Baby Shower Held to Support Catholic Charities’ Pregnancy and Parenting Support Services

About 30 people attended the second annual “Baby Shower” at the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena, Allentown on Jan. 28, to support the pregnancy and parenting support services offered by Catholic Charities, which serves the five counties of the Diocese of Allentown.

Managing Director of Catholic Charities Andrea Neagle said state funding through a third party called "Real Alternatives" was discontinued at the end of 2023. The funding would go to reimburse Catholic Charities for some material costs and counseling services provided by trained professional counselors.

"Now everything that we provide for women comes from private donations. So that's why this is more important than ever," said Neagle.

Parishioners donated everything from diapers and wipes to clothing and even a car seat. Catholic Charities serves people of all faiths.

According to Neagle, about 30% of families they help are Catholic, about 28% have no religion, and the rest come from a Protestant denomination.

The "Baby Shower" was coordinated by the Feminine Project in conjunction with the Women's Alliance.

"The Feminine Project is about reclaiming the joy of our womanhood by building community," explained Ann Burns, founder of the group. "We look toward the Blessed Mother because she's the ultimate woman."

The Feminine Project strives to "cultivate a discipline of joy." The group holds brunches and events throughout the Diocese.

"We're bringing back that softness and showing, how if you can remain soft in a very bitter world, you're a much stronger woman than most," said Burns.

Father Stephan Isaac, Chaplain at Allentown Central Catholic High School and Assistant Pastor at the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena, told those in attendance not to be dismayed by the political landscape that advocates for abortion. "We can stop and fight abortion this way. By giving women options. By giving them support. By showing compassion and mercy. By giving them practical supplies to help them care for their children and cherish the life of their child, and to support them before and after the birth of their child."

Attendees enjoyed light refreshments, a raffle, and an informative discussion regarding Our Lady of Guadalupe, "Patroness of the Americas" and "Patroness of the Unborn."

Article and photos by Katya Fitzpatrick.


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