Plans for memorial statue in the works

Courtney Scrib

Senior Lauren Homans began her crusade in 2004. As a sophomore and first-year member of the Villanovans for Life, Homans had heard veteran members discussing the idea of building a statue to memorialize the victims of abortion. It was an idea that apparently had been talked about for nearly five years. Through Homans’ effort and dedication, the once tentative plan is currently in the process of being finalized.

“I just knew that if I wanted to see this get done, I was going to have to do it myself,” Homans said.

While researching what other Catholic universities and organizations had accomplished with similar projects, Homans came across a picture of a statue in a magazine that immediately caught her attention.

“The minute I saw it, I knew it was exactly what we needed,” Homans said of the monument entitled “Maternal Bond.”

“It was the perfect image of compassion and love and sorrow.”

During the same time that Homans met with the administration to present the idea of the monument, the Student Government Association was in the developing stages of revitalizing the trail leading to South Campus.

In an effort to eradicate the area’s negative reputation, SGA and the administration planned on establishing a private place where students could sit down and reflect.

Through the addition of park benches and memorial scriptures and plaques, both groups hoped that the aptly-named Memorial Park would encourage students, especially freshmen, to take time to remember and pray for the members of the Villanova community who have passed.

“The [Villanovans for Life] statue is part of a bigger picture,” Fr. John Stack, Vice President for Student Life said. “I realize [abortion] is a politically sensitive topic, but if people don’t want to look at [the statue], they won’t have to.”

With the exception of a few students vocalizing their disagreement with the monument, Homans and the other Villanovans for Life members have faced little opposition.

“We want to try to bring a general awareness to the culture of death that we’re living in,” Homans explained. “The statue is not just for the unborn babies but for all victims, including the mothers, fathers, families and friends who suffer because of the loss.”

The Villanovans for Life formed during the time of the “Roe v. Wade” decision and throughout the years has continuously been an active force on campus. After the conclusion of last month’s Right for Life Week, the current group members’ primary focus has been the monument and organizing small fundraisers, such as bake sales and raffles, in order to generate additional funds for the sculpture. They will also host an annual Respect Life Awards Dinner in March and continue supporting single, struggling mothers through the Mother-A-Month Association (M.A.M.A.).

“Over the past 30 years, [VFL] has demonstrated a longevity of being dedicated to that cause [of memorializing the unborn],” Stack said.

As Homans, Stack and the rest of the administration continue to work together to further the plans for the memorial statue, there are still issues pending, including the design of the statue and budget. Originally, the statue’s completion was slated for the end of this spring; however, Homans knew when she first decided to undertake this enormous endeavor that it would require the utmost dedication and patience. As of late, the theology major has been busy creating and updating the monument’s website (

“I really hope that everything is finalized by the time I graduate,” Homans said. “If it’s not, I will do whatever it takes to be back for the memorial’s opening ceremony.”