Diocesan News

Turning ‘Burdens’ Into Blessings How the Church Supports Pregnant Women, Single Mothers and Families in Crisis

Frequently, those in favor of abortion “rights” claim that the pro-life movement offers no assistance to women and children apart from encouraging mothers to give birth.

In reality, nobody does more to support these women and children – and fathers – than the pro-life movement. Among pro-life organizations, the Catholic Church is consistently on the front line, reaching out with practical and spiritual help that enables pregnant women, single mothers, and entire families to accept each pregnancy as a blessing instead of a burden.

Pastoral Care – Priests in every parish are ready to receive women and couples who are facing unwanted or unplanned pregnancies, plus post-abortive women. Priests offer guidance, counseling, encouragement, practical assistance, and help receiving Sacraments as needed.
Pro-Life Outreach – Staffed by Catholics and others of different faith traditions and supported by the diocese, a number of different pro-life ministries offer immediate help to women seeking abortions by providing emotional support, prayer, educational materials and connections to many different resources to enable them to choose life for their unborn children.

Catholic Social Services – As the main source for distributing help to those in need throughout the diocese, Catholic Social Services provides food, clothing for all ages, furniture, major and small appliances, financial assistance for medicine, housing and utilities, and even transportation. Psychologists and licensed mental health practitioners are on staff to counsel individuals, couples and families. Soon, CSS will also be operating St. Gianna Women’s Homes to provide safe shelter for victims of domestic violence.

Diocesan Housing Ministries – The diocese owns and operates a limited number of housing units, where single mothers and struggling families can live at reduced rates until they gain more financial stability.

Hospital Chaplains – Priests are designated to serve as chaplains at major hospitals, where they can provide pastoral care and encouragement to mothers before and after delivery, as well as to parents whose children are receiving neonatal care, and to all people who need hospital care or rehabilitation treatment at any time.

Legion of Mary, Saint Vincent de Paul Society, Altar Societies and Knights of Columbus are parish-based organizations of laypersons who offer spiritual and practical support as needed to people in need of all ages.

Catholic Education – The Diocese of Lincoln has long maintained a policy of helping low-income and impoverished Catholic parents send their children to Catholic schools. Scholarships are available at every Catholic elementary and secondary school in the diocese, including Villa Marie School & Home for Exceptional Children, which welcomes children with learning disabilities and other challenges.

Marital Aid – Numerous programs in the diocese are offered to help couples build a strong foundation for their families. Available through parish priests and the diocesan Family Life Office, these include: marriage preparation classes, Engaged Encounter, Worldwide Marriage Encounter, Retrouvaille (for troubled marriages) and Marriage P.R.E.P. (for second marriages, convalidation of civil marriages, etc.).
Natural Family Planning – Trained educators teach the Church-approved fertility awareness methods of family planning to help couples plan their families avoid crisis pregnancies in the future.

Youth Programs – Parents receive help in shaping their children into faithful, confident adults through a variety of youth programs. These include Catholic scouting groups, CCD, QUEST retreats, SKY camps, Totus Tuus summer day camps, pilgrimages to World Youth Day, retreats and conferences, etc.

Project Rachel - Post-abortive mothers, fathers and their parents can find refuge and healing through Project Rachel.

Political Efforts – The Bishops Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities works with state and national legislators to develop policies that protect the right to life for all persons, regardless of age, nationality, religion, or income, from conception to natural death.

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