In this week’s edition of “The Tablet” – the diocesan newspaper for Brooklyn and Queens, New York – Editor-in-Chief Ed Wilkinson writes about the work of the New York Life Center, a non-sectarian facility for “pregnant women and young mothers” run by Catholics to help women of all faiths. It helps these women choose life by offering them material, emotional and spiritual support both before and after their children are born.
The diversity of people helped at the center offers a vivid reminder of why our society needs more places like this, not more liberal laws that would allow unlimited abortions through all nine months of pregnancy which New York State is spearheading right now.
Here’s an excerpt from the story:
“There are a lot of little miracles that happen here,” says Laura Sica, the office manager and only paid full-time employee…
An Hispanic woman rings the bell and is admitted. The first person she sees is Sister Mary Parry, O.P., the volunteer receptionist on Fridays. The woman doesn’t speak English, but a visitor to the office does and she discovers that the woman is looking for a jacket, size four for her son. Laura walks to a clothes room and returns with the item, plus a few shirts. The woman is grateful.
It’s not long before a Muslim woman in traditional Arab garb appears. She says she has clothes to return. Her daughter has outgrown them, but they’re hardly used. The woman is a regular client. “Thank God I came here,” she says. “Every time I look at my baby daughter, I feel guilty because I was thinking about an abortion. I would have been so lonely.”The phone rings and a woman with a Spanish accent and broken English asks if there is a car seat available. She’s told there is. She says she’ll come by before the 4p.m. closing time.
“I try to do whatever I need to do,” says Sister Mary. “I’m against abortion and if this is a place where I can be of service, I will be. I also try to represent my sisters well. This is just another way to help people.”
Laura smiles when she sees another young Muslim woman enter with three boys, a three-month-old in a stroller and his two brothers in tow. The older boys immediately are attracted to the toy chest while the mother begins talking to the visitors in the office.
“I’m so glad these people were here. I came to talk to them when I got pregnant even though I was using birth control. I didn’t know what to do. Laura told me that the baby was my ‘miracle’ baby and that I should have her. Of course, she was right! It’s a blessing. This is my miracle baby,” she explains as she points to the blue-eyed infant in the stroller.
The New York Life Center can be reached at 718-748-4992.