Baltimore, Md., Nov 11, 2019 / 03:28 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas announced Monday at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ fall meeting an initiative meant to help parishes assist pregnant women in need at the local level.
Everyone needs to know what pregnancy resources there are available in the community, Naumann said Nov. 11, adding that he hopes Catholics can move from “partisan divide into pastoral unity” on the topic of abortion and the Church’s response.
Naumann, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, announced that from March 25, 2020 to March 25, 2021 the bishops will support an initiative called “Walking With Moms in Need: A Year of Service.”
The program, Naumann said, will include resources for parish use, tools for creating an inventory of resources available to help women in the community, prayers for building a culture of life, reflections on encyclicals related to life, homily help, pulpit announcements, communications and outreach suggestions, and more.
He said all the resources related to the initiative will be online in English and Spanish, along with a timeline for putting them out.
Naumann noted that March 25, 2020 is the 25th anniversary of the encyclical Evangelium vitae, in which St. John Paul II expanded on the term “culture of life,” which he first used in the encyclical Centesimus annus four years earlier.
In Evangelium vitae, Naumann noted, St. John Paul II asked the faithful to assess the efforts in assisting pregnant mothers in need, especially at the local level.
“Pregnant and parenting moms in need are in our parishes and neighborhoods,” Naumann said, noting that there are 17,000 parishes in the United States and each parish is best equipped to help women at the local level.
“We have done little to help women in difficult situations,” when abortion seems like a quick solution to their problems, Naumann lamented.
Our parishes need to be, in the words of Pope Francis, “islands of mercy in the midst of a sea of indifference.”