*A very special ministry

By Fredi D’Alessio
Coordinator, Archdiocese of San Francisco Gabriel Project

There are a number of reasons why I consider The Gabriel Project to be a very special ministry. Answering the call of our bishops to establish a parish-based ministry to assist pregnant mothers in need and the fact that there is no substitute for this ministry are among them. Others include the special attention given to pregnant mothers seeking our assistance and how they are affected by our volunteers’ acts of love and kindness. Then there are those special persons, our volunteers, who have responded to the call of Christ Jesus to love and serve. I don’t mean to imply that they are extraordinary persons, because nothing extraordinary is required of them. What makes them special is their willingness to put Christ’s call to love into action.

When I introduce the ministry to interested parishioners, I point out Blessed Mother Mary’s exemplary example of Christian Discipleship – even before Christ Jesus was born: When Mary set out to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who was in her sixth month with child, she had just learned that she herself would soon give birth to the Son of God. Out of charity, without concern for the difficulties she might face, Mary put her self-interest aside and hastened to the aid of her cousin who was elderly and fragile. Mary remained at Elizabeth’s side for three months.

I then pose the question: How often do we put our personal interests aside and reprioritize our obligations and responsibilities so that we can go to the aid of others?

Of course we know that Mary was an extraordinary person, but we also know that ordinary persons can treat others as being special to them and in turn reveal how special they are themselves.

We are called to be Disciples of Christ and if we are authentic Catholic Christians, we are special persons. All we need do is to treat others likewise.

The Gabriel Project isn’t a ministry for the extraordinary among us. It is a ministry for ordinary persons representing the supernatural presence of Christ Jesus among us.


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