Upstate teens Rock for Life at annual concert

Stephanie Wood Weinert, Family Life Center International

Stephanie Wood Weinert, Family Life Center InternationalGREENVILLE — Upstate teenagers  participated in a unique blend of rock music and spirituality known as Rock for Life. They came together at St. Joseph’s Catholic School to sing and dance to the sounds of Idle Down in concert, and to hear inspirational speakers.

Franciscan Father Raymond Selker, parochial vicar of St. Anthony of Padua Church, offered the sacrament of reconciliation through most of the evening; and Franciscan Father Dac T. Tran, administrator of Our Lady of the Rosary Church, offered adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and led the Divine Mercy Chaplet. These were held in separate rooms of the school while the walls of the auditorium vibrated with music that inspired teens to action.

Valerie Baronkin, the Piedmont Deanery Respect Life coordinator,  was an event organizer.

“Our youth have got to change this culture,” she said. “All the speakers have asked young people to stand up for life.”

Rock for Life is a project of the American Life League in Washington, D.C. Kortney Blythe, a league representative, called on the 125 participants to become “abortion abolitionists.”

“You can fight the modern-day holocaust of abortion,” Blythe said. “What can you guys do? You can educate yourselves. You can be chaste; save yourself for marriage so you never have to encounter this evil personally. You can save others from abortion. When a life is at stake, it’s your business. Wear your pro-life T-shirts; visit the Rock for Life Web site ( Talk about life on YouTube, Twitter.”

For the third year in a row,  She said Internet postings among youth have swelled each year.

“This kind of evening makes the life issue much more than an abstract. It lights an internal fire in these teens. I expect the entire audience to come forward and pledge one hour to 40 Days for Life, just like they did last year,” Weinert said.

Lisa Comeford spoke about the emotional and moral pain of abortion from personal experience. Elizabeth Hudacko and Franciscan Father Patrick Tuttle also spoke between sets of Idle Down’s Christian rock music.

Baronkin said she was especially impressed by the contingent from St. Mary of the Angels Church, who came all the way from Anderson.

The theme for the Rock for Life concert 2009 was “Where is the Love?”