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May 2023

In the News:

Diocese of Madison: Walking with Moms needs you

Vicky Franchino

Catholic Herald

April 26, 2023

"...Pope Francis has encouraged parishes to become 'islands of mercy in a sea of indifference' and WWMIN is an effort to do just that.

The program doesn’t ask parishes to become counselors, community centers, or crisis pregnancy resources. Instead, it gives Catholic parishes tools that aid them in becoming reliable connectors to local resources when a pregnant or parenting woman comes to their parish for help. Each parish is asked to have at least one volunteer participate in a training, then complete a survey that captures the services moms in need could access at their parish. This information is then shared on a website of resources that’s available to the public.

Locally, the long-term dream is for WWMIN to serve as a collaborative hub where concerned parishioners will work together to uncover and fill service gaps throughout the Diocese of Madison.

Bishop Hying is an avid supporter of the program and encourages every pastorate to join the local effort even as we journey 'Into the Deep.'

We are seeing positive collaboration in pastorates already.

At present 40 parishes have participated in a WWMIN training and filled out a resources survey for their parish.

The Madison Walking with Moms team used information from the surveys to compile a database that will be shared with staff at each parish.

...The group’s goal is to have each pastorate participate in the training and survey to ensure it can share the most complete and accurate data with people in all 11 diocesan counties."


Helping Moms in Need: Diocesan Pro-Life Leadership Conference

Beth Griffin

Neighbors Newsletter

"... Erin Younkins is the director of Life, Justice, and Peace for the Institute for Evangelization of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. On a panel of diocesan leaders, she described her experiences implementing the USCCB Walking with Moms in Need initiative.

'It’s really a paradigm shift in the way Catholics address life issues,' she says. 'Instead of offering money, diapers, and a good luck wish, Walking with Moms in Need provides a hand to grasp. It acknowledges that the woman is a sister in Christ and belongs to our community.'

'It asks parishioners to be in conversation and look at what moms really need,' Erin adds. 'The program asks people to inventory what is available locally by way of pregnancy centers, medical facilities, food, housing, and immigration assistance.'

'After that, we ask them to identify gaps, such as day care, housing, and service to fathers. We say, ‘pick one gap and be creative,’' she explains.

One successful model—developed by the Maryland-based Gabriel Network—establishes Angel Friend teams, in which individuals accompany a woman through her pregnancy and the first two years of her child’s life. The Angel Friends help with parenting training, infant care, and access to community resources. Many establish lasting relationships with the women they befriend.

'We know that 80% of the women we serve feel that abortion is their only choice. We are looking to build a culture of life and create opportunities for women and families to thrive,' Erin says.

'We did a tremendous job for 20 years with pregnancy care centers, but moms need community,' she says.

The conference reminded Erin that the pro-life ministry is one of evangelization. 'We’re not just about advocacy and anti-abortion; we’re evangelizing families who are new or outside a parish community and letting them know we honor all life,' she says.

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Erin says, 'We have to refocus efforts at the parish level toward service and building a culture of life and away from a hyperfocus on laws. We have to be a field hospital serving people who are currently in crisis.'

Jayne [Stefanic, director of Marriage, Family, and Respect Life for the Diocese of Savannah,] says the conference demonstrated that implementing Walking with Moms in Need is not as complicated as it initially seemed to her. She is already sharing ideas with her counterparts in the Archdiocese of Atlanta to see how Savannah might replicate some initiatives."


Archbishop Broglio Calls for Radical Solidarity

with Pregnant Mothers

Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio

Pastoral Letter

April 28, 2023

"Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Our Lord chose to offer salvation to the world by becoming enfleshed in the womb of His mother, our Blessed Mother. Mary’s witness of carrying God incarnate communicates that human life is a gift to be praised, shared, and celebrated joyfully (see Lk 1:39).

In the genius of the divine detail, preserved through the writing of Saint Luke, God reminds us that even the preborn know Him. John the Baptist leapt in his mother’s womb at the arrival of our Lord. Blessed, indeed, was the fruit of Mary’s womb (Lk 1:41-42).

Jesus’ incarnation reaffirms that human life truly is created in God’s image and likeness (Gen 1:26). Each human person is a treasure, uniquely formed and known by God (see Ps 139:14-16). Each life deserves to be protected and loved, at every stage, from conception to natural death... 

We must also be mindful of our Christian duty to exercise radical solidarity with mothers and families experiencing a challenging pregnancy. As Pope Francis further points out, the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged are 'equally sacred.' We must see the face of Jesus in all people and accompany anyone considering abortion by making personal tithes to support those in need, and through advocacy for policies and programs directed toward building up the family and showing particular care for vulnerable people, such as immigrants and low-income families." 


A Novena for Life

honoring the Feast of the Visitation

On May 31st, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This feast commemorates the Blessed Mother’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth and the encounter of Jesus and St. John the Baptist while in the wombs of their mothers. Join us in praying "A Novena for Life" from May 22-30 in preparation for this feast day.


Prayer Intention

May our Blessed Mother draw women facing unexpected or challenging pregnancies close to her heart.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be...

Prayer Cards Available

Our Prayer for Pregnant Mothers is available in English and Spanish for free download. It can also be ordered as a beautiful prayer card.

USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities

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