Walking With Moms in Need
May 19, 2022
The U.S. bishops are rolling out nationwide a new process called Walking With Moms in Need, through which they encourage parishes, in cooperation with their bishops and pastors, to proactively take a step toward helping women in crisis pregnancies and young families or take the next step in growing an existing ministry.
It could be as simple as intentionally praying for women in need or listing local crisis pregnancy centers in the parish bulletin each week.
“What we have found through our research and experience is that very few Catholics know what’s out there and available,” said Katherine Talalas, assistant director for ProLife Communication at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
“For a lot of Catholics, it’s new to them that there’s any kind of pregnancy ministry provided through the church. Four out of five Catholics have no idea this exists and those are people who attend Mass regularly,” she said.
“We want a prolife and pro-woman vision for the Church,” Talalas said while explaining the program to representatives of the four Iowa dioceses recently.
The Catholic Church wants to show that it not only teaches about protecting life, but walks the walk, she said.
“The Walking with Moms in Need initiative is perfectly timed with the Iowa Catholic Conference’s legislative efforts this year on the Iowa MOMS bill,” said Sara Eide, associate director of the ICC. “This pending legislation would provide state resources to bolster existing programs for pregnant women. We are hopeful it will also be a catalyst to start additional programs to support new moms and stabilize new families.”
Walking with Moms in Need provides a range of resources that take parishes step-by-step through a process of evaluating what ministries and resources already exist, and what parishes might be able to do. It provides educational, pastoral and action-oriented resources.
Success for Walking With Moms in Need will look different in each parish and in each Diocese based on resources and capacity, Talalas said.
“Allow the Holy Spirit to guide your efforts. Don’t put limits on what the Holy Spirit can accomplish,” she added. “How is God calling you to respond?”
The first step to implementing Walking With Moms in Need is contacting the Diocese of Des Moines to get the resources.
Talalas noted that the new process is not limited to helping women in crisis pregnancies but also helping young families.
“It’s not about just helping the mother have the baby and then bye-bye,” she said. “Some ministries help moms through until their children reach ages three or five and some longer.” They may include job training and childcare.
For more information, parishes in the Diocese of Des Moines should contact John Gaffney at 515-237-5026 or jgaff firstname.lastname@example.org.