EFFINGAHM -- Sacred Heart in Effingham hosted the September Prayer Vigil for Life. The prayer service was led by Tom Purcell, Marilyn Wirth, Bernice Sandschafer and Judy Repking. Music was provided by pianist Joan Frey and cantor Elaine Vonderheide.

Highlights from the Conference on Aging held in Springfield were shared at the business meeting. Reps from St Michael-Sigel, St Isidore-Dieterich and Immaculate Conception-Mattoon attended.

By 2030, one in five Americans will be over 60. Education is necessary to learn what our elders need and how best to provide for their care. Caregivers save families billions of dollars in care service. How we treat our seniors will determine how we are treated as seniors.

Angie Esker reported that the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children held at the Teutopolis KC Memorial to the Unborn was well-attended. Fr. Ken Rosswog, OFM, led the prayer service and the KC’s served coffee and donuts in the hall afterward.

The Suicide Prevention and Education meeting held in Effingham featured Deacon John Kay sharing the Catholic Church’s position on suicide. Sara Wood with Heartland Human Services presented some sobering statistics. Suicide was the 10th leading cause of death for all ages in 2014. One out of six students nationwide (grades 9-12) seriously considered suicide in the past year. A conversation could change a life. Most people who are suicidal will tell you if you ask. The local Suicide Prevention Crisis line is 217-342-5504.

Valerie Kemme reported on upcoming 40 Days for Life Prayer Campaign, which started Sept. 27. Everyone is encouraged to fill these 40 days with prayer to end abortion and to support their local crisis pregnancy center by volunteering at the Silk Purse Thrift Store. Parishes and groups can contact Valerie at 217-868-9406 to participate.

Oct. 1 was Life Chain Sunday. This is the 30th anniversary of this pro-life witness. Prayer service started at 1:30 p.m. at Sacred Heart Parish Center, Effingham. The actual life chain formed on Keller Drive and Fayette Avenue from 2-3 p.m.

The next prayer Vigil for Life will be at St.Charles Borromeo, Charleston, on Oct. 16.

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