FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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Is it too late for my diocese or parish to participate in Walking with Moms in Need?

Absolutely not! While Walking with Moms in Need officially launched on March 25, 2020, COVID-19 made it almost impossible for most dioceses and parishes to implement Walking with Moms according to the original timeline. Many dioceses were forced to indefinitely delay their launch of Walking with Moms, and are only now beginning to launch or relaunch this initiative. If you have yet to begin Walking with Moms, there is plenty of time to bring it to your parish or diocese!

 

You are not behind, and you can still participate in this unprecedented effort! Ongoing support and resources will continue to be provided to assist you in implementing Walking with Moms in Need.

How do I encourage my pastor to bring Walking with Moms to my parish?

As we know, our priests—and especially our pastors—are often overwhelmed by the sheer number of responsibilities entrusted to them and the claims on their time. And in the wake of COVID-19, many parishes are facing additional strains in terms of financial resources. In the midst of these challenges, it can be difficult to suggest that your pastor take on a new initiative.

 

However, Walking with Moms in Need is designed to require minimal time from the pastor and does not require any financial commitment from the parish. The Parish Action Guide is designed to guide even a new parish leader through every step of the process. While we certainly encourage pastors to be as involved as possible, he only needs to appoint a parish leader and give his approval to get the program started. Walking with Moms in Need can be fully implemented through lay, volunteer leadership, with simple pastor approval at key stages in the process.

We suggest asking for a few minutes to sit down with your pastor and explain the initiative to him. Volunteer to lead this effort at your parish or to support the leader he appoints. Emphasize that the process requires a very minimal time commitment from him. Ask what obstacles or concerns he sees in implementing Walking with Moms, and ask how you can help your parish overcome them.

Do I need my bishop’s approval?

While we hope that entire dioceses will embrace and implement Walking with Moms in Need, full diocesan participation is not required for a parish to participate. Talk to your pastor about local permissions and approvals needed to move forward with Walking with Moms in your parish. You can also reach out to your diocesan Respect Life office for information on diocesan participation and permissions. If your diocese has not yet committed to participating in Walking with Moms in Need, with the support of your pastor, your parish could offer to pilot the program.

We already have a great pregnancy center.
Why should we do Walking with Moms in Need?

Walking with Moms in Need is a nationwide—yet parish-based—initiative to increase outreach and support to pregnant and parenting mothers in need. It is a deliberate process and whole-church response whose purpose is to help facilitate the accompaniment of mothers in need at the parish level. The goal of Walking with Moms is not to reinvent the wheel or turn parishes into pregnancy centers; rather, it is about building relationships with and enhancing referrals to these helping agencies.

 

This initiative is unique in that it asks every Catholic parish to prayerfully place themselves in the shoes of a mother in need and walk with her throughout the difficulties and challenges she faces. Walking with Moms also hopes to identify new parish leaders and empower the clergy and laity to make a positive impact together.

 

Walking with Moms in Need seeks to answer St. John Paul II’s call to evaluate how the Church serves mothers facing difficulties:
 

“With great openness and courage, we need to question how widespread is the culture of life today among individual Christians, families, groups and communities in our Dioceses. With equal clarity and determination we must identify the steps we are called to take in order to serve life in all its truth.”
(
EV 95)

 

While we know that the Church provides immeasurable assistance to mothers in need through its extensive network of social services, Walking with Moms in Need asks us evaluate these services and identify gaps and to consider how these services are communicated to parishioners, the larger community, and those most in need of support.

 

Walking with Moms in Need is not designed to compete with ongoing pregnancy resource ministries, but rather to enhance and unify our efforts. Together, we can work towards the day when any pregnant or parenting mother in need can turn to her local Catholic parish and be connected to supportive, life-affirming help.

How do I get started?

Talk to your pastor. Share information about Walking with Moms in Need with him and share your interest in bringing it to your parish. Once you have received his approval, check out the Parish Action Guide for step-by-step instructions on how to get started. An introductory webinar is also available which guides you through the beginning stages of implementing Walking with Moms in Need.

Additional parish resources can be found here.