One ministry in Rhode Island is providing material and emotional support for expectant mothers, babies, and families who are in need.
Saint Gabriel's Call, a ministry with three locations in Providence and five more across Rhode Island is helping more expectant mothers to "choose life" through emotional and material support. Pregnant mothers and their families can now visit Saint Gabriel's Call ministry, a Rhode Island church, where they will be offered comfort and encouragement, as well as other material needs such as diapers, baby formula, cribs, and more.
"The Church is always there to help people in need, but this particular ministry is a life affirming ministry specifically to help women and families and what might be a crisis or unplanned pregnancy," Lisa Cooley, who serves as a coordinator for the Diocese of Providence's Office of Life and Family, told the Catholic News Agency.
Cooley added that the Rhode Island church's goal is "to help them materially if they choose life."
Rhode Island Ministry Offers Much-needed Support for Expectant Mothers
Operating under the Providence diocese's Office of Life and Family, Saint Gabriel's Call provides financial, material, social, emotional, and other support for pregnant mothers and their children. All their services are free of charge and confidential. The Rhode Island church also helps low-income families access diapers, formula, baby clothes and linens, toys, household goods, toiletries, and gift cards.
Often, beneficiaries of the Rhode Island church are single mothers or fathers and low-income young families. Cooley shared that some families that come to them simply need "a little assistance" to get by for a week, while others are "in desperate need" and may be homeless or living in a shelter or rehabilitation facility. Others who seek their support are just getting their kids back from child protective services or foster care.
The Rhode Island church extends help to parents with kids five and below. Social workers who serve as staff provide free help for the bereaved or for domestic violence victims. It also connects women and families to public assistance or other Catholic Charities for assistance with rent or utilities. Cooley explained that they hope to "build relationships" with the people they serve to gain their trust so the Rhode Island church could better address their "spiritual or emotional" needs.
Providence Ministry Has Helped Thousands to Date
Before the COVID pandemic hit, the Providence ministry was able to serve up to 1,200 to 1,400 families annually, Cooley reported. However, the COVID pandemic impacted operations, causing the Rhode Island church ro help just 600 to 700 families in 2021. But more than just "materially" providing to those in need, they also evangelize. Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin announced that the diocese is ramping up its annual budget to $50,000 to help Saint Gabriel's call in supporting those in need.
The pro-life movement is facing its biggest challenge to date, as many believe that Roe v. Wade is at the brink of being overturned, causing many pro-choice states to hastily develop pro-choice bills to ensure abortion rights. Meanwhile, pro-life leaders have "doubled down" against "abortion supremacy," especially in California, where Gov. Gavin Newsom intends to ensure abortion rights with a $125-million "reproductive health package," the National Catholic Register reported.
In Oklahoma, the Tulsa Women's Clinic which once performed almost 5,000 abortions in 2021 alone is now empty thanks to a newly passed law that is the state's most restrictive abortion ban yet, Yahoo! News reported. Oklahoma is the latest of many GOP states to implement harsh abortion bans.