Hope & Life December 2021
The biannual newsletter of Pregnancy Assistance Inc.
Person in Charge (PiC) Lisette Jas
About Us Message from the Chair
Deputy Person in Charge (DPiC) Carmel Randazzo
25 Years of Life and Love
Celebrating 25 Years
Because of You
The Light of Christmas
Thank you Volunteers
Support Us to Support Others
Our Lady of Guadalupe Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton
Board Chair Deputy Chair Secretary Treasurer Board Member Board Member
Thank You Thomas Seeber Ryan Wiles Carina McPherson Ralph Bergmann Sarah Paverd-Joyce Veronica Bogoni
Contact Pregnancy Assistance Inc. Elizabeth’s House 195 Lord Street, East Perth 6004 T 9328 2929 E email@example.com Visiting Hours Mon - Fri 10am - 3pm Phone Hours Mon - Fri 9am - 3.30pm You are welcome to visit us in this quiet
oasis in the city. Mass is celebrated here and the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in our Chapel. If you would like to celebrate with us or spend an hour with Our Lord in adoration please contact Carmel or Lisette on 9328 2929.
After hours by appointment
About Us Who are we and what do we do? Pregnancy Assistance Inc. is an independent Catholic organisation initiated by Archbishop Emeritus Barry Hickey in 1996. We provide compassionate care and emotional, practical and informative support to women in need throughout their pregnancy and post birth. We also offer counselling for women and men impacted by pregnancy loss (miscarriage, still birth and abortion). Our services are extended to all people irrespective of religion, race, demographic or personal values. Our free and confidential services include: • Pregnancy testing • Pregnancy care consultation • Professional counselling • Post abortion care & grief counselling • Accommodation assistance • Practical support – bassinets, baths, nappies & clothes, maternity clothes • Financial assistance • Advocacy & support services referral Who knocks on our door? Anyone effected by pregnancy who is in need of support! We provide assistance to pregnant women who are distressed due to one or more of the following; • Unexpected pregnancy • Abortion concerns • Financial hardship • Domestic violence • Homelessness • Relationship breakdown • Mental health • Grief/loss • Drug addiction
Our Centre (lovingly nicknamed Elizabeth’s House) in East Perth is open for appointment (telephone or face to face) and allows for pop-ins. Individuals are also welcome to metaphorically ‘knock on our door’ by contacting us via e-mail or Facebook. What method do we use when talking about abortion? We utilise Heartbeat International’s L.O.V.E. approach when pregnant women come to us in distress over whether to keep, adopt out or abort their baby. Pregnancy Assistance was founded on Christian values and offers its services as an alternative to abortion. We believe our counselling approach allows the woman to focus on her own needs. We try to awaken a vision in her for a healthy life for herself and her baby. We share information about options she needs to consider to make a life-giving decision. However, under no circumstances do we believe we have the right to impose upon a woman’s decision. We will continue to support and welcome back individuals who have made choices that differ with the personal values of Pregnancy Assistance’s volunteer base. Who supports us? God supports the operations of Pregnancy Assistance by providing the right resources at the right time. And you are part of that providence! Pregnancy Assistance operates through the generosity of its supporters and we thank you. Your support gives Hope and Life, so please (if you haven’t already) donate and get involved. We especially thank the Catholic Archdiocese of Perth for providing our rental costs.
Message from the Chair Dear friends of Pregnancy Assistance, It has been a busy period for us all at PA. In October we celebrated our 25th Anniversary with the Gala Dinner, which was a fabulous event and fundraiser. The committee did a wonderful job of organising the night that ran smoothly. I am grateful for them and all their hard work, even more so for all the guests who support us and made the night such fun. In November we held our AGM and welcomed two new members to the board. I look forward to working with Carina and Ryan alongside the rest of the board, who all volunteer their time to serve Pregnancy Assistance and ensure a secure future. We have a great mix of skills and experience at hand, brought to us I am sure by the intervention of the Holy Spirit. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Laura who has completed her full term on the board and departs as the outgoing Chair. I have learned so much from Laura under her guidance; her calm demeanour in every situation, her professional and prayerful approach to every challenge. I am happy to know that Laura will continue to volunteer for us each week and remain part of the PA family for a while longer. In December we celebrate the feast of our Patron Saint, Our Lady of Guadalupe. To mark this special feast day, we held our Thanksgiving Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral, celebrated by the Most Reverend Archbishop Emeritus Barry Hickey. The Thanksgiving Mass is a time to recall all that has sustained Pregnancy Assistance over 25 years of service: from our members, volunteers, staff, and donors, to those who simply remember us in their prayers. This humble and simple spiritual offering is certainly the lifeblood of our work, without which we surely would cease to be. Thomas Seeber Chair
Hope and Life
25 Years of Service of Life and Love
What a blessing to be able to celebrate 25 years of Pregnancy Assistance. God has certainly kept his hands on this special ministry which provides hope to those living in darkness by enlightening them so that his light might shine in their lives. From the moment I arrived at the Pagoda Resort and saw people walking through the front door, I could feel the excitement and buzz for this special event. It was amazing catching up with friends and colleagues that I had not seen for years and meeting new friends on this magical evening. The thing that really struck and inspired me was seeing so many young people who came to support this wonderful agency and know that they will continue this much needed ministry in the future.
