Social Justice in Action

by Christa Grillmair

For more than 30 years, the members of the Church of the Ascension Parish Council of the Catholic Women’s League have hosted a baby shower in support of life. On February 21, about 130 guests representing over 25 different churches and organizations gathered in Parksville to bring hundreds of baby gifts to support Nanaimo’s Crossroads Crisis Pregnancy Centre. Ascension’s Viola Cyr and Carmen Tellier hosted the afternoon and Tina Hanlon and her ‘kitchen angels’ provided the lunch and dessert. 

Melanie Halpin-Kuehnel, the Centre’s Clinical Care Director, shared a typical day at the Centre, where women and men look for help and guidance when faced with a pregnancy crisis. She brought along ten ladies who work at the Centre in various capacities, from peer counseling to sorting donations. Those who attended were also gifted with the presence of a lovely client and her adorable 14-week old daughter. In addition to the many donations of layettes, blankets, diapers, and outfits for baby boys and girls, the Knights of Columbus Council of Parksville added $1,600 to the many other cheques donated by the guests. 

The Catholic Women’s League of Canada Church of the Church of Ascension Parish Council in Parksville has 110 members who promote social justice and provide service to the parish and community. The Crossroads Crisis Pregnancy Centre is a registered charity that, for 20 years, has been providing non-judgmental support to those facing an unplanned pregnancy.