On May 21, St. Paul of Tarsus’s Respect Life Ministry hosted a baby shower in support of Abigayle Ministries, a pregnancy resource center in Sterling Heights. Inspired by the initiative “Walking with Moms in Need,” the parish hosted a tremendously successful baby shower where they collected donations to fulfill the wish lists of under-resourced pregnant moms supported by Abigayle Ministries.
The success hinged on the collaboration of five of their evangelical charity ministries—the Food Pantry/Crisis Outreach, the Knights of Columbus, Women of Faith, Prayer Shawl Ministry and Respect Life. The cooperation is a fruit of their weekly meetings with Christian Service Coordinator, Deacon Mark Rybinski.
“The collaboration part was easy,” explains Mary Fiorani, head of the Respect Life Ministry, “Every week I sit in an evangelical meeting Deacon Mark has with all his ministries. So when we discuss these topics, it’s just natural for groups to jump in and say, ‘Oh we can help out with this,’ and, ‘We can donate that.’”
During the meeting where the Baby Shower was proposed the St. Paul of Tarsus Knights of Columbus immediately offered to donate two highchairs that were on the list, and that got the bowl rolling. Soon each ministry head at the meeting was strategizing how their group could contribute—the Food Pantry would donate baby formula, baby food, diapers, shampoo and more; the Women of Faith would provide food, beverages, and door prizes for the shower;andthe prayer shawl ministry would donate baby blankets. Mary’s overwhelming event planning for Respect Life became an easy series of boxes to check off with the help of five other ministries to do the checking.
“I was so overwhelmed with the generosity,” explains Mary, “It was so overwhelming how much support we received, and from everyone.”
Respect Life promoted the event in the bulletin inviting women of the parish to invite their friends and family to the baby shower. They hoped it would be a nice social reprieve after being in lockdown from Covid.
“That was very important to me,” explains Mary, “I wanted women to be able to get together in a relaxed atmosphere, and I didn’t want them to be busy busy with games, or talks, or anything like that. I just wanted them to sit there, and have an opportunity to just visit each other.”
Mary says the 40 women who attended were very happy to do just that. After a brief presentation from the director of Abigayle’s Ministry, they were given the opportunity to reconnect after a long separation, socialize, and look at the gifts.
“We kept it simple so that they could visit. It was just a good time for a good cause,” says Mary. By the end of the event, every single gift on the mothers’ wishlists was filled and much, much more, including over $670 in gift cards. Both the St. Paul of Tarsus Knights of Columbus and Anchor Bay Knights of Columbus made generous cash donations as well. Mary plans to make the baby shower an annual event.