By Mary Stadnyk | Associate Editor
It has been five years since Good Counsel Home-South Jersey first opened its doors to single, homeless, pregnant women and their children. During that time, 54 babies were welcomed into the world and their mothers learned the skills they needed to properly care for their children and themselves and to live independently.
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That milestone, observed April 24, began when several of the mothers who currently reside in the Riverside-based shelter, their children, as well as staff, volunteers and other supporters gathered with for Mass in nearby St. Casimir Church, Riverside, a worship site of Resurrection Parish, Delran.
All in attendance, that included parishioners, were thrilled to have Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., present and join in what he referred to as “this Mass of Mercy.”
“Today, here in our parish, we have in our midst in Riverside, one of several Good counsel Homes who mission is to put Gospel love and mercy into practice,” said Bishop O’Connell in his homily. “Good Counsel Homes recognize the dignity of God-given life from the moment of conception, fostering a nurturing, safe family environment, encouraging self-respect and independence for pregnant mothers and their children in a diverse community of all faiths and beliefs. They bring the Gospel of Love to life.”
“Since the Riverside home opened five years ago, Good Counsel has supported the birth of 54 babies and operates at 100 percent occupancy. Their guests live at the home for a year or longer after their baby is born,” Bishop O’Connell continued. “Although they are not all Catholic, daily prayer is part of their day. They experience first-hand the mercy of God. As Bishop, I congratulate and thank them on their fifth anniversary. How blest we are to witness another example of what the Gospel means. Our Lord invites us all today to take the mission of mercy to heart!”
More to come on this story.