St. Columbkille offers this parish-based ministry to pregnant women and their children. The Gabriel Project, developed in the Diocese of Galveston-Houston, is excellent and is spreading across the nation. Volunteers in the parish are trained to help a woman through her pregnancy – with practical assistance, spiritual and emotional guidance, and help in accessing needed services. For information on The Gabriel Project contact Bev Petty, (info coming)
The Gabriel Project exists to save lives.
The Gabriel project not only seeks to save babies, but also to save women from years (and sometimes eternal) spiritual darkness and death. It is a parish-based, “hands-on” help program that helps assure pregnant women that they will be helped.
The Gabriel Project began in 1991. It has been very well-received and is a successful grass roots program that is spreading around the country. It is a program in which parishioners assist women in need with friendship and coordinate their needs such as transportation for medical care, housing, food, material needs and baby needs. Local resources can sometimes meet these needs, but the Church acts as a safety net and assures the expectant mother that she will be cared for.
The Church also provides pastoral care if asked. It also arranges for posting of “The Gabriel Project” sign on Church property. The sign is the outreach to pregnant women and assures them that the Church community is ready to help. It includes a hot-line telephone number that can coordinate with local pregnancy help centers. The sign also helps educate the community regarding the sanctity of human life.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE GABRIEL PROJECT
- Could you give us a brief synopsis of what is the Gabriel Project?
The Gabriel Project is an effort by a church community to help women in what might seem to be a crisis pregnancy.
- How does the project work?
A sign is put in front of the church or community stating;”We believe in the sanctity of human life and will help any woman in need.” Then when a woman calls she is assigned a church volunteer called a Gabriel Angel.
- What does the Gabriel Angel do?
The Gabriel Angel all throughout history is the messenger. His message is always, “Rejoice! Fear Not!” The angel delivers this message to the woman in friendship. She/he becomes the advocate for the woman, and the angel becomes her friend. Then, the Gabriel Angel delivers the message to the church/community any physical needs the woman may have and discerns with the parish clergy in her spiritual needs.
- What is the role of the Church?
The key to the Gabriel Project is the “whole” Church response. For example if the woman is in need of a crib, the Gabriel Angel puts this need of a crib into the church bulletin, allowing the whole church to respond to that need. And, so many resources are so readily available through already established help centers such as Birthright, Mothers Home, Choices, Catholic Social Services and not even mentioning the other 50 help centers. The church is the safety net to make sure the woman gets the help she needs. Most women don’t know that this help exists. The Gabriel Project can help with this message. The Gabriel Angel helps the woman find the help she needs.
The Gabriel Project Website