he said it would be next Sunday in his program, Putting on the Mind of Christ. You can catch it on the web anywhere in the world using Listen Live at AveMariaRadio.net
Below, the hand of Fr. Frank Pavone as he blesses the bodies of the babies.
Fr. Don LaCuesta from St. Lawrence, in Utica, Michigan (center), with Michael Voris of St. Michael's Media (right).
A white dove was released by children present at the funeral.
The tiny casket is lowered and the grave begins to be filled with handfuls of earth.
It's not a matter of what you choose to do with your own body, it's what you choose to do with someone else's body. Choose Life!
If you are pro-choice or unsure of where you stand, view video and pictures so you are fully aware of all that you are supporting.
If you have had an abortion and suffer in silence, know that there is help. Elderly women have been known to suffer terribly for a choice made earlier in life. For resources, please go to Rachel's Vineyard and Silent No More Awareness Campaign. Edit 7-1-08: See also a beautiful blogpost by Margaret Schaut on this topic.
Fr. Frank Pavone's blog
MORE PHOTOS AT MY SMUGMUG SITE
Full Gallery of photos of the Mass and Burial of Babies on June 27, 2008 (Smugmug enables purchase of individual prints. I get nothing from the sale of these photos that you order through the service there, but you are free to order prints for personal use. Commercial users and bloggers see my notes below)
Slideshow of all photos at my SmugMug page
NOTES ABOUT PHOTO USE
Bloggers may use photos for general posting, but kindly provide a link back to this post. The permalink to the post is the timestamp just below (just copy shortcut). Please right-click and download the pic, then upload it accordingly. I don't want my bandwidth affected with pictures embedded directly from my blog (known as hot-linking).
Commercial users, please contact me at TeDeumBlog@gmail.com and explain how the pictures will be used. Use the Gallery above where you can right-click and save the photos which should download as high resolution for print. If you do not get the quality you desire, please email me the photo in question and I will provide a higher resolution of the photo. Preferred attribute will be given through email.
NOTE about Monday, June 30th.......I will be out of town for the day and will reply to emails when I return Monday night.
Photos may not be modified in any way without prior consent, outside of light cropping.
June 29th, 6:48pm: Detroit Free Press editorial challenged by Monica Miller - see the Editorial and Monica's response here.
Teresa Tomeo of Catholic Connection covered this event in two of her local broadcasts (click for details on how to listen to mp3's online)