Hope & Life
The biannual newsletter of Pregnancy Assistance Inc.
Contents About Us
Message from the Chair
Message from the Coordinator
Training Day at Pregnancy Assistance
Training Day at Abortion Grief Australia
Everybody’s welcome at Elizabeth’s House 5 Broad Yet Narrow Services
20 Years of Service
Words of Kindness
Message from the Restorative Counsellor 9 Introducing Mika
Grief Beyond Belief
Mass - Day of the Unborn Child
Mother’s Day Morning Tea
Thank you - Donations
Contact Pregnancy Assistance Inc. Elizabeth’s House 195 Lord Street East Perth 6004 T (08) 9328 2929 E firstname.lastname@example.org Monday - Friday 10am - 3pm After Hours By Appointment
About Us Who are we? Pregnancy Assistance Inc. is an independent Catholic organisation initiated by Archbishop Barry Hickey in 1996. We provide compassionate care and emotional, practical and informational support to women in need throughout their pregnancy and post birth. Our free and confidential services are extended to all people irrespective of religion, race, demographic or personal values. What do we do? We provide a safe space in which all pregnant women have access to the care and support they need during their pregnancies and the freedom to make healthy decisions whether they are facing a crisis pregnancy and/or have had an abortion, miscarriage or still birth. We walk the pregnancy journey with the women we meet, assisting them through their crisis, encouraging them along the way and empowering them to walk independently into the future with HOPE and DIGNITY restored. Our free and confidential services include: • Pregnancy testing • Pregnancy care consultation and professional counselling • Accommodation provision • Future study/employment pathways • Practical support – bassinets, baths, nappies & clothes, maternity clothes • Financial assistance • Advocacy & support services referral • Post abortion care & grief counselling Who knocks on our door? Anyone and everyone affected by pregnancy who is in need of a little (or a lot) of help! We receive between 90 - 170 contacts per month from pregnant women who are distressed due to one or more of the following; • • • •
Unexpected pregnancy Teen pregnancy Abortion concerns Financial hardship
• • • • • • • • •
Foetal anomaly Domestic violence Homelessness Isolation / loneliness Relationship breakdown Drug addiction Mental health issues Migration Grief/loss
Our Centre (lovingly nicknamed Elizabeth House) in East Perth is open for appointment (telephone or face to face) and allows for popins because sometimes you just need help now! 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. However, under no circumstances do we believe we have the right to supersede/impose upon a woman’s decision. We will continue to support and welcome back individuals in love 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
Message from the Coordinator
Pregnancy Assistance was formed 20 years ago. This milestone will be celebrated in September with a gala dinner. You are all invited to attend! A general invite will be formally published shortly. It will be an evening not to be missed, full of celebration, joy, love and laughter.
As we prepare to celebrate PA’s 20th birthday, I reflect on the privilege of coordinating the last q u a r t e r, witnessing the abundant life giving essence of the gift of PA. Like an unborn child, PA is a gift from heaven, born with the heart of heaven. Though seasons change, the heart of PA always stays the same. The loving heart of our God.
This achievement has been made possible because of you, and God working through you. Through working as a paid staff member or volunteer, through your prayers and your donations; every support has been worthwhile, because it is part of God’s plan. Pregnancy Assistance is evolving. This is a natural process, and occurs in every organisation; just look at our Church. People learn, grow, and circumstances change. “Aggiornamento” is therefore essential. It is just like the wind changing direction from time to time. A sailing boat then needs to adjust its sails in order to maintain the same direction while making progress. We feel that Pregnancy Assistance is led by the Holy Spirit in this regard. We follow His direction and adjust our sails accordingly. We gently ask for your ongoing support through these changes, in your work, prayer and donations. Pregnancy Assistance will continue for another 20 years at least, with its service to people
Invited to start afresh from Christ through the Year of Grace 2012 we embraced the changes of a new season! The office of PA received a new nickname “Elizabeth’s House” (see page 7), and just as the roof of Elizabeth’s House recently received a lift (see page 7) so too our Pregnancy Counsellors received fresh position titles (PCC) and our services received extensions through the development of our healing Restorative Branch of Counsellors (see page 9). Today, PA continues to renovate, refresh, strengthen and extend its foundational services. Embracing seasonal changes and safeguarding the very precious gift of PA. The simple light of Hope PA first projected upon opening in 1996 continues to shine brightly and touch so many lives! I thank you so much for your continued support, for being passionate about Life-Giving Relationships and having a HEART that is pregnant with HOPE for Her (pregnant women & couples in crisis).
looking for Hope and Life.
