Life-Affirming Initiatives

pro-life images

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington is committed to helping mothers and families thrive. Our pro-life efforts begin at conception and continue throughout the life of the mother and child.

In addition to many commitments to our wider community, the Archdiocese has recognized the need to live out these values by promoting them in our own schools, parishes, and Central Pastoral Administration offices. For many years, we have promoted benefits for our staff members and employees, including 8 weeks of paid parental leave for both mothers and fathers, sick leave for employees to care for themselves and their families, and other paid leave which employees can use to support their families and communities, as well as an Employee Assistance Program to improve wellness and mental health outcomes.

Here are a few of the ways the archdiocese and its parishes are working to defend and support human life from the beginning, and assist and offer care for pregnant women, families, and those in need of healing:

Prayer Opportunities

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington hosts a number of prayer opportunities including the Annual White Mass (celebrating our baptismal call to holiness and service), parish-based Holy Hours, rosaries and spiritual adoption plans.

Assistance for Expectant Mothers and Families

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington provides housing, medical care and counseling to expectant mothers as well as direct assistance to families in need.

St. Ann’s Center for Children, Youth and Families strengthens and supports families on their journey toward stability by providing housing, job training, day care services and other services for mothers and their children. Inspired by Catholic social teaching and Gospel values, St. Ann’s Center provides a nurturing community where families heal from the past, overcome barriers, and take hold of their future.

Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers

The Office of Life Issues provides direct support to Gabriel Network, Centro Tepeyac, and other pro-life pregnancy centers and services. These programs provide direct services, including but not limited to confidential helplines, mentorship for fathers and mothers, maternal health care, and practical support for expectant mothers.

Pro-Life Grant Program

The Pro-Life Grant Program has been expanded to serve parishes, helping them to respond more directly to needs in their community. ADW parishes can apply for a grant of up to $2,000 to serve families in their community. This grant is offered in addition to the Parish Food Security Grant, which supports other pro-life efforts in our communities.

Walking with Moms in Need Initiative

Hosted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Walking with Moms in Need connects parishes with local resources and organizations for adoption, material support for expectant mothers, and pregnancy care.

Youth Opportunities

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington sponsors a variety of youth opportunities, including the Annual Youth Rally and Mass for Life and a new Civil Dialogue Program to encourage healthy conversations on controversial topics.

Project Rachel Ministry

Project Rachel continues to grow its local and regional ministries that encourage spiritual and emotional healing after abortion. Project Rachel offers reflection opportunities, support groups, and referrals to mental health counseling throughout the Archdiocese of Washington.

Affirming Life Initiative

Prenatal testing can sometimes lead to difficult issues for parents, medical professionals, clergy and pastoral ministers. Parents may be misinformed about authentic, life-affirming options available to them when they receive information that their unborn baby is likely to have a disability or a life-threatening condition. The Affirming Life Initiative seeks to develop and share resources with parents, clergy and professionals locally while also working in partnership with national Catholic organizations such as the National Catholic Partnership on Disability.

Mental Health First Aid Training

The Office of Deaf and Disabilities Ministries hosts regular mental health first aid training sessions, which prepare parishes and staff to recognize persons experiencing a mental health crisis and network to the appropriate mental health providers locally. As an archdiocese, we believe that mental health care is a pro-life initiative that saves lives and helps communities to flourish.

Sanctuary Course for Catholics

The Office of Deaf and Disabilities Ministries sponsors a sanctuary course for Catholics to better equip the Church to support mental health and wellbeing in parish communities.

Helping Hope Bloom

The Maryland Catholic Conference has compiled ideas for parishes and individuals who want to do something – or do more – to help women in need. You also can find resources available for pregnant and parenting women across Maryland, including a number provided through our Catholic ministries.

Pray With Us

More prayer resources are available from the USCCB. Click here for prayers, blessings and devotions.

More Resources

We’ve compiled a list of local resources for expecting mothers. These local resources include organizations that provide tangible and medical assistance, emotional and spiritual support, and ways to connect with a network of independent pregnancy centers that provide pregnancy testing, pro-life counseling and other support to mothers facing crisis pregnancies.

Contact the Office of Life Issues for more information.

301-853-5318  |  [email protected]