Gabriel Project trainings set for early 2023
Pictured is an image of “The Madonna of the Streets” associated with the Gabriel Project, which provides mentoring and support for women in crisis pregnancies.
COLORADO SPRINGS. Progress is being made within the diocese for the eventual implementation of the Gabriel Project, a program to mentor and support mothers in crisis pregnancies.
The Gabriel Project is a parish-based pro-life apostolate that was re-introduced to the diocese this past spring by Director of the Respect Life Apostolate, Julie Bailey, and Holy Trinity parishioner Susan Pavlica, who has several years experience working with Gabriel Project.
Gabriel Project volunteers, called “Angels” provide practical advice and help as well as spiritual support and Christian witness to mothers in need. Named after the Angel Gabriel, the project aims to bring good news to women experiencing unexpected, unwelcomed, or otherwise problem pregnancies.
At the recent Bishop’s Respect Life Dinner, Bailey mentioned the Gabriel Project among several pro-life initiatives to uphold the right to life of the unborn within the diocese.
Currently there are talks within the five Northern Deanery parishes to form a combined Gabriel Project in order to share resources more effectively, and offer help to anyone within the deanery’s area, consisting of Douglas, Elbert and Park counties.
Several other parishes are still in various stages of discernment about the Gabriel Project, having a parish coordinator but not yet at the point of deciding how to support it.
Pavlica continues to spearhead the training of potential parish coordinators and “Angels” who walk with moms in need and provide assistance and information to whatever resources a woman might require in her pregnancy and beyond.
Pavlica recently announced several scheduled trainings that will be held in the new year.
The first training is for potential parish coordinators and will be held on Jan. 16 from 2-5 p.m. at Corpus Christi Parish. (The annual Rocky Mountain March for Life from Planned Parenthood to Corpus Christi will take place that morning.) Anyone who might be interested in leading a parish Gabriel Project is welcome to attend the training.
“Attending the training does not mean a person is committed to becoming the coordinator, but it will help anyone to find out more about what’s involved,” Pavlica said.
Two trainings for parish Angels have been scheduled as follows:
• Feb. 4 at 9:30 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Castle Rock.
• Feb. 11 at 2 p.m. at St. Peter Parish in Monument.
Anyone in the diocese who is interested in possibly becoming an Angel should consider attending one of these sessions.
Bailey said it’s possible that the diocesan approach to the Gabriel Project is not focused within any one parish but something similar to the Northern Deanery where different parishes will participate in different ways. She emphasized the importance of flexibility to accommodate the project within the diocese.
As she mentioned in April’s meeting, Bailey said the diocese will provide resources for parishes willing to host the Gabriel Project. For example, there will be a diocesan level phone number printed on business cards to give women at the sidewalk of Planned Parenthood. The diocesan contact will then refer callers to the closest participating parish.
“But everything depends upon having trained Angels and coordinators to support the women who will need assistance,” Pavlica emphasized, which is why the upcoming trainings are critical to going forward with the project in the diocese, whatever format the project takes.
In order to have enough training materials on hand for these trainings, please contact Susan Pavlica at 719-466-0925 or firstname.lastname@example.org to let her know you would like to attend.
(Linda Oppelt is adminstrative assistant for The Colorado Catholic Herald.)