A 20 week gestational age baby discarded as sewage has been given the name “Baby Francis” and laid to rest.
In January of this year, the baby boy was found by a worker at the Bucklin Point Wastewater Treatment Facility in East Providence.
This report from WPRI describes the investigation:
After the dead infant was found, the state Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy that showed the baby was male and about 19 or 20 weeks.
At that time, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence issued a statement that it offered to provide a proper burial in one of its Catholic cemeteries.
Bishop Thomas J. Tobin said in his statement he was heartbroken to hear the news, and attributed the discovery of the discarded, unborn, unnamed child of God to the culture of today’s world, the Rhode Island Catholic reported.
“Pope Francis has often spoken about the throwaway culture which we live in that affects so many poor people and so many individuals, including unborn children, and that’s what we’re dealing with today,” the bishop said.
“So, the diocese has come forward to offer a decent and dignified funeral and burial for this unborn child. It’s certainly a decency and dignity this child deserves.”
In 2010, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, who is pro-life led a prayer vigil outside a Providence Rhode Island Planned Parenthood.
In his statement about the baby found at the sewage plant, Bishop Tobin added, “Every child is born in the image and likeness of God. To find a child in this situation is just heartbreaking and incomprehensible. We, as a society, can and should do better.”
Police have been unable to locate the mother and have no idea where the child’s body originated.
On June 5, the little boy’s precious body was released to the custody of the Diocese.
Rick Snizek, editor of The Rhode Island Catholic was at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery for the emotional service and took this touching picture:
“A tiny white casket, with “Baby Francis 2015” inscribed on a gold plaque affixed to one end, and flanked by flowers and a small teddy bear, rested upon a portable pine altar as the burial service was conducted under a brilliant blue sky,” Snizek writes.
Bishop Tobin said he chose to name the baby Francis in honor of Pope Francis’ eloquence in encouraging the faithful to change the “throwaway culture” of abortion that pervades society today.
“This child is certainly a victim of that throwaway culture,” he said.
“We do know this is a child of God, created in the image and likeness of God, and it’s in that spirit of honoring this child and all the children buried here and all the children who die of abortion, that we come together to bury Baby Francis today,” the Bishop said.
“Every child bears the face of Jesus, this child does as well.”
Read more about this touching act of love here.
Recently, Life Dynamics reported how mourners in Michigan came together to bury Baby Henry after his mother discarded him as trash.
Life Dynamics also reported how an Indianapolis woman is doing her best to give names and burials to dead babies who are aborted, miscarried, or abandoned.
Read that story here.