Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Catholic Charities Underscores Essential Services of Lourdeshouse Maternity Home at Annual Lenten Luncheon

Serving mothers and their newborn children since the 1950s, Lourdeshouse Maternity Home is a vital residential program for empowering women.

Recent cuts to government funding that previously supported programs like Lourdeshouse are endangering these services and the critical support they offer to women working toward a better life for themselves and their children.

In an effort to raise funds and awareness for Lourdeshouse, Catholic Charities’ annual Soup, Salad and Sermon event highlighted the work of the maternity home, which is one of Catholic Charities’ three residential programs.

“We are fighting to ensure that this program, which supports women and children, continues here in the Diocese. It is one of only a handful of maternity homes in the state, and it’s more important than ever that we continue to offer it,” said Kelly Gollick, Executive Director of Catholic Charities.

Located in the St. Samuel Center in suburban Harrisburg, Lourdeshouse offers care, counseling and support for women and their babies for up to 12 months. The program ensures that the women – many of whom are homeless or in recovery – are provided with the connections they need to find stable housing, employment and transportation. They also receive counseling, life skills, parenting classes and information on proper nutrition.

The program works to empower women to take control of their lives for themselves and their children.

At the luncheon, Lourdeshouse resident Coral Vaughn and her infant son were shining examples of the success of the program.

“I’ve been in recovery since June and I’m so glad Lourdeshouse had a place for me and my son, Rafael,” said Coral, 29. “I want to thank everyone for being here and supporting us ladies at Lourdeshouse.”

The event included remarks from Lourdeshouse’s program director, Jessica Dobinson, and Bishop Timothy Senior as attendees enjoyed a simple lunch of soup and salad and made free-will offerings to support the maternity home.

“We had been the beneficiary of government funding for alternatives to abortion, but that has changed and the funds are now being redirected,” Bishop Senior told attendees. “We want to give alternatives to abortion to women who feel like they have no other choice. It’s our faith, our belief in the sanctity and preciousness of every human life, that drives us to support them.”

Learn more about Lourdeshouse and how you can support the program at this link, or contact Christopher Meehan, Catholic Charities’ Development Director, at cmeehan@hbgdiocese.org or 717-657-4804.

(Photos by Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness.)

By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness

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