By Sarah LaPierre, Director of the Gabriel Project in the Diocese of Arlington
A woman, whom I will call “Diana,” was all set and ready to walk in for her scheduled appointment at the abortion facility. It was for her second abortion. As she was about to enter, someone handed her a brochure. It said, “Pregnant, need help?” Inside it read: “Each of us is the result of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.”
These are the words of Pope Benedict XVI. The brochure also lists a helpline number for confidential support, including prenatal care and other community resources.
In addition, the words of the Archangel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary are printed: “Do not be afraid, for nothing is impossible for God.”
As you know, God the Father sent the Archangel Gabriel to ask Mary to be the Mother of Christ and also to bring the Good News of the Nativity to the shepherds and, therefore, to all of us. Gabriel is a messenger who announces in no uncertain terms that the Lord is here, that there is hope! He still bears this message today – to the afflicted, to the hopeless, to those facing seemingly insurmountable difficulties.
“Diana” did call one of those numbers, and she got Gabriel Project pregnancy assistance ministry. We were able to financially sponsor her medical care at Tepeyac Family Center. We also matched her with Gabriel “Angels.” These volunteers provide on-going support and encouragement. They gave her rides, supplied her with baby items and food, and made visits just to talk or teach interests such as crochet. Most importantly, these women who are trained Gabriel “Angel” volunteers listened reassuringly with a welcoming presence during this expectant mother’s pregnancy to help alleviate her fears and concerns. They passed along words of wisdom and instilled hope as they walked this journey alongside her.
Our pregnancy ministry is named after the Archangel Gabriel because we believe that all mothers should hear the Good News – that the Lord is there for them and their babies. And, in turn, the name is a reminder that the “Gabriel Angels” and each one of us are called to be messengers of the Good News. We should challenge ourselves to give of our time (the Gabriel Project is always looking for volunteers – in fact, there is a training Saturday!), our compassion and our prayers.
Saint Gabriel, Pray for us!
UPDATE: “Diana” just called today. It turns out that at the metro a pregnant woman commented on her beautiful baby. “Diana” asked why she was crying. The young woman said that she is being pressured to abort. “Diana” said she didn’t have to – that there is help. This woman was in the same exact situation, alone and scared. “Diana” then proceeded to tell her experience with Gabriel Project.