JENNINGS — A new pregnancy outreach program is available to expectant mothers in Jeff Davis Parish.
Known as the Gabriel Project, the program is a ministry offered by Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Jennings.
“The Gabriel Project seeks to save babies and assist women in their needs, both spiritually and with material needs,” the Rev. Anthony Fontenot said.
“Just as the angel Gabriel was sent with a message of great hope, this is what we will strive to do.”
The program provides a 24-hour hotline staffed by volunteers as well as spiritual and emotional support for unwed mothers and those facing difficult pregnancies. The program also provides baby items the mother might need.
“This is a great thing to have in the parish,” Johnny Armentor of Knights of Columbus Council 9110 said. “One of the goals of the Knights of Columbus is to choose life. Any baby we can save will be worth it.”
A sign in front of the church for the Gabriel Project reads: “We, the members of this church community, see in the birth of each baby a fresh expression of God’s unfailing love. For the love of God and each and every one of his children, we offer immediate and practical help to any woman faced with what might seem to be a crisis pregnancy. The only condition is that the child be allowed to live.”
“This is something we have needed in the parish, and it is a good program to help those in need,” Harold Matthews said.
The Gabriel Project phone number is 337-439-7400, ext. 317. The calls are directed to the Diocese of Lake Charles, which assesses the women’s needs and refers them to the Gabriel Project.
Fontenot hopes to see the program expanded to include other churches in the area.
“It would be really good if we could all get together and pool our resources,” he said.
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church will serve as the distribution site for baby items donated by the community. Items including baby clothes, diapers, strollers, cribs, car seats, formula and baby food can be donated to the church.
Volunteers are also needed to help respond to the calls and mentor the mothers-to-be.
To donate baby items or volunteer for the program contact the church at 824-1893.