If you think, “Our parish does not seem to need a Walking with Moms in Need ministry, no one ever calls,” here are ten reasons to build your ministry, with input from Families of Parishes already using WWMIN to help you consider differently.
1. If Roe was to be overturned our Families of Parishes using WWMIN would be ready to be the first line of support, as our bishops affirm.
2. If a pregnant woman came to your parish, she would find the support she needs. If we are going to proclaim we are pro-life in word, it also must be in deed. That means investing the time and effort to serve as a support system for pregnant women and for mothers with children.
3. WWMIN would prepare your parishioners to respond to women within your own community. “Will the program work?” Last week I explained our WWMIN program to a parishioner; two days later she called needing information to help a woman in need. I would say it is already working very well.
4. If you knew where to send them, your WWMIN parish could offer help and hope to every mother. Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan has developed a resource website aimed at providing direct support to moms in need. The resource page is updated frequently as parishes engaged in Walking with Moms in Need complete their resource inventories.
5. If your parish community was familiar with the real alternative choices to abortion for the women in crisis, your WWMIN parish could offer them.
6. If our unexpectedly pregnant young sons or daughters really know that their WWMIN faith community will embrace them, their beautiful, difficult choice for LIFE will be affirmed.
“As I watch and give thanks for my 11-month-old granddaughter dancing to praise and worship music at 10:00 am mass, I know this was only possible through the support, love, commitment to a pro-life message, and our Parish community. When our 17-year-old son and his girlfriend navigated an unplanned pregnancy during their high school years, both families immediately turned to their faith, the Catholic Church and the support of our Parish. Both the administration and religious were crucial to giving this young family a safe home to worship, a community to support their decision, and a bright beautiful future grounded in their faith. When our granddaughter reaches for our Christian Service Coordinator at our Parish, my heart leaps for joy and I give praise to God for the parish we call family.” (Testimony from a Grateful Grandma at a WWMIN parish).
7. If parishioners who previously had an abortion encountered love, mercy, and complete acceptance as a child of God through WWMIN Ministry, and the alternative services they provide, the gift of healing, renewal, and hope as a child of God will be restored. An important aspect of WWMIN is the promotion of Project Rachel resources, which includes these new promotional videos.
8. If there was a possibility to unite our efforts with every apostolate and ministry called toward the promotion of the dignity of the human person within our parishes and communities a credible witness will be offered to those within and outside of the Church.
For 50+ years people have been saying, why doesn’t the Church do more to help women and their babies in these difficult situations? This is one of the first programs developed to address this area of need that we can all get behind to help Catholics demonstrate their responses to that question, loving them both as a WWMIN Parish.
9. If women know each WWMIN Parish is a place where they will be loved, accepted, and cared for along with their unborn child, they will come. “We don’t know if creating a WWMIN Ministry will work until we try!
The WWMIN website is one of the most impressive and comprehensive resources in terms of helping moms and babies that the Church has ever put together. With a wealth of resources at our disposal, we need to connect every woman and child in need to these resources. But we are the greatest resource to help women. If women know they can get help through the local parish, if parishioners know they can help women through the parish, babies will be saved and moms will be helped.
The Catholic Church is a sanctuary for women in need. It is simply a matter of spreading the message of faith, hope, and love to everyone who knows of a mom and baby in need. We cannot expect the phones to be flooded with calls, this will take time, be consistent, vigilant, dedicated, and flexible. When pregnancy centers were created 50 years ago, most had no idea how to minister to these women in need but over time these centers of hope have today done amazingly well today (St. Lawrence WWMIN).
10. If each parish finds and fills one small gap with great love, together we will build a Culture of Life, one woman and one child at a time. Please join us in the build! No single parish is going to be able to do it all, but each one can do something. Ask, “what needs or gaps exist in our community’s support of mothers? How can our parish or family of parishes fill this need? If we cannot, do we know who can?” Rely on prayer, the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and the gifts within your Family of Parishes.
Walking With Moms in Need (WWMIN) equips all parishes to provide help and hope to every mother. To assist our Families of Parishes in responding to this need, we have prepared a course to help you launch the WWMIN ministry at your parish. The Walking With Moms in Need Orientation for Parish Leaders is available to you now.
If your parish is already doing Walking With Moms in Need share your experiences and ideas in the EGW online community!