National Day of Remembrance for Unborn Children, September 14, 2019

About the Gravesite of 2,033 Aborted Babies in Hillside, Illinois

Hillside, Illinois gravesite

On July 30, 1988, Cardinal Joseph Bernadin of the Archdiocese of Chicago officiated at the burial of 2000 aborted babies who were retrieved from the loading dock of the Vital Med laboratory in Northbrook, IL by Citizens for a Pro-Life Society and the Pro-Life Action League.

Day of Remembrance co-organizer Dr. Monica Miller of Citizens of a Pro-Life Society had this to say of the funeral:

On a sunny and warm July 30, 1988, I drove with two friends from Milwaukee to Queen of Heaven cemetery in Hillside, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago. We parked the car and walked to the small chapel located in the mausoleum.

A hearse was parked in the circular drive outside of the chapel; inside it were two large, beige-colored and exceptionally ornate adult caskets. They contained the bodies of the two thousand aborted babies to be buried that day.

We entered the chapel, and I took a seat in a pew near the front reserved for those who had helped take the bodies out of the trash. I saw Joe Scheidler, Tim Murphy, Jerry McCarthy, Brian Pabich and Peter Krump. In another ten minutes the chapel was filled to overflowing, and the funeral Mass soon began. Bernardin was the primary celebrant and the homilist.

After the Mass the mourners returned to their cars and followed the hearse through the winding streets of the cemetery until it came to a plot at the extreme west end. The caskets were unloaded from the hearse and placed on transport tables with castors. I and the others who were involved with the retrieval acted as pall bearers to the grave site.

Bernardin was standing near the open ground, and Fr. Coughlin stood near him. Soon six hundred people gathered around to join in the burial ceremony. There were also several TV cameras and photographers and journalists present. Bernardin blessed the ground, blessed the caskets and offered prayers for the dead. In a matter of moments the ceremony was over.

Loading dock at Vital Med labs

The loading dock at Vital Med Labratory in Northbrook, IL [Photo by Monica Miller]

Indeed, everything was perfect. The Mass and burial were marked with the greatest dignity and solemnity. The caskets seemed suitable for royalty. And most important, the burial was public. That day the victims of abortion were not buried in haste and in secret.

The full text of Dr. Miller's reflection on the funeral can be found here.

Other babies recovered from Vital Med were buried in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Tallahassee, Florida.

[Back to Top]