CHARLESTON — People put their faith in action on Respect Life Sunday, Oct. 4. South Carolina residents in at least 17 cities participated in the annual Life Chain, the silent witness where people hold signs along public roads and pray for an end to abortion.
Kathy Schmugge, coordinator for the Office of Family Life at the Diocese of Charleston, said her Life Chain organizers reported good turnouts. Though counts were not taken by all of the groups, nearly 500 people participated in Greenville. John Kost in Myrtle Beach reported 265.
“It was the best attendance we have experienced,” Kost wrote in an e-mail. “In Myrtle Beach our ranks were swelled by 55 individuals from the Christian church on Burcale Road who joined us for the first time.”
Schmugge told The Miscellany it is a good sign when Catholics are outnumbered at pro-life events because it means the message is getting out. Teresa Popham in Aiken said they had about 75 people, and five new churches turn out. Some of the other sites reporting numbers included Columbia with approximately 85, Garden City with 143, Georgetown had 92 while Conway had 50, Spartanburg held steady with 77, Charleston had 93, and Goose Creek had 65.
“Our Lifechain moved from Sea Mountain Highway in Cherry Grove with three attendees to Living Water Baptist Church on Highway 9 with about 20 people, including two children and a teenager,” Ashley Bates from North Myrtle Beach wrote in an e-mail.
“We had the opportunity to talk with a young guy that stopped to talk about his and his girlfriend’s situation and how they have decided to choose life,” she wrote, “and they need continuous prayers. Praise God a precious life was saved!”
Life Chain, www.lifechain.net, is only one of the interfaith events taking place during Respect Life month. As part of the 40 Days for Life campaign, round-the-clock prayer vigils are being held outside of abortion clinics in three cities: Charleston, Columbia and Greenville. The campaign is from Sept. 24 through Nov. 2 and involves prayer and fasting, peaceful vigil and community outreach.
Organizers at the Columbia vigil, located outside of Planned Parenthood, requested on the Web site www.40DaysforLife.com, particular involvement on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, the days they said abortions are typically performed at that clinic.
Another pro-life effort is Rosaries for Life, www.rosariesforlife.com. Most parishes have coordinators taking counts and numbers can be submitted online.
Other events in October include sponsored walks, and prayer with a missionary image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. A listing can be found at www.catholic-doc.org, under the Family Life department.