By JOEY REISTROFFER
GREENVILLE — As the nation’s political leaders continue to uphold Roe vs. Wade, one community is taking their own stance with simple, peaceful prayer.
At Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville, Binky Hartnett, coordinator for Respect Life at the church, is organizing a huge rosary session to change the hearts of those who support abortion.
“We’re starting ‘A Thousand Rosaries for Life’ program in response to the rulings on abortion,” she said.
“We’re asking our parish to pray a thousand rosaries. It’s positive, and we can make a difference.”
Hartnett was upset when she heard the high court had struck down Nebraska’s bid to stop partial-birth abortion. As Respect Life coordinator, she said she just could not stand by and do nothing. So a couple of parish members gathered to brainstorm, and Ed Soniat came up with praying the rosary.
“It’s not an original idea,” Soniat said. “I read in a magazine where they’re doing a million rosaries for life somewhere in Ireland.”
“If they can do a million, we certainly can do a thousand,” Hartnett said, and she got the ball rolling with support from Father Charles Day.
“God works through him. He’s behind it 100 percent,” Hartnett said of the parish pastor.
On the last weekend of July, Father Day went up on the pulpit and urged his parishioners to pray for the unborn. He then outlined the program.
Father Day urged each parishioner to take a card that has 10 boxes on it. One per rosary. Each time they say a rosary, the parishioner will check off a box. When the 10 prayers are marked off on the card, they then will put it in a special offertory for the lives of the unborn.
“It’s positive. It’s simple. It doesn’t cost any money. And we can make a difference,” Hartnett said.
For those who don’t know how to say the rosary, the Respect Life coordinator said they will teach them. For those who don’t have rosary beads, she said blessed beads are available at the church.
Response so far has been fantastic, Hartnett said. “I’m hoping we can get 1,000 right from the get-go.”
She has faith in her parish, calling the 350 families who gather on Sunday to celebrate the Mass very close-knit and very caring.
Stephanie Stewart, secretary at Our Lady of the Rosary, is one believer who is supporting the prayerfest after hearing about the Nebraska case being struck down by the Supreme Court. “It (abortion) is just grizzly and horrible,” she said. “Every time we hear something more abominable we’ll talk about it.”
Now the parish has a chance to take peaceful action through prayer. “We’re looking for something where people can participate without going out of their way,” Stewart said. “This makes pro-life more visible, but it never hurts to pray the rosary.”
Soniat hopes “A Thousand Prayers for Life” catches on across the Upstate and even across all of South Carolina and the United States.
“We hope it catches fire,” Stewart added.
She cannot bear to think that a child who is half born can have the life “sucked” from him by a doctor without a second thought and with no repercussions.
But that is the way things stand in the United States right now.
That is why parishioners at Our Lady of the Rosary have taken up the call to pray “A Thousand Rosaries for Life.”