St. Anthony of Padua Parish offers an evening of healing and hope
These two simple words proved to be extraordinarily powerful to both Victoria Naoe and Joseph Quattrocchi, presenters in St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Hightstown, which hosted a Pro-Life evening on Oct. 9.
The evening of reflection was organized by the Knights of Columbus, Hightstown Council, as part of a pro-life lecture series in the parish. Peter C. Haas, parish respect life ministry chairman, organized the evening to acknowledge Respect Life Sunday on Oct. 7. The intimate evening gathering provided those in attendance the opportunity to speak personally with the presenters and discuss ways to become involved in pro-life ministries.
Victoria Naoe described her early years life as troubled ones. Being the youngest child of whose family had no religious upbringing, she felt a devastating loss when her father passed away when she was six. From that point on she suffered from sexual abuse by relatives and later physical abuse during failed marriages. It was during this time, however, that she gave birth to her daughter, Theresa.
Naoe moved around the country and entered into additional troubled relationships in which she became pregnant and, with urging from her partners, sought abortions.
At some point in time, she felt God’s prompting to change her life. She met Edgar, her future husband, who brought her to St. Augustine Catholic Church in Philadelphia.
“When I walked in I felt God say to me, ‘Welcome home, Victoria. I’ve been waiting for you.’”
She converted to Catholicism in 1999 and married Edgar in November of the same year. Some five years later, through the prompting of a priest, she attended a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat, a Scripture based post abortion healing ministry, and has since become affiliated with the Silent No More Campaign, traveling the country for speaking engagements. “God sends me to those who need me,” she said.
Joseph Quattrocchi also joined the evening’s discussion and detailed the services of Good Counsel Homes, whose mission is “to help homeless, pregnant women in a safe and secure residence.”
According to their website, “ Good Counsel Homes is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader and innovator in creating supportive residential care and community-based services for homeless, expectant, and new mothers and their children in the context of the Catholic social tradition. With headquarters in Hoboken, New Jersey, where Good Counsel Homes was founded, the ministry today operates five homes, four in New York State: in the Bronx, Harrison, Spring Valley and Staten Island.
The newest Good Counsel Home is in the Diocese of Trenton and is located in Riverside, just outside of Camden, one of America’s poorest and most violent cities.
“We welcome women in, we welcome them home,” Quattrocchi shared of the ministry that comforts women who are in a crisis pregnancy and provides them with food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and provides child care and parenting classes to the young mothers after they give birth. Women receive educational training that will allow them to become self-sufficient so that they are able to care for their children.”
Concluding the evening, John Connolly, a member of the pro-life Ministry in St. Raphael-Holy Angels Parish, Hamilton, shared his labor of love, his collaboration with local musician and songwriter, Kim Yarson, who co-wrote the song, “I Want to Live.”
Available for download on I-Tunes, he hopes the song will be played on Christian radio stations throughout the country to “change some minds and some hearts.”[[In-content Ad]]