Walking with Moms in Need

The Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. This focus on human life and dignity has been a consistent and unwavering message that our Catholic Church has held, often in opposition to our modern culture.

Recently, we have witnessed a consistent attack on life issues from our current presidential administration, resulting in rollbacks and removal of protections for numerous pro-life policies. These changes not only impact the innocent lives these policies were meant to protect, but they also often put Catholics in a position where we are frequently called to pray, educate ourselves and take action with our government leaders.

Despite the many challenges that these recent policy changes have created, we know, as Catholics, that we never face these issues alone. Even in the darkest of times, when the messages coming across the news seem bleak, we know that our God has not abandoned us. We have a loving and true God who reigns over this earth. 

God has a heart for his creation and seeks the salvation of all souls, and desires us to turn to him even when it may seem impossible. We, as Catholics, “co-operate” with God, meaning we work together with him to fulfill his will here and now. The old adage says: “God, why don’t you do something to stop these problems?” And God replies: “I am doing something, I am sending you!”

Through a relationship with God and a life of prayer and education of ourselves and others, we can become effective advocates for those who cannot speak for themselves. 

In order to win the battle in our nation over these issues, we simply cannot focus all of our efforts on policy, we also need to change hearts. Bishop David Ricken has spent the last several years leading our diocese in the discipleship process. Through this process, we learn to discover Jesus, follow and worship him, and eventually share Jesus with others.  

As Bishop Ricken likes to say: “Be a friend of Jesus; make a friend and introduce your friend to Jesus.” At the core, Bishop Ricken is asking us to accompany one another individually, through the ups and downs of life. As we walk with each other, we should look for opportunities to invite Christ into those moments. This process is what changes hearts.  

If we all lived and walked as Jesus would have us do, it wouldn’t matter what government policies state, because there would be no need for abortion or other anti-life practices. It is through personal accompaniment that we can help those in need who would otherwise make life-compromising decisions.  

It is also through personal accompaniment, with Jesus as our guide, that we can educate one another as to the heart of God’s message, which is that all creation deserves life, dignity and respect. This is what it means to be a disciple for life!

The good news is that we don’t have to start these efforts to accompany those around us from scratch. Within our own diocese, we have incredible pregnancy centers, Catholic medical clinics and Catholic Charities — organizations that have made it their mission to walk with and accompany those in need, especially women who may be pregnant or considering abortion or other life-altering decisions.

These organizations are on the frontline of the pro-life movement and are often the first place to feel the effect of changes in policy from our government. There are numerous opportunities to support these groups with our time, talent and treasure. By supporting their efforts, we are opening the door for these organizations to grow and have even more reach, thus effectively changing more hearts, minds and lives for the better.

This coming year, our diocese will launch an initiative called “Walking with Moms in Need,” which is a nationwide campaign that originated with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The first phase of this program will showcase many of the agencies available in our diocese that can be called upon to assist a mom or a family in need.  

By knowing what is available locally, and throughout our diocese, we will be better equipped to pray for and support those around us. The faithful in our diocese will also be encouraged to have a better understanding of the needs in the communities closest to them, so hearts and lives can be embraced on a local level.  

Through this program we can begin to do the very things our Lord is calling us to do: to love one another as he has loved us. By taking part in the upcoming Walking with Moms in Need initiative, by praying, educating ourselves and one another, and by taking action when called upon, we will change the culture in our diocese and in the world around us.  

If you are interested in learning more about the Walking with Moms in Need initiative, please visit the USCCB website walkingwithmoms.com and stay tuned for more information on this initiative in our Green Bay Diocese. Thank you for all of your continuous efforts to support life, in all its stages, in our diocese.

Tremblay is the is marriage and life ministries director for the Diocese of Green Bay and Weiss is the living justice advocate/program manager for the diocese.