The program at Good Counsel isn’t magic; it’s compassion, it’s mercy. To build a solid foundation, our homes have curfews, no dating, and a zero alcohol and drug policy. Finishing school, getting certifications, and finding gainful employment is part of the program and not always easy. Some women, especially those with mental and emotional trauma, find it hard to live within these constraints, the battle between what is good for them and the easier path is hard-fought. It is in these moments when a mother is resistant that we must pray and offer even more compassion and hope. God’s mercy is boundless and so should ours be.
The first point of contact for women at Good Counsel is our intake officers. Dolores Morgan, senior intake officer, has been with Good Counsel for 15 years interviewing and counseling women and ultimately placing them in one of our 4 homes to begin their journey towards a better, safer life. She recently shared with me the story of a woman whom she’s been in contact with and praying over for over 5 years. We will call her Marie.
Marie entered our program at 22, a college graduate, homeless and pregnant with her first child. However, she left before the birth of her daughter. Mrs. Morgan had only a phone number to reach her but she was persistent, calling every week to check on Marie; leaving messages of hope; assuring Marie that she and her child would be safe and cared for at Good Counsel. After almost a year of praying for her, Marie called back. She now had an 11-month-old daughter and needed help caring for her. Mrs. Morgan was relieved to hear from Marie and thanked God she would soon be safe again, no longer living on the streets. But Marie never showed, and once again stopped returning calls.
In 2020, Marie reached out again, this time using a fake name, desperately needing help but afraid she wouldn't be allowed back into the program. Marie was pregnant again and needed a safe place to stay for herself and her daughter. They were placed in one of our homes but only stayed 3 days.
This year, Marie resurfaced. Since she last left our home, her now 2-year-old daughter was taken by child protective services and placed in the care of her paternal grandmother. Marie asked to be placed one of our homes closest to her daughter, but she stayed one night and left.
Three weeks later, Marie started emailing Mrs. Morgan. Marie was panicked, lamenting her life choices. Mrs. Morgan assured her we would always be here for her and with the help of our caseworkers, we could help her get on her feet and work towards regaining custody of her daughter. Marie agreed to come in, start the program and do the real work. This time she stayed for two weeks but left to pick up lunch one day and has not returned. She called Ms. Morgan to thank her for giving her another chance. She said she would be back, but still hasn’t shown. Marie’s due with her second child this week.
Marie’s story isn’t the only of its kind. It is a hard thing to accept help. It’s a hard thing to break old habits. The battle is getting tougher and so must we. It’s not enough to keep our doors open, we must spread the good news of LIFE. We must let our voices and God’s true message of love carry far and wide, touching hearts in the darkest of places.
The work of Good Counsel doesn’t begin and end at our doors. We actively engage our local communities and our pro-life communities at large. Pregnant and parenting women find us from all over the country. Our doors are open, and our homes always have room. What we need most is an increase in outreach. You can join us.
At Good Counsel, our persistence in asking for prayers and donations is exceeded only by our persistence in outreach to mothers and children in need. Please pledge to be an extension of our mission with a monthly recurring donation and by actively sharing Good Counsel’s mission and information with your local parish, organizations, and anyone who may be in need, or be able to help.
We also ask that you pray with us for Marie and her children.
Lord, we pray Marie gets the help she needs and comes to understand her worth. We pray Marie can be reunited with her children, this time able to care and provide. And we pray Marie contacts Good Counsel again, so we can act as her safety net, as her network, as a good and holy resource in raising her family.
And lastly, Lord please fortify all of us so that we may extend Your limitless compassion and mercy to all those we meet.
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