Walking with Moms in Need
by Kathy Danehy – Respect Life Ministry
I had just come from my “job” as a volunteer nurse at the local pregnancy help center where I counseled clients on everything from pregnancy, STI’s (sexually transmitted infections), childbirth classes, post abortion healing and sometimes I even vacuumed. I had forgotten to take off my clinic ID tag, and looking at my ID the young woman behind the counter asked me if I worked there. When I told her “yes” she said, “They saved me and my baby’s life; everyone was so kind here, and my little boy is now 6!” Since that first interaction she always asks how things are at the clinic, and she hopes that someday she can help someone in her same position. Just recently she told me she had gone back to school with plans to continue her education in the healthcare field.DOWNLOAD THE BULLETIN
THAT is the focus of the USCCB’s* program “Walking with Moms in Need”: giving young women and men true honest choices, supporting and empowering them to become parents and thrive. Walking with Moms is the loving pro-life position of the Catholic Church. When a nationwide survey was done asking people where they would send someone in a “crisis” pregnancy, most either didn’t know or said “Planned Parenthood.” In response to that answer, the USCCB created “Walking with Moms in Need.” The program is focused on educating our parishes about the almost 3,000 pregnancy centers throughout the country that have been providing FREE services for men and women in need during pregnancy and beyond. These services include material assistance, parenting classes, relationship and men’s coaching and, if the decision is to end the life of their unborn child, they are welcomed back with open hearts for counseling and healing.
We are very blessed here at St. John XXIII to have three wonderful centers nearby including Verity Pregnancy and Medical Resource Center, which is our neighbor just around the corner. Our parish and many parishioners actively support these centers through financial and material donations as well as volunteer hours.
We in the Respect Life Ministry hope that you will take the time to explore and consider becoming more involved as we move forward following the recent SCOTUS* decision that overturned Roe v Wade, helping mothers and fathers to make the best choice, either parenting or adoption. The Diocese of Venice website has listings of the numerous FREE resources available by accessing “Walking with Moms in Need” box. There you will find addresses and phone numbers for resources including post-abortion healing. You can also go directly to the USCCB’s direct website for an overview of the program.
As I am writing this article, I am fully aware that there are individuals in the parish who remain decidedly pro-choice. I understand, because despite being raised in a very Catholic pro-life family, I can still remember the day as a college student when I declared to my mother that it was a “woman’s right to choose.” My mother asked what had happened to me, and honestly I didn’t know. I had friends who had abortions, and they seemed fine, carried on with their college education and moved on. I was SO wrong. There is NEVER a need for abortion. It takes a devasting toll on everyone it touches.
Several years later, newly married and working as a nurse in NYC, I came on morning shift where there was a young woman in one of the labor rooms in the midst of a late-term abortion. I offered (in my compassionate mind) to be her nurse. She was 16 and well into her late 2nd or early 3rd trimester. Her mom explained to me that they were pro-life and Catholic until it happened to their daughter. They were embarrassed and didn’t want anyone to know. A late-term abortion is not pretty; the girl was crying, the mother was crying and the father was in the waiting area praying the rosary. I wasn’t on shift when the abortion was completed. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wonder about that young girl, scared and pregnant and her parents choosing to end the life of their grandchild.
Not too long ago, a very dear friend of mine shared that she had lost her mother at a very young age and became pregnant as a teen. Now years later with clarity she said, “If just ONE person had supported and encouraged me, I would have made a different decision.” That is what Walking with Moms is about, supporting and loving. For more information, please email email@example.com or call the parish office at (239) 561-2245, and we are happy to reach out. Think about it, pray about it, and see what God is calling you to do.
- *USCCB = United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- *SCOTUS = Supreme Court of the United States