‘This is a ministry. The same way we call people to the pastoral care of the sick. This is a ministry of accompaniment to the struggling.’

From The Record newspaper in Kentucky:

Walking with Moms in Need, a national initiative, aims to create a network of support for expectant mothers and families raising young children in the city of Louisville.

The initiative was introduced by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2020 and was championed in the Archdiocese of Louisville by Catholic Charities of Louisville and the archdiocesan Family and Life Ministries Office. Walking with Moms in Need aims to train parishes and other faith-based organizations to support expectant mothers and families with young children.

“The intent was for our Catholic community to engage in activities to support expecting mothers and struggling families,” said Lisa DeJaco Crutcher, Catholic Charities of Louisville CEO. “We had spent some time designing a program that we hoped to pilot with a couple of parishes to really reach out and wrap around those struggling moms.”

The program was shelved due to COVID-19 restrictions but DeJaco Crutcher said together the offices have “pulled it back out to refresh and launch this summer largely due to the expectation around the upcoming Dobbs decision that everyone anticipates will overturn Roe v. Wade.”

“We recognize there is a lot of energy in our community around this,” she said during a recent phone interview.

“This is a ministry,” she said. “The same way we call people to the pastoral care of the sick. This is a ministry of accompaniment to the struggling.”

Deacon Stephen Bowling, director of the Family and Life Ministries office, said the program will be “almost identical to sponsoring a refugee.”

“The parish adopts an expecting mom or recent mom and helps them with things like how we get them help, childcare, etc.,” he said in a recent phone interview. It’s a more personal experience than simply donating to a collection because “it has a human face, actually, it has multiple human faces attached to it.”

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