This endeavor comes we believe, as a response to Bishop David Zubik’s invitation to be "On Mission for the Church Alive!" In this great diocese of Pittsburgh, we have been inspired by the beautiful ways he has challenged the lay faithful of this diocese to "Learn Jesus. Love Jesus. and Live Jesus”. We believe that we are being called to do this through a new initiative to bring pregnant women and their children to encounter Christ's Gospel of Life and Love, while also engaging the many gifts and faith of the laity of this great diocese in selfless service and leadership.
At the end of his visit to America in 1979, St. John Paul II told us, “America you are beautiful . . . and blessed . . . . The ultimate test of your greatness is the way you treat every human being, but especially the weakest and most defenseless." This past July, at the USCCB Convocation, Catholic leaders throughout the country were sent forth as missionary disciples as a way to bring to life Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium and animate a new Pentecost in the United States by finding new ways to bring the Gospel into the peripheries. In this document Pope Francis exhorted that:
"each Christian and every community must discern the path that the Lord points out, but all of us are asked to obey his call to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the “peripheries” in need of the light of the Gospel..." The Lord gets involved and he involves his own, as he kneels to wash their feet. He tells his disciples: “You will be blessed if you do this” (Jn 13:17)
An evangelizing community gets involved by word and deed in people’s daily lives; it bridges distances, it is willing to abase itself if necessary, and it embraces human life, touching the suffering flesh of Christ in others. Evangelizers thus take on the “smell of the sheep” and the sheep are willing to hear their voice."
A body of lay faithful have come together to answer these summons with the hope of building a regional center for pro-life activity and sharing with a culture so in need, the beauty of the Gospel of Life. It is our belief this center will be a way to bring the Church of Pittsburgh ever more, alive in the life of Christ, reveal the deep reverence we have for the "weakest and most defenseless", and be a vital "evangelizing community" in the "peripheries" Our Holy Father calls us to serve. We feel compelled to step out into this urgent mission field of our times to bring hope to women facing unexpected pregnancies, and simultaneously, wake up the sleeping giant of so many lay faithful eager to place their lives and love at the service of life. The center would have a full-time salaried executive director, live-in volunteer missionaries to support the mothers in residence, and a board to provide both guidance and support.