CHESAPEAKE, Virginia (LifeSiteNews) — Catholics in Chesapeake, Virginia, are hosting regular Rosary rallies to combat an “after-school Satan club” meeting at a local public school.
The club, which stirred up controversy and made headlines since being introduced at B. M. Williams Primary School in December, was recently permitted to meet on school property, leading to a continuation of prayerful protest from faithful Catholics in the community.
“The ASSC [after-school Satan club] represents blasphemy to the highest degree, and we are out there praying in reparation for the sins of our leadership and the thousands [who] either support the ASSC meeting or who are doing nothing to prevent them from meeting due to indifference or lukewarmness,” Steven Scheerbaum, a leader of the rallies, told LifeSiteNews via email. “We are also praying for the children, faculty, and staff of B. M. Williams and all schools in Chesapeake.”
Scheerbaum explained that a group of Catholics “began praying on December 4 and prayed 15 decades of the rosary, the Auxilium Christianorum prayers, while making a novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe.” During the novena, between 15 and 50 participants gathered, including some former and current school employees.
The same set of prayers has been offered each month since December, with the first gathering offered in thanksgiving that the first meeting of the club had been cancelled. However, the club was scheduled to meet in January and February, when the group was “heartbroken to see the children enter the school.” In the future, they plan to “continue to pray at the scheduled meeting times either for reparation or thanksgiving.”
In addition to gathering for prayer during the meetings, Scheerbaum shared that they have “held Rosary rallies at the school board meetings on four separate occasions.”
“We pray 15 decades of the Rosary, some additional prayers that have been suggested from America Needs Fatima, an additional special Rosary where we plead the Blood of Jesus over each of the 48 public schools in Chesapeake, every private school, and every home school for each of the 50 Hail Mary’s, and a St. Michael’s Chaplet. We offer each set of prayers for the nine choirs of angels of the Chaplet of St. Michael for each of the nine Chesapeake School Board members.”
Scheerbaum is also the father of a first grader who attended B. M. Williams elementary school for speech therapy. He unenrolled his daughter last week after the district permitted the Satan club to meet at the school.
“It was sad for me to remove her from the school because she had a great relationship with her teacher, and she really enjoyed going there,” he remarked. “Ultimately, I felt it was my duty [as] a parent to not subject her to going to that school.”
Gina Coss, another local Catholic who participates in the rallies and other efforts to combat the evil permeating Chesapeake schools, expressed that “the approval of the ASSC is yet another example of our insults” to God.
Coss has contacted school leadership with concerns, receiving “almost non-existent or vague, ‘we’ll look into it’ responses.” She has also spoken at board meetings, conducted “door-to-door evangelization in the neighborhood,” and submitted alarming social media posts to the board from The Satanic Temple, highlighting the evil of the club.
“I would say the majority of residents we spoke with, while not Catholic, were opposed to the school district allowing ASSC,” Coss told LifeSiteNews via email. “Personally, it feels as if Chesapeake is ground zero.”
She pointed out that a shooting took place at a Walmart in November, killing six people. During the investigation of the murder, it was found that the shooter reportedly “wrote a manifesto” in which he stated that “things just fell in place like I was led by Satan.” The following week, “Chesapeake City Schools would announce the application of The Satanic Temple’s After School Satan Club at B.M. Williams Primary, a little over one mile down the road from [the] Walmart shooting.”
“As a legionary of the Legion of Mary and Catholic, I know I am called to do as much as I can as a soldier for Our Blessed Virgin Mary,” Coss continued. “We are the heel of Our Lady’s foot and we know in God’s Divine time, she will crush the head of the serpent.”
Scheerbaum explained that the club was first approved in December, with “no sort of build up to it,” and that “the community found out about it when a flyer started circulating on social media advertising the club.”
The flyer promotes activities including “science and community service projects, puzzles and games, nature activities, arts and crafts, snacks, and TONS of fun.”
“When there was a great community outcry and media coverage, the original applicant said they felt threatened and pulled the application,” Scheerbaum said. “The application was pulled on December 6, the feast of St. Nicholas.”
However, since the school district is “not supposed to formally promote any outside club,” those seeking to begin the Satan club “took to social media looking for any Chesapeake resident to sponsor the club when the original application was pulled.”
During a board meeting on December 9 — where many opposed to the idea spoke out against it — the board “agreed to the superintendent’s suggestion that a safety evaluation be conducted on the ASSC and they left the application pending.” This led to the first scheduled meeting on December 16 being cancelled.
A month later, the district approved the club’s second application. However, Scheerbaum noted that “unlike before, there was no media coverage at all about it.” Additionally, “there was no communication at all” to inform the community that the club was approved to meet on school property. Security told those gathered to pray at the second scheduled meeting that “the ASSC did not show up.” The first meeting in which students actually arrived for the club was February 16.
Shortly after, “the ASSC made headlines again when bomb threats were made against B.M. Williams school, the superintendent, an ASSC volunteer, and a lawyer representing the ASSC.” Scheerbaum shared that the threat was made prior to the February 27 board meeting in a email that “said that the ASSC had un-Islamic values.”
After the bomb threat closed the primary school for two days, “the school board voted to keep outside organizations and clubs meeting at Chesapeake Public Schools, which included the ASSC.” This decision was made on February 27 and rejected an alternative to “prohibit all outside organizations from renting school space.”
In recent months, after school Satan clubs have become a prominent issue in public schools across the country, receiving tremendous backlash from the public whenever they are implemented. They are sponsored by The Satanic Temple, a Satanist group that presents itself as a secular organization that uses Satan’s name as a rejection of “arbitrary authority.” This far-left group has a history of pushing anti-life agendas, including abortion on demand and promoting gender confusion through sponsoring LGBT events.