Gathering diocesan resources to aid mothers in need
By Amy Julian
Director of Family Life Ministries
Waiting is difficult. For almost 50 years, Catholics and Christians across the country have been waiting and praying for an end to the practice of abortion. The Supreme Court Case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization could be a major change in the landscape of abortion law, and Catholics anxiously await the final decision, to be released sometime before the end of June.
Regardless of the final decision, Catholics will continue to do what we have done for over 2000 years; zealously work to defend the rights of both women and babies, and to support both the poor and the vulnerable. The Catholic Church has always been pro-life, from conception to natural death. The church has also always been pro-woman. From the days of the Apostle Paul, the Christian understanding of marriage promoted a vision of the equal dignity of men and women, and that was radical in the ancient world. Christians defended the right of a woman to choose who she would marry and when, and to protect the life of her child. In the prevailing society, Roman and Hellenic husbands held the absolute power to put an unwanted infant to death or to force a wife to abort. The Catholic Church changed all this. (See Rodney Stark, “The Triumph of Christianity”) Through centuries of Catholic hospitals, schools, and orphanages, the church has consistently promoted the needs of the poor and the vulnerable. In 2019, the USCCB announced the launch of Walking With Moms in Need (WWMIN) an initiative of the USCCB which is designed to be a ministry of accompaniment that would continue that good work. As Pope Francis reminds us, our parishes need to be “islands of mercy in the midst of a sea of indifference.” Everyone in the parish community should know where to refer to a pregnant woman in need.
The church does not cease being pro-life at birth. Rather, she continues to be pro-life until natural death. These pro-life efforts include supporting the mothers who choose life. WWMIN both highlights these ongoing efforts, and also seeks to discover new opportunities to serve both pregnant and parenting moms.
The USCCB has invited us to assess the resources for pregnant moms and families in need by creating an inventory of local resources for pregnant and parenting moms. And as we work together to create and share this inventory, it is possible that we may see opportunities in areas in which we can improve our church or community responses.
To see or share resources, click here to visit our “Walking with Moms in Need” resource page. We are called to evangelize, always and everywhere. Knowing where to find help can help us to be the hands and feet of Jesus.