By Nancy Valko
Editor’s note. This ran December 21 at Nancy’s blog.
In a wonderful, uplifting opinion article titled “Room at the Inn” in the Wall Street Journal on December 19, William McGurn wrote about the Good Counsel home in the Bronx , now part of a network of six such homes that offer help to homeless pregnant women.
It all started when Chris Bell, a husband and father himself, went to his parish priest in 1985 complaining that no one was doing anything for homeless pregnant women. The priest replied in effect “Hey, pal, what about you?”
With the help of that priest, the first Good Counsel home started shortly thereafter. The home not only provides a safe, warm environment for the mother and baby (and even siblings) until birth but also “lets them stay a year afterward—to finish school, train for a job and learn how to care and provide for their babies.” Mr. Bell takes no government money.
The first Good Counsel home was started in a former convent in Hoboken, New Jersey that was part of the parish where singer Frank Sinatra was baptized. When a news article about the home and its financial struggles was published, Good Counsel home received a surprise check for $10,000 from Mr. Sinatra himself.
William McGurn notes that this Christmas, Good Counsel’s women know that there will not be many presents under the tree:
But there will be joy. Because Good Counsel is about life, and hope, and respect. As well as the promise that, with love and hard work, happy endings are still within reach even for those who have made some bad decisions.
And especially at Christmastime, Good Counsel wants that troubled young pregnant woman who thinks she’s all alone to know: There’s always room at this inn
It is often said that the pro-life movement is just an anti-woman political movement to deny women the “choice” of abortion. Personally, I have found the pro-life movement to be one of the greatest volunteer movements ever, committed to people and principles.
Here in St. Louis, we have Our Lady’s Inn that has long offered the same kind of help as Good Counsel.
Is there a similar kind of place in your area? If so, consider supporting it or volunteering. If you don’t know, check with your church, local Birthright or Heartbeat International’s Worldwide Directory of Pregnancy Help.
Even a small donation would be a wonderful way to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas!