Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Birth Mothers’ Mass honors women who have given children for adoption
by Jami LeBrun, Inland Register staff
(From the April 28, 2005 edition of the Inland Register)
Chris and Joe Levernier have adopted three children: Samantha, 8; Caitlyn, 10; and Eric, 7. (IR photo from Chris Levernier)
The annual Mass, A Step Toward Solace, to honor birth mothers is scheduled for Friday, May 6 at noon. St. Joseph Parish at 1503 W. Dean Ave. in Spokane has generously provided their church facilities for the celebration and Catholic Charities of Spokane is working diligently to make the annual event as beautiful as it has been for the past six years. Bishop William Skystad is scheduled to be the main celebrant and homilist, and Father Stan Malnar will concelebrate.
The special event is scheduled for the Friday before Mother’s Day for a very specific reason. “Mother’s Day is a time to honor mothers and their gifts,” said Sandy Maher, coordinator of the event. “Birth mothers have certainly given an incredible gift, and their gift is so often overlooked or taken for granted.”
The public liturgy is an opportunity for all members of the adoption triad – birth mothers, adoptees and adoptive parents – and anyone else touched by adoption, to come together to celebrate and honor birth mothers. A luncheon for birth mothers only will follow the Mass.
The joy birth mothers have brought to others is immeasurable. Chris Levernier is the mother of three adopted children, and has participated as a volunteer in the Birth Mother’s Mass nearly every year. She said she can not imagine her life without her three children.
“Birth mothers do something that is unbelievably unselfish,” said Levernier. “They could easily have parented, but they wanted something different for their babies. Giving up a child is not a pain that goes away from them. It is so important to honor them, to recognize the incredible gifts they have given my husband and me in our own children.”
Maher said that the Mass to honor birth mothers not only honors their sacrifices, but also affirms and supports their decisions for life.
“The pro-life movement is obviously an important part of Church teaching, and these women have taken huge steps in choosing life for their babies,” said Maher.
For many couples, adoption offers completeness, a chance to fill a void and raise a family. But the adoptive parents are not the only ones who benefit from the birth mother’s choice for life. “I think the whole world is better for the gift of our children,” said Levernier.
Since the late 1920s, Catholic Charities of Spokane has been involved with birth mothers – first placing hundreds of babies and children in adoptive homes, then as more and more women and teens chose to parent their children, serving the needs of single parents through the Childbirth and Parenting Alone (CAPA) program. Catholic Charities also provides non-identifying and medical background information to adoptees, as well as any personal history accessible by law. Phone counseling, search and reunion contacts, referrals to counseling and other resources related to difficult adoption issues are also available through Catholic Charities.
(For more information about the Mass to honor birth mothers or Catholic Charities adoption support services, call (509) 358-4250.)