Life Chains link the state

In quiet prayer, Life Chain participants made their mark by dotting the state showing their respect for life Oct. 6.

“We’re here because we believe in what we’re doing,” said Ricardo Corona, a parishioner of St. Mary Magdalene in Simpsonville. “There are a lot of families in the world who would like to adopt.”

Father Herbert Conner, pastor of St. Mary Magdalene, and Deacon Matt Mannino, joined him in the upstate Life Chain. Miscellany reporter, Sheila Ojendyk put her pen to rest and participated in the event.

“This is the third time I’ve covered the Life Chain for The Miscellany, but the first time I actually held a sign,” she explained. “I watched the cars driving by, their drivers going about their business. A few people honked their horns or gave us the thumbs up.”

The only negative reaction Ojendyk observed was a woman who kept shaking her head ‘no no.’

“What struck me the most, however, was the number of people who just stared straight ahead like we were invisible,” she said.

Jim Piller of St. Mary said that the negative responses were in the minority.

“We had three people holler,” he said. “We’ve had about six or eight people honk in support. We’ve had more positive responses than negative.”

Supportive or not, Diana Manfredo of St. Anthony of Padua in Greenville said: “I think it’s the right thing to do, and I’ll continue doing it. We need to stop abortion.”

“I just hope people realize what this is about,” said Horace Mays, also of St. Anthony. “The bottom line is it’s killing children.”

Another powerful weapon in the battle against abortion is the Rosaries for Life campaign. Organizers are hoping to get people in South Carolina to pray 10,000 rosaries.

“I have well over 200, maybe 250 rosaries counted for November,” Carol Deretchin, Respect Life Coordinator at St. Anthony, said. The campaign began at Greenville’s Our Lady of the Rosary in October of 2000.

Combustion’s spark banged exhaust from chrome pipes, and weekend biker festival enthusiasts watched members of Conway churches holding signs in front of K-Mart on U.S. 501.

Buddy Boyd of Grace Presbyterian Church joined the ranks.

“I think it’s a way to love the Lord and witness,” said Boyd.

Life Chain is an ecumenical effort promoting the sanctity of life. Rev. Randy Riddle of Grace Presbyterian Church said he has attended since the first Life Chain.

“Abortion is murder,” said Riddle.

Pat Millus, pastoral administrator of St. James Catholic Church in Conway, held a sign near Riddle on the sidewalk.

“It’s very effective,” said Millus. “It’s silent witness. We get a lot of positive reaction from the traffic going by.”

At least 10 Life Chains were organized. In the Lowcountry parishioners from Immaculate Conception Church in Goose Creek lined the streets and prayed and were joined across the counties in Charleston by parishioners from Church of the Nativity and Blessed Sacrament.

Annette Griebsch, Respect Life coordinator, said the turnout was a wonderful witness on the street of the love of Christ.

Tim Bullard and Sheila Ojendyk contributed to this story.