ORLANDO | For nine months, parishioners at Holy Cross Parish in Orlando will be praying for children they don’t know and will probably never meet. Beginning in July, members of the community “spiritually adopted” an unborn child, gave him or her a name, and will continue to pray for the child and mother until their birth in April 2019.
“People participate year after year,” said Harvy García who assists the prolife ministry with founder, Ingrid Pedraza. “We’re trying to help teens or single mothers who have babies at risk of abortion.”
Last year, 360 parishioners committed to pray for a spiritually adopted baby. Throughout the nine months, bilingual posters are displayed in the narthex of the church showing the babies’ development. In the spring, a baby shower is held at the parish to benefit a mother in need, with the excess going to the JMJ Pregnancy Center. People generously donate diapers, wipes, outfits, and even larger items such as strollers and car seats.
“Although the spiritual adoption is a virtual event, the shower at the end of the year helps to make it real for people,” explained García.
In addition to organizing the parish-wide spiritual adoption each year, the ministry also hosts educational presentations on pro-life topics, participates in the March for Life in St. Augustine in January, prays outside the state prison during executions, and participates in 40 Days for Life by a prayerful presence outside local abortion clinics.
“We bring rosaries and signs. We have had a couple of pregnancies that have been continued because of our presence,” said García. “It could even be a baby that one of our parishioners spiritually adopted!”
García said each activity the ministry does is like a “drop that breaks the stone.”
By Elizabeth Wilson, Florida Catholic correspondent – August 8, 2018