Nestled in the agricultural countryside of Midwestern Ohio, you’ll find the pro-life movement has strong roots. One could say that they cultivate not only cultures but also a culture of life.
Ohio is home to Nathan and Mollie Verdier and their 11 children, nine who run and two who fly. The pro-life movement is near and dear to Nathan and Mollie, and they’ve come up with a creative initiative to show the dignity and humanity of the unborn in the most unexpected way.
In 2018, the Verdiers decided to dedicate 2.5 acres of their farmland to the burial of stillborn and aborted children. The goal is to make commemoration more accessible for those who have experienced the loss of a child during pregnancy. They named this future birthing cemetery Morgan’s Place.
How does a cemetery become a pro-life initiative? Let me explain.
“So God created mankind in his image, in the image of God he created it; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
Although we were united in the wombs of our mothers, it was not our mothers who called us to be, but God. We are created in his image and likeness, and therefore our bodies are his temple. In life and in death, we are called to treat every temple, every human body, with charity and respect.
It is in this understanding that the pro-life movement resides. We are called to respect the dignity of human life from the womb to the grave, and part of respecting life is ensuring a dignified burial after death.
This amazing Verdier family business was born out of tragedy. About 10-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, and in 2018, Mollie’s baby Morgan was one of them. With an overwhelming desire to keep their baby close and follow the teachings of the Catholic Church, the idea for Morgan’s Place Cemetery was born. In 2019, the Verdiers suffered another premature defeat. Baby Marion was one of three triplets, but unlike his siblings, he was destined to be born in the arms of our Lord. After the loss of baby Marion, the Verdiers felt even more determined to pursue God’s will by making Morgan’s Place profitable.
On March 5, 2022, the Verdier family officially inaugurated the work on the cemetery. Morgan’s Place Cemetery will be ready to provide babies with a much-needed final resting place at the start of summer. There is still a lot of work to do and funding to raise to complete Morgan’s Place. Beautification, a memorial wall and gardens, as well as a central memorial statue and seating area are all in the works! The Sainte-Philomène chapel will be built in phase 2 to provide space for funeral services. It will also have a meeting room for families to plan final arrangements and hold support meetings for families suffering from birth loss and abortion.
“There’s nothing harder than calling a funeral home and asking them to pick up your baby,” Mollie explained, recalling making that phone call herself. The process of obtaining their baby’s remains and figuring out funeral arrangements was not only logistically difficult, but also deeply and personally horrific.
Mollie Verdier described how her personal experience and that of her husband helped them discover the different burdens that families will have and need help with when dealing with the loss of a child during pregnancy.
“Nathan and I have been through a lot of tough times,” she said:
And so, all of these different services that come to us, really, are actually burdens that we had on us, but… for some people, they’re not burdens, they’re part of their grieving process, you know, their way to heaven. A grandfather may want to make his grandson’s coffin, but if he doesn’t, we can take that burden off him.
The Verdiers have seen an outpouring of support for Morgan’s Place.
Several funeral homes have pledged to donate cremation services. Coffins and funeral robes are made for free. A donation fund is planned to help pay for beautiful granite headstones.
But materials are only part of the picture. If there was any support or advice on what to do after a birth loss and how to grieve, Mollie and Nathan didn’t know how to find it. So they want to offer this support to other grieving parents.
Mollie explained how she and her husband, along with trained bereavement care volunteers, want to be there for parents from the first “hello” to the last “goodbye” with their unborn child.
“We can do it all for you, or we can guide you along the way and help you through the tough times. Be an advocate or a bereavement companion,” she said.
Morgan’s Place Cemetery not only provides a final resting place for God’s beloved children, but also a wealth of support and guidance during this heartbreaking time in a family’s life. With just over 4,100 burial plots, the nonprofit Birth Loss Cemetery will also be a final resting place for aborted children — if abortion remains legal.
The idea of associating with abortion clinics was off-putting to some, to say the least. However, Mollie and Nathan do not see this as abortion assistance. Instead, they agreed that regardless of the circumstances surrounding a baby’s death, to serve all babies in their last need is to serve God.
Mollie and Nathan want post-abortion mothers and families to know that Christ loves them, and Morgan’s Place provides the dignity in burial that aborted children deserve.
To aid in the healing process for post-abortion families, Morgan’s Place will use Cemsites.com, a grave mapping company that uses GPS points to locate headstones, so families can locate their aborted child buried at Morgan’s Place.
“I believe we can bring post-abortion families the mercy and peace they seek, when they are ready,” Mollie said.
To view the three-phase plan for Morgan’s Place Cemetery and to donate, click here. You can learn more about Morgan’s Place Cemetery by visiting www.morgansplacecemetery.org.