“Walking with Moms in Need” is a nationwide initiative to increase support for pregnant and parenting mothers facing difficulties. It is a parish response to help facilitate the accompaniment of mothers in need. Each participating parish is asked to complete a simple inventory of the resources currently available in their local area, assess the results and identify gaps, and plan and implement a parish response based on their findings. In essence, it is about providing practical and prayerful support as well as building relationships with helping agencies.
“Walking with Moms” in Need was initially launched by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on March 25, 2020, in honor of the 25th anniversary of Pope St. John Paul II’s encyclical Evangelium vitae (The Gospel of Life). Unfortunately, no one could have foreseen the devastating effects of COVID-19 on our parishes and family life. But now more than ever we have a responsibility to accompany our brothers and sisters as they face difficulties in their life.
Evangelium Vitae highlights the role of women in bearing the gift of life to the world. Pope St. John Paul II talks about the heroic women in our time that say ‘yes’ to life, in the midst of financial, health and familial challenges. Sadly, according to abortion providers in 2014, of the women who chose abortion, 75 percent were low income, 60 percent were in their 20’s, and 86 percent were unmarried. They are often trapped or abandoned.
Much of the work has already been done. Many parishes in the Diocese of San Bernardino have supported our local pregnancy centers and maternity homes over the years. Our Knights of Columbus, both locally and at the national level, have donated thousands of dollars to pay for ultrasound machines for the pregnancy centers in our Diocese. “Walking with Moms in Need” is about supporting someone through prayer and action; understanding what one realistically can do, knowing local resources, being a bridge to local pregnancy centers and accompanying the woman through the journey.