by Sandi Digras, Church of the Ascension CWL
On February 15, 2018, the hall of Ascension parish was filled with balloons, baby gifts and more than 120 women. This was the 20th Anniversary of the Crossroads Pregnancy Crisis Centre in Nanaimo, one of the few faith-based organizations that endorses the Pro-life approach. For most of those years, the Catholic Women’s League has hosted a Baby Shower that brings much-needed baby items and donations.
Following a blessing from our Pastor, Fr. Mike Favero, the ladies were offered a lovely lunch and dessert made by our Kitchen Angels.
The keynote speaker was Kirsten Emmanuel, Executive Director of the Crossroads Crisis Pregnancy Centre in Nanaimo. The highlight of her presentation was a peek into a typical ‘very emotional’ day at the Centre.
Each case illustrated the wide variety of crises, from the young single mother, or a 65-year-old grandmother who took on the care of her son’s newborn baby, to the single father whose girlfriend left him with their 4-month-old child. Each story showed the compassion and care the Centre gives to these vulnerable members of society. The most compelling story was of a 16-year high school student who was raped by a friend after a party, and then attacked by her stepfather, who threatened her with a gun and threw her out of the family home. She went from wanting to abort the child to accepting the birth in an ongoing saga of sadness and loss. By the end of the presentation everyone in the room was moved in one way or another. And as Kirsten said, “this was just one day.”
The donations included money, as well as a beautiful assortment of baby items that will be put in the baskets given to each new mother.
Before the talk, Rum Hykaway, Grand Knight of the Ascension Council, presented Kirsten with a cheque for $1,600. This was a great surprise, and thrill for all the members of the Centre.
As Emcee, I had the pleasure of sharing the day with our speakers and guests, and giving door prizes assembled by Convenors Mary Sheil and Anne Byrne.
The Baby Shower is one of the highlights of Ascension CWL’s busy year; but without a doubt, is one that touches all members’ hearts. As Community Life Chair, I was so happy to see so many members of our Community as well as sister Councils from St. Peter’s, Christ the King, and St. Patrick’s in Campbell River. Almost every church and many social groups supported the event and most signed up to be there again for the Centre’s 21st Anniversary.
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