DANBURY—Dozens of people gathered at St. Joseph in Danbury for a celebration of motherhood.
The second annual event was hosted by the Knights of Columbus McGivney Council 29.
“We are here today to sponsor a celebration of motherhood as part of our outreach program,” said Michael Farkas, an officer in the Knights of Columbus. “Our Mother, Mary, was the best and prime example of Motherhood. We are encouraged by your presence here today and introduce you to services and resources available to you in your journey, with Christ, in motherhood.”
The Knights of Columbus is an organization of Catholic men whose first principle is charity. The organization was founded in the late 1800s to address the plight of widows and orphans resulting from the death of Catholic men in the harsh working conditions of the time. The McGivney Council serves eight Catholic churches in Danbury.
Women were greeted by men from the Knights of Columbus as they entered the church, given a candle and escorted to sit in a pew.
“Motherhood is a very high calling,” said Reverend David Franklin, Parochial Vicar of St. Joseph. “All mothers who wish to be true to their high calling only need to look to Mary, Mother of God, who is the true model of motherhood.”
During the half hour prayer service, punctuated with organ-accompanied hymns including, “Immaculate Mary,” the candles were blessed and women were invited to come to the front of the church to have the candle they were given, representing the light of Christ, lit.
Brunch was offered by the Knights of Columbus in the church hall following the prayer service as well as an opportunity to learn about the dozens of services and resources available to help mothers and families.
A list of 35 organizations with phone numbers, websites and physical addresses were provided to all. Representatives from numerous organizations including Safe Families for Children, were on hand to answer any questions.
“So many moms have no one to turn to. They are alone,” said Michelle Montague, director of the Connecticut chapter of the national organization. The mission of Safe Families for Children is to temporarily host children and support families in crisis who have nowhere else to turn by surrounding them with caring, compassionate community. “We build relationships with these moms. We become their family, so they don’t get isolated.”
Carolyn Silliman, the program coordinator for Catholic Charities of Greater Danbury’s Family Loan Program, said every phone call received is an opportunity to connect people with services in their area that they may not know are available to them.
One of the programs offered by the organization and supported by partnerships with local banks, is a small loan program that offers struggling families with a less than favorable credit score, the opportunity to get a loan for a car or to repair a car, which may be just what they need for a safe and reliable car to meet family or work obligations.
The Knights of Columbus provided childcare during the celebration of motherhood event and free coats were available for children through the Coats for Kids program.
Representatives from the various organizations including Birthright of Greater Danbury, Alcoholics Anonymous and others also had an opportunity to discuss potential ways to collaborate with each other for the betterment of the community.