Motherhood is one of the most sacred vocations given by God to women. The Elizabeth Ministry is outreach to women during these special times in motherhood. We affirm, support, encourage and assist other women during this unique time in their lives.
The Elizabeth Ministry is based on the Scripture story of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-45). This Scripture story presents us with two women who are pregnant in difficult settings. Elizabeth is too old to have children and has been criticized for being barren. Mary is very young and finds herself pregnant although she is not married. The beauty of Mary’s encounter with Elizabeth is that both women realize that they had found someone who understood and with whom they could share the marvel of what God was doing for them. As they shared their stories, they helped each other recognize God’s will and the sacredness of their lives.
Today, many women feel isolated from other women. In the past, the presence of intimacy and support needed during childbearing years were found in the structures of family, neighborhood and church. Women no longer feel the sense of community that automatically existed years ago.
Additionally, today’s parents are faced with a multitude of issues and concerns about childbearing that did not exist a few years ago. Prenatal testing brings up a great deal of moral, legal and social controversy. Possibilities for medical intervention for babies in crisis cause parents to be faced with difficult decisions. And social and medical changes have limited the number of babies available to be placed in adoptive families.
The Elizabeth Ministry “pairs up” with women during these special times of motherhood. We visit as friends and we come as representatives of our parish community. We present a special kit of gifts and resources to the women we are visiting and follow-up with phone calls, cards or additional visits as needed. Our outreach fosters a companionship based on personal experience, formal knowledge and the skills of our participants.
The Elizabeth Ministry enables women to be mentors for one another in the magnificent adventure of bringing new life into the world.