Walking with Moms in Need
By Cliff Gorski
It began as an invitation a few years ago from the Committee on Prolife Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Members asked bishops to use parishes across the country to fill the gaps that were keeping pregnant women and young moms from receiving the help they need in the care of their newborns or young children. Bishops asked volunteers in their parishes to “walk in the shoes of local pregnant women or moms in need.”
Walking with Moms in Need began in March 2020, but the ambitious concept came to a halt when the pandemic forced the closure of churches. Volunteers, many of whom are retirees and most at risk for COVID, stayed home.
Despite the setback, parishioners at Ascension Parish and Sacred Heart Parish, both in Jeannette, moved forward with new energy due to the pandemic and the increased needs of women with unexpected and challenging pregnancies.
“On Father’s Day in 2020, we had a drive-by collection of baby clothes as part of ‘Walking with Moms in Need’,” said Deacon William M. Newhouse, Administrator of the two parishes.
Deacon Newhouse said a collection of baby clothes and other items was taken over several weekends in early 2020 at Ascension Parish and ended with a drive-by collection on Father’s Day.
A second collection was taken in October for Respect Life Month at Sacred Heart Parish.
While this was their first Walking with Moms in Need collection, parishioners at Sacred Heart Parish have been collecting items since 2015. They traditionally set up a portable playpen that is filled with gently used items. Collected items were given to the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Greensburg’s Baby Closet and other organizations to distribute to those in need.
“There is a false narrative by those who support abortion that the Church hasn’t been active providing resources in the past, for it certainly has throughout its history,” Deacon Newhouse said. “An important thing to do is identify groups or agencies who provide support for those women who are choosing life. Once we have identified them, we need to support them with our prayer, with our treasure and with our time.”
Catholic Charities has a 24-hour information and referral Helpline for women needing help, as well as for assistance with rent, heating fuel, transportation and prescriptions. Last year, Catholic Charities supported nearly 800 families with more than $200,000 to keep lights on, water running and homes heated. These are efforts supported by the Diocesan Lenten Appeal. Each Lent, the Diocese of Greensburg asks parishioners
to consider donating. You can read more about the 2022 appeal called “Sharing Our Gifts”.You can also make an online contribution here.
If you or someone you know is facing an unexpected or challenging pregnancy, prayerfully consider calling the Catholic Charities Helpline at 866-409-6455.