It is a joy sharing this exciting journey with you!
Eric Jas, Chair
Lara Wynyard, Coordinator
Hope and Life
Training Day at Pregnancy Assistance Jo Mulhall, who volunteers at Pregnancy Assistance as a Pregnancy Care Consultant writes about her experience of the training day held here at Elizabeth’s House. I attended the training day at Pregnancy Assistance (PA) on 16th of March. Lara Wynyard presented us with much food for thought regarding the role of volunteers at Elizabeth’s House. We were reminded that in this Year of Mercy, we have the opportunity to carry out the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy in our interaction with each and every person who comes to the door of Elizabeth’s House. We are privileged to bring hope to the hopeless, clothing to the naked, food to the hungry (physical and emotional) and comfort to the afflicted. We have to try to be like a conduit to bring God’s Love and Mercy to all we minister.
and running from domestic violence. As a result of the counselling and help she received, she was able to keep her baby who is now the joy of her life. She has been received into the Church this Easter. Praise the Lord! Lisette Jas gave us some great insights into the role of counselling. First and foremost, let all that you do be done with Love. If we followed just that advice, we would indeed be able to listen effectively, show empathy, never judge and always ask the Lord to be with us as we minister to all who come to us asking for help. Personally I feel really blessed to have attended this day. Lara and her team do a great job shining the Light of Christ on some very challenging situations.
It was a great joy to all of us to hear the story of one of the ladies who had come to Elizabeth’s House a couple of years ago. She was pregnant
Hope and Life
Training Day at Abortion Grief Australia The first in-training day of this year at Abortion Grief Australia (AGA) was attended by volunteers from AGA and Pregnancy Assistance. Margaret Doust who runs the After Suicide Support Group H.O.P.E.S. (Helping Other People who’ve Experienced Suicide Loss) presented a workshop about the painful experience that suicide is. H.O.P.E.S. is about sharing stories to help heal, to meet others who know how you feel and where everyone can understand that a suicide is different to other deaths. It is also about offering hope for the future and to unravel unanswered questions. At H.O.P.E.S. they can help if you are newly bereaved or have been in grief for some time. Please know that you are not alone, you are not going mad. What you feel is ‘normal’ for such a painful experience. Where: Anglicare WA Inc, 23 Adelaide Terrace, East Perth WA 0410 631 157 email@example.com www.suicidesupport.org H.O.P.E.S. is a member of ConnectGroups Support Groups Association WA Inc and is supported by Arbor Suicide Bereavement Counseling at Anglicare WA.
Hope and Life
Everybody is welcome at Elizabethâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s House!
Hope and Life
Broad yet narrow services As a volunteer at Pregnancy Assistance (PA) I often get asked the questions ‘what services do PA provide’ or ‘what can you help me with?’ As you can tell when reading through the information about us on page 1 the answer is - a lot. We assist with providing nappies and practical goods, we can advocate for you when you are being unfairly treated, we can try and assist you in finding the right accommodation and we get you a warm cup of tea and caring ear when you need to talk. We will walk alongside you for as long as you need after baby is born or if you are hurting after a pregnancy loss. Now we have extended our services to provide Restorative Counselling for those who seek healing from deeper unresloved trauma and loss. Basically where there is a need, PA will try and assist.
the Mother’s emotional well-being and selfesteem is of great importance. When we have a cup of tea with a woman visiting and then invite her to stay for lunch we’re not just providing her with a listening ear and a
I sometimes, to be honest, used to get
sandwich, we are letting her know her story
concerned that PA is too broad. Perhaps we
matters, her feelings matter, and she is worth
try and cover too much? Fortunately for me
so much more than an agency visit; she is
the gifted Coordinator who runs PA silenced
worthy of a friendship.