To spend the evening in communion with people who have the same faith and enthusiasm for cherishing life was heart warming and joyful. The food was delicious, the drinks kept flowing, the atmosphere was electrifying, conversations were lively, the music not too loud so that you could still hear each other, the speeches were inspiring, and a good night was had by all. It was wonderful watching people buy raffle tickets, bidding for the silent auction and filling out donation forms and to be a witness for the amazing generosity of the people in wanting to support Pregnancy Assistance. May God reward them all one hundred-fold. Tony, our invited guest and I had an incredible night filled with joy and happiness. Caroline Nolan Pregnancy Care Consultant
Hope and Life
Celebrating 25 Years Pagoda Hotel, 16th October, saw Pregnancy Assistance host our Gala celebrating 25 years of helping pregnant women, and those in grief having been impacted by abortion. There were around 140 people in attendance, including His Grace, Archbishop Emeritus Hickey and Sharon Balsarini, a founding member. Tom Seeber, our new Chairman of the Board, provided an excellent and funny MC for the evening. For those of us who were relatively new to Pregnancy Assistance, it was an altogether enlightening moment, when His Grace stood up to speak about how it all began, sharing the vision he first had for the work, and the finding of Lord Street as a base. It was also very impactful when Sharon then spoke of the early days, with the difficulties, and also the victories. One comment she made that struck a chord with many of us, was that today there are people getting on with their lives who are abortion survivors, in that PA was able to help the mother continue with the pregnancy against sometimes insurmountable odds. Another moving moment was a video from Melissa Ohden, from the US, who actually survived her own abortion. Her testimony, though powerful and emotional, was full of hope and gratitude to God for her own survival, and encouragement for us all in the work that we do. We had a silent auction, with some marvellous prizes, all of which were so generously donated. One such was a beautiful icon, painted by Elizabeth Gourlay, that created much interest and fun in the bidding for it, and was eventually ‘won’ by Fr Mark Baumgarten, much to his delight. A huge thanks to Carina McPherson for all the great organisation it must have taken to create such a fabulous evening for everyone. All in all, for many of us ‘newbies’, as well as the stalwart long termers, it was an evening to remember, and as usual where Pregnancy Assistance is concerned, the hand of God was on it all, and we came away having once more received far more than we had given. We look forward with joy to the next Gala! Liz Bergmann Pregnancy Care Consultant
Hope and Life
Hope and Life
Because of you! We would like to thank all our sponsors, contributors to the silent auction , our events committee, and all our supporters. You made our gala dinner a marvelous event Knights of the Southern Cross WA (Gold Sponsor) Marvin HR (Silver Sponsor) Pregnancy Problem House Elizabeth Gourlay John Harris Keshia Rodrigues Julie Bogoni Thomas Seeber Laura Craig Eric Jas Veronica Bogoni Carina McPherson Hair Society Rich Harvest shop in Myaree Snap Fitness Myaree
Hope and Life
The Light of Christmas In the society in which we live, Christmas means different things to different people, but for nearly everyone it is a time of immense happiness, celebration and gift giving. The (true) legend of St Nicholas, a bishop, who would journey at night to the homes of the sick and the poor, leaving food and gifts, really does inspire and bring alive a joyful faith. Particularly in Europe, his feast day is December 6 where he is remembered fondly, and sweets left for children in shoes has become the tradition. For us, Christmas this year is particularly important as it is a time to remember the hardships recently suffered by very many people over the last 18 months. Last Christmas at Pregnancy Assistance, on our very last day of work, so many women came through the door giving gifts for us to give away. And an equal number of ladies in desperate need came to us and we were able to pass on those gifts. The blessings of giving and receiving were a hundredfold to everyone that day, and it truly became something I will personally never forget. Christmas brings out the kindness and the best in nearly everyone, and after another difficult year with a world in pandemic, my personal prayer is that the love and joy that has come from Christ’s birth, would overflow to us all here at Pregnancy Assistance, and then onto every single person who comes to our door. Liz Bergmann Pregnancy Care Consultant
Hope and Life
Another busy year has passed at Pregnancy Assistance and we could not have helped all those that come to our door if it were not for our wonderful group of volunteers. We currently have 15+ volunteers who so generously give their time. Their involvement ranges from sorting donations and making up beautiful bags of clothes and baby items, providing emotional and practical support to our clients, tending to our garden, making up hampers, accounts work and spiritual support. Everything we do at Pregnancy Assistance is possible because of our volunteers. Their work is always done with kindness, compassion and care and is very much appreciated by us and our clients. As a small thank you, we celebrated by going out for lunch at Zesto’s Cafe in East Perth.
Hope and Life
Support us to Support Others It is our aim to have the baby room tidy and well stocked. As we rely solely on donations we are always in need of : Formula Nappies Toiletries for bub Toiletries for mum Wipes Baby baths Bassinets Baby clothes Maternity Clothes The mums-to-be benefit so much from all you donate and so we thank you for your generosity!
Hope and Life
Thank You Thank you for continually supporting us in achieving our principal objectives – “To provide relief of poverty, suffering, distress, misfortune, destitution, or helplessness for pregnant women of all sections of the public irrespective of race, colour or creed.” Pregnancy Assistance Inc. solely relies on private donations. We are an ACNC registered charity, and all monetary donations above $2 are fully tax-deductable. Your generous support gives and changes lives and allows people to taste just how sweet and good hope and life truly is.
Your Donation Makes A Difference
The Archdiocese pays for our rent but for all else we rely entirely on God speaking to your heart! Pregnancy Assistance Inc. PO Box 8129 Perth BC WA 6849 T: (08) 9328 2926
Donations over $2.00 are tax deductible Name/Corporation:
Email: I make the following donation to Pregnancy Assistance Inc. of $ once only
By cheque/money order: made payable and addressed: Pregnancy Assistance Inc. PO Box 8129 Perth BC WA 6849 By Direct payment: Pregancy Assistance Inc. | Westpac | BSB 036014 | Acc 306953 Mastercard
Name on card: 3 digit verification number:
Online: www.pregnancyassist.com.au By including us in your will.