Courtesy Photo “To Honor the Gravesites of our Unborn Brothers and Sisters” was the message on one of the many signs on the parish grounds of St. Matthew Church in Ravenswood on the National Day of Remembrance of Aborted Children Sept. 8. The signs were among 1,315 white crosses on the parish grounds for unborn children killed by abortion in
West Virginia in 2017. Mass was also celebrated at the church with area priests concelebrating.
On Saturday, September 8, 2018 at 1pm, thousands of people throughout the United States gathered at local gravesites and memorials to remember the children who have been victims of abortion. This National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children was started in 2013 by three independent organizations: Citizens for a Pro-life Society, Priests for Life, and the Pro-life Action League.
On a rainy Saturday afternoon, a little over twenty people gathered at St. Matthews Catholic Church in Ravenswood, WV to remember the victims of abortion, to pray, sing, and to listen to speakers talk about abortion in our society. Among those present to share their thoughts and their faith on the matter of abortion were Father Ron Prechtl, who led the opening prayer. Father Prechtl presides over Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Spencer, WV as well as St. Elizabeth Mission in Elizabeth, WV. Father John Rice from St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Parkersburg, WV was also present to share his faith and understanding of the sanctity of all life and how we are created in the very likeness and image of God, thus deserving of love, respect, and the fundamental opportunity for life. Another most welcomed guest was Pastor Chris Skeens, who presides over The Free Will Baptist Church in Ravenswood, WV. Pastor Skeens reminded all that were present of the great love of Jesus Christ and his love reflected through his passion on the cross. Christ died so that all might have life…and have it abundantly – including these little ones in their mothers’ wombs. Father Penumaka, who presides at St Matthews Catholic Church, also spoke of the need for constant prayer for the victims of abortion, as well as those mothers and fathers who have chosen abortion, and all those involved in performing abortions. His message was that, as believers, we must remain strong in our faith even when the world around us resists the truth. He spoke of love as the resounding message towards all those who are involved in abortion and the culture of death. The leader for the Gabriel Project in Jackson County, WV, Marla Jackson, was gracious enough to come to the ceremony to speak about this most worthwhile charity. Marla attends the Episcopal Church in Ravenswood, WV. She spoke of the many supplies that are bought or donated to help young mothers and fathers with the care of their new children. Marla also touched on some of the most needed items for donation including: diapers, wipes, car seats, and clothing.
The ceremony was concluded outside near the memorial site of over 1,300 crosses that were erected in the field beside the church, to represent the 1,315 abortions performed in WV last year. During a gentle drizzle of rain, Father pen sincerely thanked all for attending. Father Rice recited the concluding prayer and all present joined together in singing Amazing Grace. Father Pen expressed his desire to place a memorial stone on the premises by next year’s annual event, so that anyone can come to the site to pray for the victims and to remember that our society still has a lot to do to promote the sanctity and dignity of all persons, especially the unborn.
For more information about the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children, you may look on the following website: www.abortionmemorials.com