my inner dialogue one day by stating ‘yes we do a lot of things here, but what we REALLY PROVIDE is HOPE and DIGNITY’. Lara’s statement changed the way I see all of the services at PA. That bassinet, or baby bundle, or advocacy letter; whilst providing practical assistance to the mum-to-be also provides something so much greater than that. It communicates to her that she is valuable; she is worth taking care of by others and enables respect in her day-to-day life. This is why at PA we so frequently request new, or near new practical goods, because as much as we care about the child being clothed, we also believe
By being broad we have the freedom to care about the most pressing concern on the minds of the women who contact us. Who would we be to state ‘we care about you, but we can only provide what’s on this list - you’re on your own with the rest!’ I am now so thankful of our broad list of services. Now when I get asked the question of what it is we can help with I reply as I usually do and list off our many services but I simultaneously respond in my heart with one narrow service ‘by God’s strength and will we will demonstrate his love for you in any way we can!’ Laura Craig (PCC)
Hope and Life
Elizabeth’s House Why Elizabeth? Because Elizabeth’s words, “Blessed is the fruit of your womb”, are true in a real sense of every unborn child.” (Quote 132 PostVatican II Magisterial Documents). Elizabeth reminds us; * To recognise Jesus in the one who comes to our door and in the womb of the woman who comes to our door just as she recognised Jesus in the womb of Mary. *To extend a joyful greeting full of love, hope and truth. We are reminded to go out in haste to greet any mum to be with a warm greeting full of hope and expectation
Elizabeth, filled with the holy spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "most blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” Luke 1:39
for the life of the unborn child. *To speak love into every situation, knowing that "Nothing is impossible to God".
Did you know in 2012 the Bishops of Australia invited the whole church to a Year of Grace? The theme was “Starting afresh from Christ” which went hand in hand with Archbishop Timothy Costelloe’s opening address; “To return Christ to the Church and return the Church to Christ”. In response to this invitation, the workers of Pregnancy Assistance gave the house situated at 195 Lord St, East Perth, the nickname Elizabeth's House. Elizabeth’s House enjoying a “roof-lift”
20 Years of Service
It’s our 20th birthday and we will be celebrating with a gala dinner!! Saturday 17 September 2016 Please save the date and join us in an evening not to be missed. (Official invites will follow) Hope and Life
Words of kindness from some of our visitors. Counsellors at Pregnancy Assistance are nonjudgmental, so I felt so comfortable whenever I visited them. They helped me till I found accommodation. There was a time I almost gave up but Lisette was so helpful and encouraged me all the time. I love this place and I will recommend this place to anyone who needs help like me. May God bless you and give you strength to continue this service to the community. God bless! Thank you Iranthi & Jasmine
I would like to thank everybody at Pregnancy Assistance for helping me throughout my journey. From the time I was pregnant, I’ve been rejected by my family and my baby’s family because I was a disgrace and damage. Without work rights and no permanent visa, I had nowhere to go or to survive, apart from Pregnancy Assistance. Thanks for all the food, clothing and the nappies, I wouldn’t have managed alone. When I was pregnant, I would go for days without eating, even when I had my baby but with your help I’ve managed to survive! Thanks for the lunches as well. I really appreciate all this very much. The burden is lifted off me because of all the help I received. Thank you Anonymous.
Hope and Life
Message from the Restorative Counsellor (RC) Our
client’s need. We are focussed on a holistic
approach because of the interconnectedness
of the body, mind and spirit and we are
have been working
committed to providing a professional and
Elizabeth’s House. They are the first point of contact for people who reach out to
Lisette Jas Head Counsellor Restorative Branch
come in for practical support, emotional support, crisis pregnancy counselling or post abortion grief counselling. Since last year Pregnancy Assistance offers a Restorative Counselling service for people who are in need of healing due to suffering abuse, neglect, trauma and loss. PCC’s can refer clients on to a restorative counsellor once the initial pregnancy crisis has been attended to. We have a growing pool of qualified volunteer counsellors who form this Restorative Branch. If you come from a professional background and would like to offer your specialised skills, we are interested in hearing from you. Please contact us on 9328 2929. As a counsellor B.Soc.Sci (Counselling & Psychotherapy), I believe effective counselling is not advice-giving; it is helping the clients to help themselves by providing a place where it is safe to express themselves. Walking alongside people, working collaboratively and gently addressing aspects of their lives that is causing difficulties, is key in establishing a trusting relationship. The counsellors at PA draw from a variety of different therapies to suit each
By Evangeline 11 years old
Hope and Life
Introducing Mika Mika Burge started writing poetry when she
She is passionate about raising awareness of
was just 12 years old, inspired by events in her
this insidious grief and hopes to venture into
family life. 24 years later Mika still thoroughly
giving talks on the subject. She believes it is a
enjoys writing poetry and her first book, Grief
subject that needs to be talked about and learnt
In The Wake, is in the process of being
about, to prevent abortion and to help those
published. This book of poetry deals exclusively
who have been affected by abortion to heal.
with the subject of Abortion Grief and is the tale of her journey through the minefield of this grief.
