The following comes from a story by Patsy Gonzalez which appeared on the Project Gabriel website.

After raising my family, being involved with mentoring mothers through the Gabriel Project of the Archdiocese of San Francisco and the pregnancy resource center in San Jose where I volunteer has been the most fulfilling thing I could ever have chosen to do at this stage in my life….

One teen mother I mentored that had been a runaway at one time and a school dropout became the most motivated student after having her beautiful little girl. She lived with her parents, taking full responsibility for the care of her child.  She began to be very focused on her future and even raised the bar for the baby’s father if he wanted to remain in his baby’s life. I wonder how differently her life would have been if she had opted for an abortion instead, like many teenagers who see it as a quick fix.

I also had the privilege of working on a case involving a family that had experienced three generations of abortions.  It had become part of their family culture to deal with their unwanted pregnancies.  Finally, one mother who had had an abortion herself that she deeply regretted in her early 20s stood up to her family members who were pressuring her pregnant unmarried daughter to abort her child. It was the Gabriel Project she turned to for support. The eventual birth of this “unwanted” baby became the most joyful and celebrated event of the year for them. I’m happy to add that I accepted the role of godmother at the baptism! Going to church has now become part of their weekly routine.  I remember reflecting at the time that the real goal of an angel is getting her young moms to Heaven!

Not all cases have happy endings. The heartbreaking loss of a baby to a chemical abortion by a mother I mentored made me realize that God’s most precious gift He has given us is free will.  Times like that always bring to my mind the consoling words of Mother Teresa, “God doesn’t call us to be successful, only that we are faithful….”

Patsy Gonzalez counsels pregnant mothers at Juan Diego Society Women’s Center in San Jose, CA. She also volunteers as an angel for The Gabriel Project of the Archdiocese of San Francisco and has extensive experience in sidewalk counseling.