GREENVILLE—Damon Owens, founder of a church-based organization that provides training, resources and support for engaged and married couples, spoke last week to nearly 100 people at the closing celebration for 40 Days for Life.
He praised the local group for its ongoing efforts to protect the unborn.
Owens and his wife Melanie are the parents of eight children — two of whom were adopted. He shared the story of one of his adopted children, who was born to a young woman in North Carolina.
In the process of traveling from their home in New Jersey to complete the adoption, they attended several Masses at a local church in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Owens said he developed friendships with several parish members there and kept them updated on the adoption. Finally, he was able to share the good news: The couple had their eighth child.
While relating the story, Owens learned that the parishioners he had befriended had, years ago, helped save the birth mother of his child from being aborted.
“You may not realize it, but what you are doing here is working,” he told the Greenville group.
The national campaign was held from Sept. 22 to Oct. 31, days that were filled with prayer and fasting, peaceful vigil and community outreach. The Upstate vigils were staged outside the Greenville Women’s Clinic on Grove Road throughout the campaign, with more than a 30 percent decrease in vehicle traffic in and out of the clinic, according to Mary Cotter, local campaign coordinator.
A candlelight vigil was held on Oct. 12 at the abortion clinic. The local organization also participated in the National Life Chain along busy Woodruff Road earlier in October.
Owens is the founder of Joy-Filled Marriage NJ. He is a national spokesman for Life, Education and Resource Network.
The Owens teach and promote natural family planning and have served as the program’s coordinators for the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J.
“He had a very uplifting and inspiring message — a story of hope,” said Valerie Baronkin of 40 Days for Life Greenville. “That is what this whole 40 days is about, trying to change hearts.”