GOOSE CREEK — To mark the beginning of Respect Life Month, parishioners from Immaculate Conception here and Blessed Sacrament in Charleston formed Life Chains in their respective cities.
Respect Life Month was launched by bishops of the United States in 1972 as an annual educational program. Life Chain is a national campaign in which “churches in each city and town across North America stand on a designated local sidewalk and pray for one hour, while holding an approved pro-life sign,” according to the official Life Chain Web site. The approved messages include “Abortion Kills Children,” “Jesus Forgives and Heals,” and “Adoption: The Loving Option.”
This year’s Life Chain included more than 1,000 churches across denominational lines. In the two local participating parishes, hundreds of volunteers were on hand to recite the Rosary for this important event.
“I truly believe that the Blessed Mother intercedes for us, and the rosary will have a major impact on winning this battle,” said Clare Richter, the Life Chain organizer for Blessed Sacrament. “We are standing with the unborn children for our Blessed Mother’s cause and her Son’s cause.”
One important aspect of the Life Chains is the focus of the annual hour of prayer.
“This is not chiefly a demonstration, and its witness is not intended for the viewing public only. Instead, its first goal is to minister to its own participants,” according to the Web site.
“The fact that we don’t make any noise is important,” said Ramona Lango, a participant with Blessed Sacrament for the past 10 years. “This is for people who want to go through the Blessed Mother and are interested in truly saving the unborn.”
At Immaculate Conception, the youth ministries program plays an important role in the annual event.
“We think that it’s very important to have the youth out here praying along with the Respect Life Committee,” said youth leader Jennifer Welsh. “I have had members of the community mention to me firsthand about the impact that the Life Chain has had in their lives.”
Brandon Kammerer, 13, wanted to “display God’s affection” through the Life Chain and hoped that passersby would know that “every person has a second chance at God’s love and forgiveness.”
“If we can prevent one person from making a bad decision we have been successful,” said Tiffany Kless, 12. “It’s important that we let people know how we feel and this is one way to do it.”
“We are preserving the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that our country was founded on,” said Annette Griebsch, one of the organizers for Immaculate Conception’s event. “We must stand together in solidarity for the protection of human life and an end to abortion.”