Approximately 1,150 students from 13 area parochial schools were on hand Oct. 5 for the 23rd annual Celebration of Life prayer service event at Franciscan Health Dyer. Most Rev. Dale Melczek, bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Gary, presided over the program and discussed the sanctity, preciousness and value of life and how it never should be taken. Students later planted crosses in memory of the 4,000 lives aborted daily in the U.S. Guest speaker Nicole Varela, a Merrillville native, inspired the students with her story of overcoming dyslexia through her school years as she pursues a master’s degree in social work.
The Bishop Noll Institute of Hammond choir provided music, under the direction of David Herr.