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Bishop Golka blesses ground for maternity home

By LISA SCHMITZ
05/06/2022 | Comments

COLORADO SPRINGS. On April 9, more than 100 supporters gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony for Mater Filius Colorado Springs (MFCS), a home for pregnant moms and their children to be built on the grounds of St. Gabriel the Archangel parish in Briargate.

Bishop James Golka blessed the ground in a moving ceremony, in which Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers also participated.  Bishop Golka asked the attendees to pray, and St. Gabriel rang the church bells, during the entire time he blessed the perimeter of the grounds where the maternity home (and nearby parish rectory) is to be built.

“At the beginning of this week, our state government put in place a radical law to enshrine abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy in Colorado,” said Bishop Golka, referring to the Reproductive Health Equity Act recently passed by the Colorado General Assembly and signed by Governor Jared Polis. “It’s therefore a blessing that we are scheduled today to embark on a loving response to those who want real alternatives to abortion.

“At the heart of our Catholic faith is a great sense of the sacredness and dignity of human life, and also the preferential option for the poor,” Bishop Golka said. “I love that Mater Filius is not a house for Catholics; this is a house for human beings who are seeking additional support. When we think of single, pregnant women, we choose to respond to them with love.”

Mater Filius, which is expected to open in 2023, will provide a safe and nurturing environment for pregnant women of all faiths, supporting the basic needs of shelter, food, clothes, support, life-skills, and hope.

“Some of us have had a dream for years to open such a house,” said Mike Faricy, Chairman of the Board of MFCS. “Today we can start building this dream through the work of the sweet love of Mary, and in thanks to all those who have generously supported and prayed for this ministry to come to fruition.”

As a separate nonprofit closely affiliated with the Diocese of Colorado Springs, MFCS will address an identified need for dignified housing for homeless pregnant women and their preschool-age children in the Pikes Peak region.

“Mater Filius means ‘mother and child,’ demonstrating we love both the moms and their children,” said Lisa Schmitz, executive director of MFCS. “Providing support to pregnant women, including dignified housing, nurtures their own lives and those of their children, and provides a stable start for their growing family.”

 “Though the home is being built at St. Gabriel, this is a diocesan-wide project. It’s truly hands-on support in defense of life,” said Julie Bailey, director of the Respect Life Apostolate of the Diocese of Colorado Springs.  “We encourage all the parishes to come along side this exciting new ministry.” As an example, she cited an event being planned by St. Peter Parish in Monument.

“St. Peter in Monument is planning a Pie and Ice Cream Social on June 11, and they are inviting the entire community of Monument and all other parishes to join them. Other parishes may want to consider this event as a model, or create their own means of support.”

“Today we are constructing so much more than a building,” Schmitz said. “Rather, we are building a fortress in defense of life with love, a community, a safe-haven, new futures, hope, and a path forward with brave moms ready for change.”

Anyone who is interested in volunteer opportunities or supporting MFCS may learn more at https://materfiliuscs.org/.

(Lisa Schmitz and her husband Tony are the executive director couple for the Mater Filius maternity home.


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