For Catholic Christians, Mary is the model of affirmation and acceptance of God’s will. When the Angel Gabriel announced to her that she would be the mother of the Messiah, Mary asked, “How can this be?” But the angel told her, “Fear not! Nothing is impossible with God.” Mary responded, “Let it be done as you say.” She trusted that the Lord’s words to her would be fulfilled. Project Gabriel carries the same comforting message from the Church to young mothers who may be frightened and alone: God is faithful if we trust. Like the Angel Gabriel, our mission is to announce the good news of life today, dispel fear, and offer hope for tomorrow.
Project Gabriel began over 35 years ago in the Galveston-Houston diocese when the pastor of St. Michael’s Church displayed a sign offering help to any woman in a crisis pregnancy. In 1990, Bishop Rene Garcida of Corpus Christi implemented the program, which quickly expanded to over 60 churches in that diocese. The Project Gabriel ministry (a.k.a. Gabriel Project) also operates in the dioceses of Galveston-Houston, Austin, Tyler, Longview, Ft. Worth, Amarillo, and Dallas, as well as in many cities across the U.S. Each diocese has a slightly different structure and implementation, but the purpose – saving babies and helping mothers – is the same.
Today in America, every third pregnancy ends in abortion. Women who have abortions almost never see them as a good, but as a necessary evil. Rather than having “freedom of choice,” women seek abortions precisely because they feel as if they have no freedom and no choice. The Church can help to change that. An abortion-minded woman needs to know that real help is close by, not only from government agencies, but from the Church, her spiritual home. Project Gabriel expresses what the Church is called to be: a community of believers who, by living their Faith in action, become more sensitive and responsive to the needs of those who may be outside that community. No solution goes to the heart of the abortion problem more swiftly and effectively. This ministry is a compassionate and caring way in which each parish can carry out its mission to proclaim and extend the Gospel of Life.