St. Matthew’s in Ravenswood Joins in Prayer for Babies Lost to Abortion on National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children

By Colleen Rowan

Courtesy Photo On the grounds of St. Matthew Church in Ravenswood, the new “Baby Unborn” memorial stone sits in front of a sea of little white crosses in memory of unborn babies lost to abortion. The crosses were placed for National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children Sept. 12. The parish will hold a 1 p.m. prayer service that day at the church.

Every September, a sea of little white crosses blankets the spacious grounds of St. Matthew Parish in Ravenswood. There are 1,581 total. They are part of the parish’s message to the community and, really, to the world. These little white crosses sadly represent the precious, irreplaceable lives lost to abortion. St. Matthew’s places the crosses every year as part of the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children, a joint project of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, Priests for Life, and the Pro-Life Action League. This year’s observance is Sept. 12 and, on this day, St. Matthew’s will host a 1 p.m. prayer service at the church. The parish’s commitment to sending a message on this day is made possible through the work and dedication of parishioners, who know that every life must be protected from conception to natural death. “The circumstances of our birth such as being born into poverty, potential health issues, lack of wedlock, are inconsequential to the purpose God has for us. Each one of us is a miracle that he wanted to bring into this world,” said St. Matthew’s parishioner John Butler, who has helped with the project for the last five years. “These memorials represent all of the miracles that never came to be. We must continue to raise awareness and garner support not just to preserve life but more so to celebrate it.” Just a few days before the prayer service was to be held, St. Matthew’s received a special gift from the Knights of Columbus Council #12634—a monument stone for “Baby Unborn.” The stone sits in front of the crosses and bears the inscription: “Baby Unborn, In Memory of All Innocent Victims of Abortion. ‘Give me your hand, don’t take my life.’ Our Lady of Life, pray for us.’” This year marks the seventh annual National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children, and event officials say the gathering has continued to grow. Across the country, solemn prayer vigils will be conducted at gravesites of unborn children, of which there are 54 across the United States, as well as dozens of other sites dedicated in memory of aborted children. According to the event’s website, there are no known burial places of aborted children in West Virginia. However, memorial sites have been established at parishes of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. In addition to the recently placed “Baby Unborn” stone at St. Matthew’s, other memorials to children lost to abortion include the Memorial for the Unborn at St. Leo Catholic Cemetery in Inwood, the Memorial to the Unborn at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Romney, and the Memorial of All Unborn Children at St. Michael Parish in Vienna. On their website, event organizers say, “…while a funeral and burial for an aborted baby may be a relatively rare event, the opportunity to visit the burial places and recall how those children got there does not have to be rare—in fact, it shouldn’t be. Pro-lifers should be visiting these gravesites and other memorial sites dedicated to aborted babies as a regular part of their pro-life witness. That’s what the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children is all about.” Pictures and videos from past Day of Remembrance memorial services can be found on the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children 2020 Facebook page. “Pro-lifers,” organizers say, “are also encouraged to carry on the spiritual mission of the Day of Remembrance througout the year by visiting a gravesite of aborted children or other memorial sites to offer prayers of mourning for the victims of abortion.” The Day of Remembrance is normally held on the second Saturday in September. For more information, visit http://abortion