Mika is now a happy Mother-of-one child on earth and four in heaven, who spends her time studying and volunteering.
Mika has been a regular visitor to Pregnancy Assistance for nearly four years and the poetry and the idea for the book came during this time.
Any enquiries can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org
She is very grateful to the various volunteers at Pregnancy Assistance who have helped her in this journey, with compassion, love and understanding.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Memorial for Unborn Childrenâ&#x20AC;?, a sculpture by Slovakian art student Martin Hudacek.
Hope and Life
Grief beyond belief Grief beyond belief
The prayers that I offer up
Pain beyond words
The prayers I beg and plead
Struggle beyond measure And hurt so hard to heal
The prayers that soften my hardened heart
Regret deeply embedded
The prayers to intercede
Like a thorn in my side
The prayers that lift me up
Relentless in itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s intensity
The prayers to bring me down
With nowhere to run and hide
The prayers to give me roots and wings
Memories boil over
The prayers that move my frown
Never set to fade
O, Jesus, my comfort
Choices that were forced
O, Jesus, my protector
That were not freely made Haunt and rack my conscience And I am so afraid Of eternal consequences I am in need of aid
Your love fills the aching void Your love is sweet as nectar Your love is what reveals to me That there are plans for me Beyond pain
I am in need of comfort I am in need of hope I am in need of Jesus
Beyond grief To know this is sweet relief!!!
He helps me to cope
Hope and Life
Mass - Day of the Unborn Child Caroline Nolan, one of our Pregnancy Care
babies who have died soon after birth to a few
Consultants attended this year’s Mass for the
months on this earth, yet what about the huge
Day of the Unborn Child and this is her
number of babies lost through miscarriage,
abortion and still birth and the indescribable
On the 2nd April this year at Mary’s cathedral I had the privilege to participate in the celebration of Mass for the Day of The Unborn. 25th May is the Feast of the Annunciation when Mary said ‘Yes’ to God’s will and so Christ was conceived exactly nine months before Christmas. This symbol of full-term pregnancy reminds us of the reality, importance and dignity of human life from the very first moment of conception. It’s the first time I have gone to this very important Mass organized by Pregnancy Assistance which was beautifully celebrated by Bishop Don Sproxton who gave a heartfelt homily relating the loss that his aunt went through losing a baby and he also gave his personal experience of going through the
pain felt by the mothers, fathers, grandparents and everyone associated with the babies who went to Eternal life straight from the womb. After the homily I was touched by the procession of around 150 people who put a flower in the baskets placed on the alter and Bishop Don was there as a sign of Jesus Christ to be a witness to see this tribute to remember all those unborn babies who are loved and not forgotten. Personally for me as I placed seven flowers for each of my babies lost through miscarriage I felt a bit teary, a lump in my throat but knowing that they are with their heavenly Father gave me hope that I will be reunited with them one day and it was a time of healing which the church comes to give me.
Pinnaroo cemetery and noting the amount of
Hope and Life
Mother’s Day Morning Tea We are showing our appreciation to all the beautiful mums and their little bundles of joy. On 6 May we welcomed them into ELizabeth’s House to celebrate Mother’s Day!
With thanks to Monica from Monica Defendi Photography
Hope and Life
Thank You Thank you for supporting us to continually
Your generous support gives and changes lives
achieve our principal objective – “To provide
and allows people to taste just how sweet and
relief of poverty, suffering, distress, misfortune,
good hope and life truly is.
destitution, or helplessness for pregnant women of all sections of the public irrespective of race, colour or creed.”
We also welcome donations in the form of nappies, wipes/bath supplies, pampering gifts for mums to be, and pre-loved baby clothes
Pregnancy Assistance Inc. solely relies on
and maternity clothes.
private donations. We are an ACNC registered charity, and all monetary donations above $2 are fully tax-deductable.
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 Donations over $2.00 are tax deductible
T: (08) 9328 2926
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