St. Pio Parish
The Catholic Communities of St. John and St. Mark
Old Saybrook & Westbrook, CT
“Open Your Hearts To Life, even the weakest, most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.” -Pope Francis
To Promote a Culture of Life with a deep respect for God’s gift of life through increased awareness and education of all the members of the St. Mark Parish.
To Enhance Awareness through Prayer within our community; Masses for Life, Prayer Vigils-“40 days for Life”, Rosary for Life, Blessed Sacrament Adoration.
To Educate/Evangelize/Catechize the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church by;
Adhering to church doctrine, Giving witness to our Christian Catholic faith by serving those in need-supporting our local Birthright and Care Net organizations, Utilizing Scripture, Papal Encyclicals, and the Pro-Life Publications and Resources from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop’s (Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities)
HOW WE CAN SUPPORT WOMEN WITH UNPLANNED PREGNANCIES
What is the Church doing besides pointing out that abortion does end the life of an unborn baby? We should
ALL know how to help moms in difficult circumstances. We can support local pregnancy centers where they
exist, and we can also find and share other resources with pregnant and parenting women. Our diocese has
resources for pregnant women, new mothers, and support for those who have gone through an abortion.
Some ways for a Catholic to respond to pregnancies (mentioned in Four County Catholic):
1. Voice our beliefs to elected officials (see Family Institute of CT, National March for Life in Washington
in January, CT March for Life in March)
2. Pray for guidance; eg. Time in the Adoration Chapel at St. Mark Church; attend the monthly Pro-Life
Masses and Rosary on the 1st Saturday of each month at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Norwich; participate
in the 40 Days for Life in September-November each year.
3. Support women and guide them to resources in the Norwich Diocese that can help (see list below).
4. Support our annual parish and cluster ProLife activities: the Mother’s Day roses sale for Birthright, the
bake sale at Christ the King on the July 4 weekend, the Baby Bottle fundraiser for ABC Women’s
Center in October.
5. Support other Pro-Life organizations, such as local Knights of Columbus, and ProLife Across America
for positive ProLife billboards.
PRO-LIFE RESOURCES FOR PREGNANT WOMEN – PREGNANCY CENTERS
Birthright is a pro-life, non-denominational pregnancy support center that is staffed by volunteers and offers
friendship counseling to women who find themselves facing an unexpected pregnancy. They provide free
pregnancy tests and follow a woman and her family through their entire pregnancy connecting them with
community resources that will ease any stressors they may face throughout their pregnancy and beyond. They
supply free maternity clothes and a layette basket filled with items they will need for their new baby (eg,
diapers, wipes, clothing, towels, blankets, sheets, etc). They collaborate with other local organizations to
provide car seats, strollers and baby furniture.
Our closest office is “Birthright of Westbrook”, located at 150 East Main St, Clinton, (860-664-9466). In 2021,
they supported over 500 individuals, welcomed 19 babies, and provided 15 layettes. Their clients come from as
far as Orange, Hamden, Haddam and Old Lyme and their office is open for 21 hours a week.
They always need volunteers, and donations of layette items, maternity and infant clothing, or monetary
donations in the form of check or PayPal via their website (birthright.org/westbrook). Birthright has other
offices in Connecticut, including in New London (860-443-6205), Windham and Meriden.
RESOURCES FOR PREGNANT WOMEN – PREGNANCY CENTERS
Care Net Pregnancy Resource Center in New London offers free pregnancy services including pregnancy
confirmation and ultrasound, STD testing, help with options for women who have unplanned pregnancies,
parenting support, and men’s support programs. See http://www.carenetsect.org/; text 1-484-791-care (2273)
or call 860-448-2990.
Women’s Center of Eastern CT in Willimantic, says they are committed to empowering individuals to make
informed choices regarding their pregnancy. “We understand there is a lot of uncertainty with an unexpected
pregnancy. … we are here to help answer questions and find the support you may need. We have licensed
medical professionals providing and supervising all our medical services and our client advocates, coaches and
mentors are trained to serve you so that you don’t have to face life’s questions alone. All of our services are free
and confidential. … no insurance needed.”
They offer referrals to a wide range of specialist services, and also offer healing programs for those who have
had difficult experiences, including a past abortion, the trauma of sexual abuse, or the grief of a miscarriage. See
https://www.womenscenterec.com. Call or text 860-576-8072.
ABC Women’s Center, Inc, www.abcwomenscenter.org. Middletown and New Britain. Call 860-344-9292 or
text 860-245-1736 Choices Women’s Pregnancy Center in Westerly, RI, www.choicesrhodeisland.com, 401-596-2880.
RESOURCES FOR NEW MOTHERS
Our diocese Council of Catholic Women organizes an annual Layette collection of baby items for newborns,
including diapers and wipes, onesies, T-shirts, booties, and sleepers.
Catholic Charities provides services that include emergency basic needs, intensive case management, pregnancy
and parenting support, assistance with adoption, and assistance with SNAP enrollment. In our diocese we have
locations in Norwich, Willimantic, Middletown, and New London. Start at https://www.ccfsn.org/.
Nurse Family Partnership is a Visiting Nurse Association providing help for low income first-time mothers and
their babies, in New London and Middlesex counties. See
St. Vincent DePaul provides all kinds of help for people in need, including food, clothing and housing. Local
chapters are in Norwich www.svddp.org, 860-889-7374, and Middletown www.svdmiddletown.org, 860-344-
Lebanon Children’s Wardrobe provides children’s clothing and other items, available to anyone in need. See
Participate in a yearly “40 Days for Life” Campaign in October by “Adopting a Day” for the prayer vigil outside the Norwich Planned Parenthood Clinic. Encourage parishioners to register together by contacting: www.vigilcalendar.com/norwich.
Attend Monthly Pro-life Masses and prayer vigil on the 1st Sat. of each month at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Norwich.
Contact: Joan Carlson at 860-388-2549 or Joan Koloski at 860-388-9675
Attend Culture of Life Mass in October at St. Mark.
Contact: Joan Koloski | 860-388-9675
Support our local pregnancy center, Birthright of Greater Westbrook, through volunteer work and involvement with the yearly Mother’s Day Rose Sale.
Contact: Birthright, Clinton, CT | www.birthright.org | 860-664-9466
Provide resources, materials, and contacts to help support pro-life legislation through organized phone and email campaigns.
Engage in the Culture of Life Activities offered by the Holy Trinity Cluster (HTC); St. Mark in Westbrook, St. John in Old Saybrook, and Christ the King in Old Lyme.