Helping Mothers Choose Life

A pregnancy center established by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Brownsville, Texas, is providing pregnant and new mothers with an abundance of programs to help them care for their babies.

In 2018, the Diocese of Brownsville was looking at creating a pro-life ministry at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. The Missionary Oblates have staff at the Cathedral and have ministered in Brownsville for more than 170 years.

The Missionary Oblates accepted the request from the diocese and turned the former school building adjacent to the Cathedral into the Life and Family Pregnancy Center. At the center, women can receive pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and baby items such as diapers, clothes, strollers and car seats.

A variety of counseling programs are also offered at the center to help young women with personal, human and spiritual growth. The center provides maternity and baby care talks. It has counseling for mothers who want to choose adoption instead of abortion. Missionary Oblates on staff at the Cathedral are also available for spiritual counseling.

Although the primary focus of the center is for pregnant mothers, there is also a support group for new mothers. Discussion topics for this group include dealing with post-partum depression, tips for good communication in matrimony, reducing hazards for toddlers, good nutrition, positive child education, dealing with domestic violence and substance abuse, and natural family planning.

Workshops are also held at the center for young mothers to teach them skills that will help them raise their children or to learn a trade that will allow them to obtain better employment. Some of the topics at these workshops include beauty culture, use of computers, craftsmanship and cooking. 

Most of the mothers who take part in the programs have a low income. Refugees who live in the area are also beneficiaries of the center’s services.

“The bishops of the United States continue to declare the threat of abortion as the preeminent priority because the right to life is the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights,” says Fr. Nick Harding, OMI, Parochial Vicar of the Cathedral. “But we can’t just be against abortion. We seek to support pregnant mothers so they will want their pregnancy and unborn child.”