Last Friday I attended the dedication of Heather’s House, a new project of Aid for Women, a Chicago crisis pregnancy center.
Heather’s House is a residential facility for pregnant women who have nowhere to live when they make a choice for life. It is located on the campus of Maryville Academy in Des Plaines, Illinois.
The dedication ceremony began with Mass in the Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel celebrated by Bishop Francis Kane and Msgr. Michael Boland, director of Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Following the Mass, papal biographer George Weigel spoke about Blessed Pope John Paul II’s commitment to the pro-life movement and drew a parallel between his beatification and the life-affirming work of Aid for Women.
Heather’s House: A Year and a Half in the Making
Plans for Heather’s House began to germinate a year-and-a-half ago. Members of the Aid for Women board took on the task of exploring the need for housing and available space for a maternity home. They met with Sr. Catherine Ryan, CEO of Maryville, who offered them space at the Des Plaines campus.
Aid for Women took possession of the six bedroom house on March 25, notably the Feast of the Annunciation. The building had not been occupied for a couple of years and needed considerable work to be ready to accommodate the pregnant moms in dire need.
With the combined efforts of hardworking volunteers and a contractor Heather’s House was ready for its preview on dedication day, May 20. Much of the furniture was donated by the Sisters of Christian Charity who moved out of their convent at St. Joseph’s parish in Wilmette, Illinois. A local businessman affiliated with Catholic Charities is donating office furniture.
You Can Be a Part of This Project
Heather’s House is registered at Target and Babies R Us for items they will need as clients begin to take up residence in the home. Click here for more information on how you can help be a part of this new home.
Aid for Women will be seeking volunteer tutors and people to teach life skills classes, like nutrition, budgeting and how to manage a job interview. Down the line they will need babysitters and mentors to help the clients take advantage of various opportunities.
Heather’s House Will Provide Numerous Opportunities
Heather’s House will be a full service haven for women who face the threat of homelessness if they choose life. Many Aid for Women clients come from very troubled backgrounds and need careful mentoring to get their lives on track. At Heather’s House they will have the opportunity to finish high school, choose a career path, learn good parenting skills and become self-sufficient.
Sometimes the mere fact that the housing is available, whether a woman ends up as a resident or not, makes the choice for life possible. As a sidewalk counselor I am overjoyed to know this resource is nearby. Heather’s House is the newest example of the pro-life movement’s commitment to women and children.
Congratulations Aid for Women!