Diocesan parishes embrace ‘Celebrate the Beauty of Every Child’ campaign with items, prayer


By Dave Jolivet
Anchor Editor
davejolivet@anchornews.org

FALL RIVER, Mass. — The old adage says, “Two heads are better than one.” Well taken a bit further, five ministries are just plain awesome.

Recently a handful of local ministries collaborated on a plan of action to assist area babies, toddlers and their families who struggle just to make ends meet. Called “Celebrate the Beauty of Every Child, Prayer and Newborn/Toddler Campaign,” the event found 31 diocesan parishes, including schools and Religious Education programs, take part on the weekends of June 2-3 and June 9-10.

Joining forces were the diocesan Pro-Life Apostolate, St. Vincent de Paul Societies, Catholic Social Services, the Knights of Columbus and Massachusetts Citizens for Life. The goal was to obtain much-needed new infant and toddler clothing and items for families in need, as well as to rally families in participating parishes to gather together to pray for their less-fortunate brothers and sisters.

“The objective was to assist young mothers and let them know they are not alone,” Barbara Wenc, chairman of the greater Fall River Chapter of MCFL told The Anchor. “We as a Church can do so much more than individually.”

Despite taking place in the middle of a successful Catholic Charities Campaign, diocesan faithful rallied to help this campaign bring in necessary items valued at an estimated $31,607. In addition to the physical donations, participants pledged prayers in a number of ways. In all, 8,600 Knights of Columbus prayer cards were distributed, as were 8,600 Magnificat prayer cards handed out by the Pro-Life Apostolate.

Additionally, 2,315 Rosaries were pledged; 48 Novenas, nearly 150 hours of Eucharistic Adoration, 31 Divine Mercy Chaplets, 95 Masses were offered, and 83 other types of prayer, including prayers from children were pledged.

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“I am so grateful to all who orchestrated and/or generously supported the Celebrate the Beauty of Every Child Campaign,” Marian Desrosiers, director of the diocesan Pro-Life Apostolate told The Anchor. “With the support and guidance of Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., five agencies prayed and worked together to assist parishes throughout the diocese implement this highly-successful campaign. Every child, created in the image and likeness of God, is a gift of beauty and hope to our world. May we all continue to pray and support children and families in need.”

While number totals are always a subjective issue, some are worth noting during this recent successful joint venture incorporating the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. St. Pius X Parish in South Yarmouth garnered from its faithful parishioners nearly $6,000 in items to assist in-need infants and toddlers.

Knight of Columbus Paul Devin coordinated the efforts at the Cape parish.

Devin was quick to express his thanks to the many donors, pastor Father Paul Caron, and the K of C Council 10346 members. He added it was important to have run the campaign on both weekends. “This activity is an important Pro-life activity and encourages mothers and families to have, keep and raise their children,” he told The Anchor.

In Seekonk, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish received from its parishioners pledges for nearly 300 Rosaries to be prayed and 60 hours of Eucharistic Adoration.

St. Michael’s Parish in Fall River had pledges for 40 Rosaries and 10 Masses to “Celebrate the Beauty of Every Child.”

“The response was wonderful from the people in the pews,” added Wenc. “With the support of Bishop da Cunha and the cooperation of the five entities, the results were better than we expected.

“People in the Fall River Diocese are so generous. We just have to do what Christ asks of us and God provide.”

Wenc told The Anchor that the people on the committees from the five ministries were very pleased with the results.

“And the pastors were very helpful as well,” said Wenc. “It wasn’t only the material goods that were collected that was so encouraging, but the prayers and Spiritual pledges that are so important.

“The people who regularly attend daily Mass and commit to hours of Eucharistic Adoration were happy to include the intentions of infants, toddlers and parents in need. But I think that encouraged others to pray an extra Rosary, attend Mass more and spend time before the Blessed Sacrament. And the prayer cards that were distributed are things that can be used at any time. It’s a reminder to pray for the unborn and those in need year round.” 

Pastors in participating parishes were given the option to distribute the items collected in their parishes to their choice of organizations or individuals. Or the items will be distributed according to recommendations from the five ministries involved.

Members from each of the five ministries will meet and discuss the results of the recently concluded campaign and its successes, and discuss the possibilities of future such endeavors.


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