Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
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Birth Mothers’ Mass celebrates courage, generosity of women who have given up children to adoption
the Inland Register
(From the June 12, 2008 edition of the Inland Register)
Each year, Catholic Charities’ Childbirth and Parenting Alone (CAPA) program hosts a Birth Mothers Mass and Luncheon. The events, held this year on May 9, are an opportunity to offer comfort in response to the great pain women have felt in giving up a baby for adoption, and in being shamed by their families and society as a result of their pregnancies.
Bishop William Skylstad celebrated the Mass.
During the liturgy, he told participants that everyone is made in the likeness of God, and that no one person in God’s kingdom has more importance than another. “Everyone is precious,” he said, “and we are gathering all together in God’s family.” He honored the birth mothers for their courage and generosity in giving the precious gift of life to families who were so eager to receive that gift.
While the Mass is a public celebration, with a focus on anyone whose life has been touched by adoption, the luncheon is an opportunity for women who gave up their children to have private fellowship and find solace. They all expressed the importance of this event in their lives, as it gives them an opportunity at last to speak freely about something that has been so central to their lives, but about which they have not dared to speak.
Within this supportive atmosphere, several of the women spoke of the great wound they had experienced in giving up their child. Several shared the joy of being reunited with their child. Others explained that they had tried to find their child, only to find that the child had passed away or was unwilling to see them. All the women had tears and great love for their children. All expressed longing for the years they did not get to share with their child, and hope for reunion in this world or the next.
The annual event holds great significance for many women in Eastern Washington. It’s the one time, the one place, where they can talk eagerly, openly, about the son or daughter they love so much and may never see.