Contributors Life matters

Help us elevate the beauty of pregnancy, blessing of parenthood

Debra Niesen is the archdiocesan consultant for the pro-life office.

by Debra Niesen

Last fall, I barely managed to plant flower bulbs just before winter hit. I’m so glad I did! Seeing budding trees and daffodil and hyacinth stems sprouting up through the mulch makes me happy.

During this time of repentance and renewal, nature hints of the new life and hope we are soon to experience. In March, we also celebrate important feast days that provide us opportunities to reflect on the beauty and gift of new life.

The solemnity of St. Joseph on March 20 this year reminds us that our Savior came into the world as a vulnerable infant. Joseph lovingly accompanied Mary during her pregnancy and protected the precious life she carried. The solemnity of the Annunciation on March 25 celebrates the visit of the angel Gabriel to Mary and her “yes” to become the mother of Jesus. The anniversary of the papal encyclical, “The Gospel of Life,” is also March 25.

Just like every human family, the Holy Family faced real and significant challenges during pregnancy. Both solemnities call us to reflect on how we are to protect and welcome new life just as Mary and Joseph did for baby Jesus, despite the hardships.

One of the goals of the Walking With Moms in Need initiative is to elevate the beauty of pregnancy and the blessing of motherhood and fatherhood. Too often, our culture sends messages to young people that children are a burden and that a pregnancy will prevent them from pursuing their dreams and succeeding in life.

While pregnancy does demand self-sacrifice, the miracle of cooperating with God to gift the world with a new life and eternal soul is amazing! How blessed we are as women to have the opportunity to experience this incredible gift. Pregnancy and parenting certainly aren’t easy, but they are one of the greatest adventures in life that inspire and bring out the best in us.

Unexpectedly, Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime performance sent a pro-life message. In an industry that is so often anti-life and hyperfocused on image, she performed while pregnant, even showing off her growing belly.

Rihanna unapologetically showed the world she could be at the height of her career on the biggest stage in the world as a mother and celebrating her pregnancy with baby No. 2.

To commemorate the Annunciation and rejoice in new life, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann will be blessing all expectant parents and their unborn children during the 11 a.m. Mass on March 26 at the Church of the Nativity in Leawood. All are welcome.

Meanwhile, parishes are working to increase prayer, invitation and accompaniment for those expecting a child. Stay tuned for several new programs that help support women in need and build a culture that cherishes life.

About the author

Debra Niesen

Leave a Comment