The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

January 27, 2013

Church blesses unborn at Mass for Life at St. Joseph

By WARREN DILLAWAY - warren@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

ASHTABULA — Members of St. Joseph Church celebrated the unborn child Saturday morning during a Mass for Life.

“As we stand for life from birth to natural death ... We ask for God’s grace,” said Father Raymond Thomas who officiated the service that drew about 50 people out on a snowy morning.

Participants sang a variety of songs and took communion as Thomas shared the importance of standing for life in a nation where abortion is legal.

He also shared a story about a doctor who now believes life begins at conception after he had done thousands of abortions. Thomas said the story illustrates the importance of God’s grace changing people’s mind, hearts and souls.

Thomas urged parishioners to pray. “It is only through the power of grace that this (the changing of people’s lives) can happen,” he said.

Thomas said the service was held the same week as the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

Thomas shared a lesson from the book of Luke relating Christ’s love for the children and the poor.

“It just seems to be a good time to bless (the children),” Thomas said.

Two pregnant mothers, and their families, came forth for a blessing at the end of the mass.

Marlo Ruane and Valerie Harchalk were blessed by Father Thomas. He shook the hands of the family members following the blessing. Father Ernesto Rodriquez assisted in the service.