This year, the generosity of the seminary community helped support the Image of God Crisis Pregnancy Center, an organization on Detroit’s east side providing support for expectant mothers, founded by Sacred Heart alumnus, Dcn. Joe Iska.
“I had long been involved in the pro-life movement in Detroit, and often headed a group that did sidewalk counseling,” said Iska. “I was also involved in the Michigan Right to Life organization, and more and more I saw the need for girls to be counseled. This led to my involvement with what was then called the Imago Dei Crisis Pregnancy Center on the Northeast side of Detroit. After Imago Dei moved out of Detroit to Warren, there became a need for a Crisis Pregnancy Center in Detroit. After talking and prayerfully discerning with Msgr. Trapp, Pastor of St. Monica-St. Augustine, we set up shop at the parish to minister to the surrounding neighborhood. Within six months we had a large following and started to build up support from the community and St. Monica-St. Augustine Parish.”
The impact of Image of God is great; after only three years of operation, Bp. Donald Hanchon, then Pastor of Holy Redeemer Parish, approached Iska about opening a second location to additionally serve Detroit’s Hipsanic community.
“This was followed by Fr. Ted Parker contacting us to start our third location at St. Charles Lwanga Parish,” Iska said.
“Most recently, the Center has established its fourth satellite location in Madison Heights. All our centers are run with the help of volunteers and operate with a low budget that helps to pay our operational costs.”
These volunteers help the center reach five goals, according to Iska: for women to continue their pregnancies through the full term; to provide women with the basic material things they need; to provide spiritual counseling; to teach basic parenting skills; and to work with and train women with vocational skills in order to support the mother and baby after childbirth.
The work and growth of Image of God is all possible due to the charitable contributions of others, including Sacred Heart’s Dinner for Life, which raised $5,400 for the organization.
“I would like to thank each of you who joined us virtually in prayer for the unborn,” said Andrew Smith, Chairman for the 2021 Dinner for Life at the conclusion of the evening. “Please continue to pray for those fighting to defend life at all stages, and in particular, those serving at the Image of God Crisis Pregnancy Center, the beneficiary of this year’s Dinner for Life.”
View Andrew’s full remarks here: