By TIM BULLARD
MYRTLE BEACH — As tourists, residents and motorists pass by on U.S. 17 Business in Myrtle Beach, they will now see an Italian marble monument that will remind them of the holy gift of life, a gift that was memorialized and blessed on Mother’s Day by Msgr. Joseph R. Roth at St. Andrew Church.
“This beautiful monument was purchased and erected by the Knights of Columbus of St. Andrew’s Parish,” said Msgr. Roth.
“I salute them for this gift and, on behalf of the parish, I thank them for their dedication to life and for their generosity as well. I’m just thrilled that the Knights of Columbus took it on their own initiative to do this. They bought it. They paid for it. They had it shipped over from Italy. It’s Carrara marble. It’s the best.”
Parish members gathered around the monument in the May 9 sunshine as incense smoke billowed while Msgr. Roth blessed the stone with holy water.
“What a fitting day, on the day that our mother’s gave life,” said Msgr. Roth. “Our Father, you are lavishly bestowing all your gifts, and we give you thanks for the favors that you have given to us. Protect the precious gift of life which you have given to all of us. Give us the strength to make the truth known, so that we may earnestly work for the protection of all human life.
“The Church teaches us to respect life, and our Holy Father has said so many wonderful things recently about that. I think it’s a good testimony for people here to see. If we can respect life and learn to respect each other, then we will respect life throughout life.”
Accompanied by his grandson, Evan, Tony Parrotta, a lifetime member and past Grand Knight of Knights of Columbus Council 5086, said, “The monument itself was the work of Coastal Monument in Conway. I was happy that I was given the title of chairman of this particular project. It’s an on-going thing. We finally got around to joining the hundreds of other councils that have already done this.”
There are about 190 members of the local council.