BY Daniel Harkins | May 31 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Aberdeen Diocese centre to offer support to families and women in crisis pregnancies

Aberdeen Diocese is to offer help to women facing crisis pregnancies and other vulnerable situations through a new family life centre run by the Holy Family Sisters of the Needy.

The St Mary’s Family Life Centre, at 80 Rose Street, will offer women help with family issues such as crisis pregnancy, post-abortion trauma, marriage problems, infertility and domestic violence.

The centre intends to focus on the needs of the most vulnerable women in family life relationships but will refer serious cases to appropriate agencies.



Bishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen Diocese said: “Marriage and family life enjoy a divine blessing which, according to the Liturgy, has ‘not been forfeited by original sin or washed away by the flood.’

“Rather, they have been endorsed and sanctified by Christ our Saviour. Hence, the Church’s desire to do what it can to help couples and families.

“As we all know, there are many pressures and threats at work and what happens is not always for the best. Our hope is that St Mary’s Family Life Centre, in the heart of Aberdeen, will be a resource to those looking for support or facing particular difficulties.

“It corresponds to the desires expressed by Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia. I am grateful to the Holy Family Sisters of the Needy and the others who will work there for putting themselves at the service of others in this way.”


Great benefit

Margaret Pattinson will work at the centre as a counsellor. She said the centre hopes to be of ‘great benefit to many families faced with problems related to pregnancy.’

She said: “There are many women and men facing these anxieties and pressures from those who do not understand how they feel.

“The centre will provide a place where they can express their worries and feelings in a calm, non-judgmental atmosphere.”

“It will be a place where they will be given time to talk freely, will be offered a trained listening ear and assured of confidentiality and acceptance.

“We hope also to be able to offer practical help and care whenever necessary.”


Significant moment

Speaking at the opening of the centre on May 23, Fr Domenico Zanre, Aberdeen Diocese’s vicar general, said the centre ‘marks a significant moment in the mission of the pro-life movement, not only for the Diocese of Aberdeen, but for the Church in Scotland.’

He said: “In his Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate, published last year, Pope Francis reminded us of our duty to protect and preserve the unborn: ‘Our defence of the innocent unborn… needs to be clear, firm and passionate, for at stake is the dignity of a human life, which is always sacred, and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development.’

“Furthermore, during his recent visit to the shrine of Loreto, which contains a small dwelling traditionally venerated as the house of Mary, the Holy Father reiterated the necessity for all of us ‘to rediscover the plan drawn by God for the family, to reaffirm its greatness and irreplaceability at the service of life and society.’ The aim of this new Family Life Centre is to realise these two imperatives in a very concrete, loving way.”

The centre will be open twice a week, Mondays and Thursdays, from 10am to 4pm.

Clients will be attended to by appointment only and with strict confidentiality.


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