ONGOING WORK OF MERCY
Driven by the nationwide United States Catholic Conference of Bishops’ Walking with Moms in Need initiative, the Detroit Walking with Moms in Need initiative is a partnership between the Archdiocese of Detroit and Catholic Charities of southeast Michigan, which equips and assists Catholic parishes and parishioners in raising awareness about resources that assist pregnant and parenting moms in need. The initiative seeks to make each parish in the Archdiocese a place where moms and their babies are welcomed and supported and where the dignity of every human life is upheld and valued.
Through Walking with Moms in Need, Catholic parishes and communities "walk in the shoes" of local pregnant and parenting women to connect them with the help they need.
As members of the Body of Christ, we are called to help moms in difficult circumstances, and we should know how we can best support them. While not trying to turn Catholic parishes into pregnancy centers, we can support local pregnancy centers where they exist. We can also find and share other resources with pregnant and parenting women that will serve them and the young lives entrusted to them.
Where there are few local resources, we can create our own based on the gifts of each parish community and the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, the giver of gifts.
We invite you and your parish to join us in this important ongoing work of Mercy, offering support and concern for both mother and child. As we renew and redouble our efforts, let us pray unceasingly for all pregnant women and their children. In Archbishop Vigneron's words, “It is critical that any pregnant woman considering abortion knows that she has better options available and, most importantly, that she knows the love of Christ as shared through the witness borne by you, me, and all Catholics.” Contact Kathleen Wilson for help getting started
The Walking with Moms in Need efforts throughout southeast Michigan is a joint venture partnership between the Archdiocese of Detroit (AOD) and Catholic Charities of southeast Michigan. As the charitable arm for the corporal works of mercy throughout the AOD, Catholic Charities of southeast Michigan is honored and excited to help develop this project for many years.
Frequently Asked Questions
The primary resources will come through the AOD's Accompaniment Process. This will be a series of webinars and presentations geared toward parish leaders and Core Team members engaged in the process. Contact Kathleen Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org to join the next Accompaniment Process. Previous sessions have been recorded as well.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, founder and organizer of WWMIN, also has an extensive amount of resources available at their website, www.walkingwithmoms.com. This is the location of the "Parish Action Guide", a 42-page guidebook for WWMIN Teams!
Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan has developed a resource page to assist parishes in filling out their Resource Inventories. The page can be found by going to www.ccsem.org/mom. We are continually adding resources to this listing.
Please also see the following articles that have been published by the AOD:
- "Why We are All Called to Focus on Walking with Moms in Need" by Kathleen Wilson
- "Why Walking with Moms in Need is a Great First Step to Evangelical Charity in Your Parish" by Chris Leach
- "What Would a Mom in Need Find at Your Parish" by Chris Leach
- “19 Things Your Parish Should Have Available for Moms in Need” by Chris Leach
- “10 Questions to Get to Know Your Local Pregnancy Center” by Andrea Moury
- “7 Ways to Empower Your Parishioners to Share Your Evangelical Charity Ministries” by Chris Leach
The Walking with Moms in Need Team is a joint venture between the AOD and Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan. For more information, please contact:
Kathleen Wilson, Pro-Life Ministry Coordinator
Andrea Spankie, Walking with Moms in Need Coordinator, Catholic Charities of SEM
Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan has developed a resource website aimed at providing direct support to moms in need. Please visit the site at www.ccsem.org/mom to learn about resources available in your area. You can also call CCSEM at (855) 88C-CSEM to speak with a case manager.
If your parish has completed your inventory please submit it to Kathleen Wilson, AOD Pro-Life Coordinator at email@example.com so that the information can be shared with others in your community.
The formal phases for beginning this Work of Mercy at your Parish are:
- Phase 1: Announce the Initiative and Build a Core Team
- Phase 2: Launch the Parish Inventory Process
- Phase 3: Share Inventory Results and Begin Assessment and Planning
- Phase 4: Announce and Commit to Parish Response
- Phase 5: Celebrate and Implement Parish Plans
Parishes wishing to begin the Walking with Moms in Need process should contact Kathleen Wilson, AOD Pro-Life Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also view the Archdiocese's Walking with Moms in Need Orientation Course for Parish Leaders to learn more.
Parishes who participate in the Walking with Moms in Need Initiative will form a core team of staff and volunteers, complete a resource inventory to identify needs and resources in their local community, take a look at the gifts and resources they have in the parish or family or parish community and create a plan to communicate with and accompany moms in need in their greater community. They will be supported by the AOD and Catholic Charities’ Walking with Moms in Need Team, as well as provided with extensive resources from the USCCB, throughout.
Participating parishes will create a plan to address the following questions:
- What needs/gaps exist in our community’s support of mothers? How can our parish or Family of Parishes fill this need? If we cannot, do we know who can?
- What ministers in our church will moms in need interact with? Do these ministers have access to the proper resources to make referrals?
- How will we continuously demonstrate that our parish is aware of, interested and responsive to the needs of mothers?
- Do all members of our parish recognize that we are a “People of Life” and a refuge where they, and others can find the resources they need?
- How will we continuously educate our people about Church teachings on life?