PROVIDENCE — Through its St. Gabriel’s Call ministry, the Diocese of Providence continues to offer help to mothers before, during and after their pregnancies despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that continues to alter daily life as we know it.
For mothers, coronavirus is an extra added concern as many struggle to gather necessary items they need to best take care of children at home or on the way. This is where St. Gabriel’s Call — a diocesan Catholic Charity Appeal supported ministry — comes in.
Even as the ministry’s typical workflow has changed to help prevent the spread of the virus, mothers are still able to receive items. The ministry normally provides families with a wide variety of items as they become available, but for now they are currently taking appointments only for basic needs: diapers and baby toiletries.
Carol Owens, the Life and Family Ministry coordinator for the Diocese of Providence, shared that most clients are living on limited income and often do not have family to turn to for assistance.
“We are here to help them with their basic needs and to speak with them during a difficult time with the pandemic. They need encouragement generally, but I feel, even more so now.”
Owens shared that the response from mothers and families still able to receive items they need has been incredible.
“They are so pleased to be able to get some help, to know they can turn to us, to the Church, regardless of their religious affiliation or lack thereof. Hopefully, when the pandemic ends, we will be able to have evangelized many frightened and desperate moms.
“We had a grandmother call for her daughter who couldn't come in herself to pick up diapers and toiletries for her 6 month-old baby. Another couldn't find diapers and other basic needs for her baby in the grocery store. Another mother told me she was due in May and needed everything. I responded by saying we are here to help and she was relieved.”
Owens also extended her concern to those women who are in a domestic abuse situation, which could increase during these times.
“If you are in an emergency situation, call 911. If you need someone to talk with, call 278-4508. Our door may be closed but our hearts are still reaching out to moms, to those who are grieving a loss, to those who just need to talk.”
Along with your prayers, there are many ways that you can help Rhode Island moms who need support from a caring community. To donate diapers and baby toiletries, please call 278-4508.
In the meantime, Owens’ message is the same as the angel Gabriel when these words were spoken to Mary, “You are favored by the Lord! The Lord is with you.”
“I want these moms and their babies to know we are with them as well,” she said.
Gabriel Assistant Marissa Kelly will be retrieving phone calls and meeting at a location in Providence two days a week from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Gabriel clients are encouraged to call 278-2525 or 278-4508.
Continue to make an impact in this time of need
Because of the generosity of so many, the Catholic Charity Appeal is able to support numerous ministries and programs of the Diocese of Providence, providing social, educational and spiritual support to thousands of Rhode Islanders each year regardless of race, creed or background. These ministries continue to operate during the COVID-19 health crisis. Visit dioceseofprovidence.org/cca to learn more or to donate.
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