CHICAGO, IL (OCA-DMW) - Plans are moving forward toward the establishment of an Orthodox-sponsored maternity home -- the first in the Midwest -- in the Chicago area.
"Orthodox Christians for Life-Chicago, a pan-Orthodox organization established in 2001, has long dreamed of putting its faith into action by establishing an Orthodox-sponsored outreach to women in crisis pregnancies in the Midwest," according to Helen O'Sullivan, an OCLife-Chicago spokesperson. "Establishing this outreach has increasingly become the focus of the organization and, as a result, a committee was formed to explore the possibilities and to see this project come to life.
"At present, there are only a handful of such homes across the country, and while in the Chicago metropolitan area there are a variety of crisis pregnancy centers, there is only one maternity home, under the auspices of an order of Roman Catholic nuns," Helen said. "Members of Chicago's pro-life community have indicated that there is a dire need for a second maternity home -- one where a cross-section of women would be comfortable to seek support. OCLife-Chicago’s goal is to establish that second maternity home to provide women in crisis pregnancies with housing and other practical, emotional, and spiritual support, with a focus on Christ-centered healing."
OCLife-Chicago has been "doing its homework" in researching their efforts.
"One of our members visited Chicago's only maternity home, as well as the only Orthodox Christian maternity home in the US -- California's Martha and Mary House," Helen added. "The latter will serve as a model for our efforts." [Visit the Martha and Mary House web site at www.marthaandmaryhouse.org for additional information.]
His Grace, Bishop Matthias of Chicago and the Midwest, has offered his enthusiastic support for the effort, while OCLife-Chicago has been working closely with His Grace, Bishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago.
"OCLIfe-Chicago will undertake the process of establishing the home, writing its bylaws and regulations, acquiring 501c3 non-profit status, and overseeing day-to-day operations and ongoing fundraising," Helen concluded. "We anticipate a positive response from parishes across the Chicagoland area -- and beyond -- to our initial fundraising effort, which will begin on March 11, 2012."
For additional information and ongoing updates, visit OCLife-Chicago's web site at www.oclife-chicago.org.