Photo: EWTN

Print this story

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter


Rector of the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy Fr. Anthony Gramlich, MIC, was the guest on EWTN's "Sunday Night Live with Fr. Benedict Groeschel" on Jan. 25. He was invited to discuss the sanctity of life and the Marians' plans for a new Shrine of the Holy Innocents on the grounds of the National Shrine, in Stockbridge, Mass.

"It will be a memorial shrine dedicated to all deceased children," explained Fr. Anthony. That includes stillborn, miscarried, and aborted babies, and children who died in infancy.

"The idea is that the parents and family of the children can memorialize their children by having their names up on a plaque," said Fr. Anthony. [Learn more about the Shrine of the Holy Innocents]

"The message," said Fr. Groeschel," is that they are all human beings, and like everybody else, they deserve to be remembered. And don't you think, Father, that the mother of a stillborn child or a child who dies in infancy or even a mother who regrets that she had an abortion, don't you think they want one little thing on this earth in memory of that little life?"

That's precisely what spurred the plans, Fr. Anthony explained.

The Shrine of the Holy Innocents will be located on the lower level of the new Mother of Mercy Outdoor Shrine, which debuted on EWTN's live broadcast of Divine Mercy Sunday last April.

Father Groeschel asked Fr. Anthony how the Shrine of the Holy Innocents fits in with the Marians' work in spreading the message of Divine Mercy throughout the world.

"I was in prayer, and I kept hearing the Lord say to my heart, 'My people are crying out to Me for mercy,'" Fr. Anthony said. "I really felt a call to minister to men and women who have had abortions and who were crying out for mercy." He said he heard Christ speaking to his heart saying, "I want you to reach out to them with the message of Divine Mercy."

Father Anthony has since held Rachel's Vineyard retreats in Stockbridge for men and women who seek healing and reconciliation following an abortion. The plans for the new Shrine are a direct result of one such retreat.

"I was giving a tour of Our Lady of Mercy Oratory," Fr. Anthony said, "and one of the retreat participants was looking at the plaques from our benefactors, and she said, 'Fr. Anthony, why don't you have a plaque with children's names on it?"

"I thought, 'Great idea!'" said Fr. Anthony.

He said the Shrine of the Holy Innocents will be a peaceful place. "When people enter, it will be like they are entering a special holy place where the children are protected, and they are with Mary and with Jesus," Fr. Anthony said.

"What a beautiful thing to have a little tribute to that beautiful soul who we will certainly meet again in the kingdom of heaven," said Fr. Groeschel. He added that Fr. Anthony serves as a great example of a young, holy priest — one who, like St. Faustina, models a simple, powerful spirituality of praying to God, listening for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and acting upon that guidance.

The Abortion Debate in the News
Father Groeschel took the opportunity on his Sunday evening program to weigh in on recent political events associated with babies in the womb.

First, he noted the spirited pro-life march in Washington on Jan. 22, on 36th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Roe vs. Wade. He said 100,000 people took part in the peaceful protest, yet the event received practically no media coverage. "It was a blackout against life," he said. "This is an abuse of the media. It's an injustice, a disgrace."

Secondly, he spoke out against President Barack Obama's repeal of the policy that prohibits federal money from flowing to foreign abortion clinics — variously called the Mexico City Policy.

Thirdly, he warned about efforts to pass in Congress the so-called Freedom of Choice Act, advocated for by the pro-choice lobby. The Freedom of Choice Act would make it a law of the land to support abortion," said Fr. Groeschel. "It could force pro-life doctors and hospitals to perform baby killing or lose their federal funds or medical licenses."

He added, "The people who are in favor of abortion are nice people. President Obama and [Vice-President Joseph] Biden come off as nice people. But nice people are deceived. They were deceived in this country ... with slavery. We have been deceived in the past by getting involved in wars and military actions which were unjustified by the natural law. We were deceived when we went into Iraq against the explicit request of the Pope not to do this. It was an unjust action.

"And now we are deceived again," he said.

Father Groeschel told viewers, "I'm asking you all to face the fact that the murder of children is being foisted on the United States by the most pro-abortion government we have ever had, and you must speak up loudly. We are in a very serious situation. The United States could be precariously on the edge of its own destruction. Please do everything possible to bring to attention to those in government and religious positions that we cannot countenance the killing of babies for human convenience.

"Please, do not allow the United States to corrupt its own heart by the acceptance of the murder of children," he said. "Pray for the president, the vice president, and Congress that the Holy Spirit will change their hearts."

EWTN will air an encore of the broadcast Saturday, Jan. 31, 5 p.m. (EST).

Print this story

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter


Be a part of the discussion. Add a comment now!

Mae - Feb 9, 2009

I'm sorry that i missed this program. it was wonderful. I along with a large group of Sisters from the order of Notre Dame have sent out our concerns to our local representatives here. Thanks to the sisters who gave extra cards for me to mail in . I am praying for this president and nancy palosi who is also deeply involved in this. I pray hard for a change of heart for them. also i had a still-born birth many many years ago. i can't express enough how much this meant to me to come across this. Many thanks to Fr. Groeschel & Fr. Anthony

Norma - Feb 5, 2009

This is wonderful. I would like more info
so I could pass it out at our RESPECT LIFE
meeting, and get it to our pro-life director. GOD BLESS YOU

Anneliese - Jan 29, 2009

our whole parish send postcards to all our representavives in congrees to vote again abortion as our whole parish against abortion and killing our babys

Web editor - Jan 29, 2009

To Big Daddy Jack,

The story above includes a link to how to create a memorial at this new shrine.
Click on the sentence toward the top of the story that says:

[Learn more about the Shrine of the Holy Innocents]

Or go to our website that explains it all:


helena - Jan 29, 2009

I found this idea very moving and it really brought home the reality of the abortion debate- they truly are little lives as we have always thought. Ask any mother who wants her child when she feels it becomes a real child - yes- from the very instant of conception. as soon as you know you are pregnant you know that child is a real life and will do everything to give life and health.

