Pro-life teens encouraged to ‘Rock for Life’

GREENVILLE — The fifth annual Rock for Life rally on Sept. 6 was made-to-order for teenaged boys: unlimited pizza, smiling girls and loud music. But the event served a greater purpose, and its intent was not lost on the attendees.

“I haven’t heard that many Christian bands, so I wanted to hear the music, but I also wanted to support the cause,” said Chris Kerfoot, a sophomore at Dorman High School.

The cause of the event, sponsored by the Diocese of Charleston, is to help counter the popular music industry’s frequent promotion of abortion, according to the Web site for Rock for Life’s parent organization, the American Life League. One speaker at the Greenville rally decided to counter what Pope John Paul II called “the culture of death” with positive action.

“We hope to provide a venue and the opportunity to encourage these young people to support life, and also to call them to activism, to make a commitment,” said Stephanie Wood, who has a youth program on EWTN. “Teens want to do something; the trouble is, we don’t ask enough of them.”

Wood asked the youths to be vocally pro-life and to wear pro-life gear, such as hoodies and backpacks. She also invited them to commit to at least one hour of service to the pro-life movement.

Another speaker at the event was Beatrice A. Fedor, part of the Silent No More awareness campaign, a project of Priests For Life and Anglicans For Life. It is designed to educate Americans about the evils of abortion as witnessed by those who should know.

According to Valerie Baronkin, coordinator of the rally, Fedor had an abortion and now speaks out about what it did to her life. It is not an easy subject to talk about, Fedor said, but she was motivated by an incident at her parish.

“We were praying for a 14-year-old at Mary Magdalene who was considering an abortion. She ended up having it and I thought, ‘If only someone had spoken to her, someone who’d had an abortion. It could have made a difference,’ ” Fedor said.

Fedor was confirmed in the Catholic Church in April and did not have to wait long for the impact of the sacrament.

“I truly feel the Holy Spirit working in my life now, giving me the eloquence and the courage to speak out,” she said.

The featured band at Rock for Life, Sacred Heart Beats of Raleigh, N.C., spoke out through its music and with talks between sets to the 125 youths and 50 adults present.

Greg Sipple, a freshman at Dorman High, called the music “like soft rock,” but that didn’t keep him and other students from singing and gesturing to the beat. Even parents could be seen in the background moving to the music.

“We wanted to combine good music and good fellowship,” Baronkin said. “We wanted to make the night fun and educational.”

Rock for Life is nondenominational, she said, but the Greenville rally offered confessions by four area priests, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and a eucharistic procession.

For more information
on the American Life League, visit
For more on Rock for Life, visit