Word from Joy
As we enter into this New Year – I wanted to let you know of our situation at the Holy Cross Pro-Life Group. COVID has been hard on everyone – individuals, families and parishes alike. I view our dealing with the poor of Champaign-Urbana as sacred work and indeed a miracle work, in all our years and especially during the last 5 or so. During the last 5 years, we have only been donor-driven – no special collections at our church have been taking place, and our donors and partnerships have been fantastic and beautiful. We have expanded to do local pro-life billboards, and have the Pro-Life discussion Group and continue to shepherd 40 days and so much more!
We are so grateful for our partnerships – not only with the Pro-Life leaders at the respective parishes, but with the churches and organizations of the area.
- At Holy Cross, where we are allowed to operate and create good programs for the area. We have had many speakers present at Holy Cross and we share our speakers with other churches and groups in the area when they are here. The Girl Scouts have had a collection for us also! And during the Lenten Fish Fries, we used to bake cakes and collect donations for dessert!
- St. Matthew – where we just had a wonderful diaper drive and we sponsor some of our families for Christmas with an effort through St. Matthew School – Ms. Case’s 4th grade class, the 3rd grade class and the teachers. We had some of our speakers present their programs at St. Matthew. We also partnered with St. Matthew for the education for Jen Mokos who has done such great work here for women/marriages and families with her work via Creighton Model FertilityCare System and its related health science of NaProTECHNOLOGY.
- St Patrick in Urbana, where we supported the Ecumenical Memorial Prayer Vigil and partnered with their Pro-Life group on programs and outreach. Our most recent referral of a new mother with twins came from St. Patrick.
- St. John’s on campus where we provided much support for their students by sharing speakers, presentations and support for 40 days with close relationship of SFLI (now WeDignify)
- St. Thomas More High School where we would also share our speakers and have outreach to the poor, and in the past had Christmas help/toy donations for our families.
- Our Lady of the Lake, where I made several presentations to their youth group, women’s and men’s group and worked with their Pro-Life leaders and DRE’s. The Men’s donated to us also!
- St. Vincent de Paul Society – we routinely partner with SVdP in providing food assistance to our families and they have always included us in sponsoring three of our families for Christmas Meals. We have had some of our families get help for bills with SVdP, which we are very grateful.
- Catholic Daughters of the Americas, Court # 1070, would have a diaper collection for us and in the past had given us donations, which we are very grateful.
- Living Alternatives – who welcomed me to bring clients to their facility and have their first ultrasound! Recently Living Alternatives just gave us diapers, baby food and items and used car seats. we have had baby bottle drives to collect donations for their organization.
- Birthright – we have had several referrals from them on assisting some of their clients and have partnered with diaper donations.
In looking at our finances, we will only have enough funds to continue as we have been for 3 or so more months. While we do distribute a HUGE amount of diapers, we also provide rent assistance, utility payments, food assistance, security deposits, car repair, care license and registrations. We have paid some insurance, transportation assistance and other items. While we knew that our response to the great need to the service of the poor was a step out in faith, we knew taking on the families we have for the last two years would stretch us. But we are more than just an agency to help the poor with monetary or baby items or furniture – we help provide hope to those who suffer. We help provide a tangible and loving response to those in need. Hopefully we do all these things with the love of Christ and the tenderness of Mary.
In practical terms, we will be needing some help. We will be finding ways to have innovative donations at Holy Cross, and will be working closely with Father Donton and Father Leo. But we need your help too. While we are based at Holy Cross, I have always considered us an area-wide entity – and we have always shared our knowledge, expertise, speakers, time and talent and material goods with people in the community. We love our collaborations!
First – please pray. We know that our response to the need has grown over the years – with first Prayer – to guide us in the ways God wishes, Education – to ourselves and others and Service/Action – in serving the needs of the area – not only to members of our organizations and parishes but to others in the community. We feel this is the Lord’s work and we have been faithful and responsive to his call. Please pray that this work will continue and be blessed.
Second – please consider helping us at this time. Any ideas/collaborations are welcome.
We pray our work can continue. Thank you for your kindness.
God bless you.
We had a lovely time distributing Christmas help to our families and we continue to support them in whatever we can! We just supplied a mother with birthday help for her oldest child. We have several requests for other assistance (for example a water bill), but I have to be extra careful now with our funds. I will be checking in (and hoping that some of our children who are almost potty-trained will not need as many diapers). I MAY check to see if some of those families can handle taking care of their own pull-up needs for those children, especially if we have helped them for more than a year or two… Ecumenical Memorial Prayer Vigil – we have the preliminary info on the Ecumenical Memorial Prayer Vigil – the time is changed because this will be on a Saturday. Here is the blurb and it is below in the main section also. PLEASE – every church in our vicariate should publish this weekly and encourage