Pro-life faithful from around the Diocese of Knoxville gathered Feb. 20 outside of Planned Parenthood’s East Knoxville clinic for the Rosary for Life prayer service led by Bishop Richard F. Stika.
Some 250 parishioners attended the Rosary for Life, which was held on the sidewalk in front of the abortion clinic at 710 N. Cherry Street at the corner of Washington Avenue. Catholic faithful lined the sidewalks on both sides of Washington Avenue where it intersects with Cherry Street.
Bishop Stika praised those in attendance for their faith and willingness to pray for and support the sanctity of life. The bishop recalled visiting a former World War II death camp on a visit to Poland and noted how the site seemed so quiet and peaceful, but in reality it was a destination where lives were casually and callously taken. Pointing to the Planned Parenthood clinic, he said it, too, was a destination where precious life is taken through abortions.
Bishop Stika led the faithful as they sang hymns, said the joyful mysteries of the rosary, and the Divine Mercy Chaplet, as well as the Apostles Creed, Hail Mary, and Our Father.
He then concluded the prayer service with a prayer, saying, “Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us, and increase Your mercy on us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is love and mercy itself. Amen.”
Bishop Stika interviewed by local media after Rosary for Life: