Father Brian Crenwelge, pastor of Mater Dolorosa Parish in Paden City and Holy Rosary Mission in Sistersville, offers the invocation at the Pro-Life Rally at the Capitol in Charleston Feb. 18.
By Colleen Rowan
CHARLESTON—People from all walks of life and faith communities braved freezing temperatures Feb. 18 gathering at the State Capitol in Charleston to call for an end to abortion.
The annual Pro-Life Rally is sponsored each year by West Virginians for Life. This was the 21st rally, and featured West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael, House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, and West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner, who addressed the crowd. National Right to Life Political Director Karen Cross and WVFL President Wanda Franz, Ph.D., also spoke at the gathering.
Leading the invocation was Father Brian Crenwelge, pastor of Mater Dolorosa Parish in Paden City and Holy Rosary Mission in Sistersville.
“It’s so important for Catholics to unite in defending the sacred right to life,” Father Crenwelge said. “As the church teaches, the right to life comes first before any other right. Therefore, we as Catholics have a sacred duty to defend and uphold this right – in our lives, in our prayers, in our schools, and in our political actions. West Virginians for Life is to be praised for its constant dedication to the sanctity of all human life, from conception until natural death.”
In part of his prayer, Father Crenwelge asked God to: “Strengthen us today to cultivate a culture of life in our state and nation, a culture in which the lives of all human persons are cherished.”
WVFL Teen Essay Contest winners were also present and read their winning entries.
The day ended with the annual Prayer Processional through the Capitol with participants carrying white crosses for babies killed by abortion.
West Virginians for Life is currently working to pass an Options in Living Wills Bill (SB 642). Lead sponsor in the Senate is Senator Mike Maroney. Cosponsors are Senators Tom Azinger, Patricia Rucker and Tom Takubo.
WVFL officials said: “This bill tackles the specific issue of the provision of nutrition and hydration to patients who have been judged by one physician to be in a terminal condition or in a persistent vegetative state.”
WVFL will also hold its 21st annual Rose Dinner at 6 p.m. April 4 at the Holiday Inn in Morgantown with keynote speaker Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. Tickets are $50.
For more information about WVFL or to register for the Rose Dinner, visit www.wvforlife.org.
West Virginians for Life is the state affiliate of the National Right to Life Committee and is the state’s largest pro-life group with more than 30 local chapters. West Virginians for Life works through legislation, education and political action to protect those threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia.