By Colleen Rowan

RAVENSWOOD—Each year, St. Matthew Parish in Ravenswood holds a Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children to pray for babies who have lost their lives to abortion. The parish’s observance this year will be held on Saturday, Sept. 18, at 1 p.m. The guest speaker for the gathering will be Marla Jackson, coordinator of the Gabriel Project of West Virginia’s Ravenswood chapter. Jackson will talk about the organization’s mission which is the “immediate, practical and compassionate assistance to needy pregnant women and families with children 2 years of age and younger. Through our caring efforts and tangible support we help children in impoverished families to have a healthy, safe start in life.” The Gabriel Project serves in 25 counties across the state. St. Matthew’s announced there will be a table in the back of the church for donations to support the organization’s efforts. Items needed include diapers (all sizes), wipes, new or lightly used clothes (newborn to age 2), boys and girls socks, and formula – similac regular or sensitive. Monetary donations will also be accepted via a donation jar. No car seats can be donated. St. Matthew’s will again be placing the small white crosses on the church grounds in memory of babies lost to abortion. Last year, parishioners placed a total of 1,541 cross outside of the church. “The circumstances of our birth such as being born into poverty, poential health issues, lack of wedlock, are inconsequential to the purpose God has for us. Each one of us is a miracle that he wanted to bring into this world,” St. Matthew’s parishioner John Butler said in a story about the day in The Catholic Spirit last year. He has helped with the project for more than five years. “These memorials represent all of the miracles that never came to be. We must continue to raise awareness and garner support not just to preserve life but more so to celebrate it.” All are invited to attend St. Matthew’s gathering, which is part of the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children. Parishes across the country will be holding similar gatherings as well. On the website for the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children, event organizers say, “…while a funeral and burial for an aborted baby may be a rel-atively rare event, the opportu- nity to visit the burial places and recall how those children got there does not have to be rare—in fact, it shouldn’t be. Pro-lifers should be visiting these gravesites and other memorial sites dedicated to aborted babies as a regular part of their pro-life witness. That’s what the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children is all about.” St. Matthew’s has a permanent memorial — the “Baby Unborn” stone placed last year by the Knights of Columbus Council #12634. The stone sits on the church grounds and bears the inscription: “Baby Unborn, In Mem- ory of All Innocent Victims of Abortion. ‘Give me your hand, don’t take my life.’ Our Lady of Life, pray for us.’” Other memorials in the diocese for children lost to abortion include the Memorial for the Unborn at St. Leo Catholic Cemetery in Inwood, the Memorial to the Unborn at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Romney, and the Memorial of All Unborn Children at St. Michael Parish in Vienna.

Courtesy Photo

St. Matthew’s will again be placing the small white crosses on the church grounds in memory of babies lost to abortion. Last year, parishioners placed a total of 1,541 cross outside of the church, pictured above.