St. Stephen's parishioners join 2012 March for Life in D.C.

| 15 Feb 2012 | 11:33

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Early on Monday, Jan. 23, a bus load of parishioners from Warwick’s Roman Catholic Church of St. Stephen, the First Martyr joined hundreds of thousands of marchers in the 39th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. The annual rally protesting abortion is traditionally held on the anniversary of the decision in the U.S. Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. The March for Life has been held annually since 1974. The St. Stephen’s marchers departed the church at 4 a.m. and returned around 11 p.m. The event was organized by the Parish Respect Life Committee and supported in part by the Warwick Valley Council 4952 of the Knights of Columbus as well as individual contributions by those who joined the march. The first stop in the Capitol for the group, led by Deacon Thomas MacDougall, was to attend a Mass celebrated by Bishop Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia. The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is the largest Catholic Church in the United States. “It was raining virtually all day,” reported Gerianne Horan, co-chair of the St. Stephen’s Parish Respect Life Committee. “Many umbrellas went up but it did not dampen our spirits. We were all so happy to see the number of young adults that were at the march. The 17-25 group outnumbered the adults who attended by two to one. They are truly the generation that will end abortion in America. (New Jersey) Gov. Chris Christy and many Congressmen and women attended the March. They all took the time to speak to the crowd and we were happy to hear their commitment to end abortion in America.” One member of the group, Miriam Muse, was surprised to learn that out of thousands of student marchers, a Fox News reporter had randomly selected a young law student from Ave Maria Law School, Royce Hood, for a national TV interview. Muse had never met Hood but had been corresponding with him via e-mail to assist him in a project honoring her nephew Jonathan Scharfenberger, who as an undergraduate had served as president of Ave Maria University Students for Life. Last October Scharfenberger, the son of Dr. Dennis and Anna Scharfenberger of Warwick, was killed in an automobile accident while returning from a Students for Life of America Georgia conference. “While on the bus going down,” said Muse, “we discussed that the more advances are made in science, the less the pro-abortion advocates have to justify their cause.”