Fiorita - Jan 29, 2009

The Japanese have a graveyard for aborted children and a national day of mourning for their mothers. The planned shrine is not only needed but long overdue, the pain of abortion lasts a lifetime for those who were deceived into getting one but raised to know it was wrong.

Maggie - Jan 29, 2009

This is a wonderful idea! The comfort it will bring parents is beyond measure. Why though are many Catholics wringing their hands about the escalation of abortion when more than 50% of Catholics voted for the person who is not only going to increase the rate of abortion in the world, but use our own dollars to pay for them? If only 10% of those who voted for our current administration --and this includes religious -- had voted their religious beliefs, the escalation of this evil would not now be occurring. This is not divisive politics, it is reality. It is very sad.

Big Daddy Jack - Jan 29, 2009

I have had six legitimate children but one girlfriend had two babies, and each time a California social worker told her to abort them or lose her welfare payments. Each time, she phoned me where I lived in another State. Each time, I told, "Why didn't you tell me so I could either marry you or else help support you?" She wanted to be independent. {shrug} I suggest that you print on this page more specifically just exactly how to send in for a dedicated plaque so people who are greatly moved with emotion upon reading this page, do not have to try to figure out how exactly to go about the process and then possibly lose interest, because it is not all clear how to order a plaque from on this page. Much appreciated.

Fr Gralich - Jan 29, 2009

May god Bless you Fr Gramlich I watch
your show every sunday night on Ewtn
I think this is very impotant iss on abortions.I pray the diven mercy every day for mothers who have had abortions and for this issue to be put to an end. I was invpleved in forty days for life this past fall at my chuchrch I'm more than willing to help out more inthe future

Fr Gramlich - Jan 29, 2009

May God Bless Uou Fr Gralich

Margaret Keller - Jan 28, 2009

I applaud Fr.Groeschel and Fr. Anthony for coming out and saying what abortion really is.I watched Sunday Night Live.

Irene - Jan 28, 2009

Thank you, Fr. Anthony for being so faithful to God. We need more courageous sheperds like you in our parishes. Enough of this 'I'm OK, you're OK' theology - something like this needs to be heard from the pulpit. God bless you!

Kim - Jan 28, 2009

This is an important discussion that the pro choice community should hear, too: support of the woman *after* her decision to abort...a tribute to both mother and child, and a way to love both through the invocation of Christ's Divine Mercy.
Excellent programming!

Isaiah B. - Jan 28, 2009

I saw it all live on EWTN, it was great to see that we have holy priests who are willing to tell people that abortion is a grave injustice against the constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Marian - Jan 28, 2009

Let us pray to Our Lord Jesus Christ who shared our humanity in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, growing and developing for nine months.
Our God a preborn child from the moment of conception when life begins until his birth in a stable in Bethlehem, we ask you to bless and protect all the preborn children throughout the world growing and developing in their mothers' womb.
Jesus as a newborn, Our God a newborn baby, we ask you to bless and protect all the newborn babies who are birthed by their mothers' and delivered to give you all glory, honor, praise and worship, a precious gift from God.
Lord Jesus Christ conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, bless and protect us to love and defend all human life.

Ann Endress MSW,LCSW - Jan 28, 2009

If anyone is from New Jersey, Go to St. John's The Apostle>1805 Penbrrok Terrace, Linden NJ 07036. There is a large size statue of "RACHEL" out side. many people go there to sit and just pray for the unborn.

Ann Endress MSW,LCSW - Jan 28, 2009

I am a clinical Social Worker in Nj and I am telling everyone to urge your federal elected officials to oppose FOCA. Here is a great Web for all kinds of info. on how to find officials in your area and how to send emails to the gov. go to:

Mary - Jan 28, 2009

May we all continue to pray for those who each day strive to cope with the loss of a child. May each of them bring their sorrows to the merciful heart of Jesus. St. Faustina, pray for us.

Frances DiDomenico Axelson - Jan 28, 2009

I watched the show live and I also watched it the next day. I think that Fr. Groeschel (I am a former New Yorker and think he is a Blessed person who loves Our great Lord and Savior as my family does) and Father Anthony are wonderful priests. My daughter had an abortion for medical reasons due to almost dying with her previous two children and I think she can't forgive herself. She loves so many children. My invalid husband of 51 years and I are so devoted to EWTN and Mother Angelica, but mostly our Lord. We try to get her back to the Sacraments and have raised her 3 children in the faith but she is married to a non believer or church goer and I think she can't forgive herself. Please pray for her and let us always pray for our children not to be aborted and for President Obama to find the faith not to carry abortion issues any future but to stop it all. Praise God for babies (we now have 9 great grandchildren) and Praise Jesus for ETWN, Mother Angelica and all the Francisan priests on EWTN. Thank you Father Groeschel for your wit and your honestly. You are the greatest.

Mary - Jan 27, 2009

I watched Sunday Night Live to hear both Fr. Groeschel and Fr. Anthony discuss this very important issue. What impressed me the most is the willingness of both priests to call abortion what it is and their plea to us all to put our beliefs into action. It has become too easy and the cost in human lives is too high for any person of faith to remain silent - tell your representatives in Congress that you are praying that they will vote in support of life and pray the Rosary everyday; it is the best weapon we have against the evil of abortion.

melissa y - Jan 27, 2009

i think this is a great idea. God bless Fr. Gramlich!