Story and photo by Renée Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org
First-time expectant mothers under 18 years can find a safe haven at the Mary Care Centre (MCC) South.
The centre officially opened its second facility at Partap Trace, South Oropouche on March 16. The home was previously the residence for the Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity.
Archbishop Jason Gordon was the main celebrant at a Mass in the home’s foyer. Regional Episcopal Vicar (South), Fr David Khan concelebrated; Deacons Lennox Toussaint and Roy Raghunanan assisted. Also among those present were members of the Eternal Light Community, benefactors and well-wishers.
The Archbishop, who later blessed the rooms, said the centre provided a space for women in need of a “second chance and love”. “The promises of God to love unconditionally will be realised here and the promise that young women and their unborn child will be protected, will also be realised here,” he commented.
He went on to say he was happy to know the home was being “re-purposed for God’s purpose”. Archbishop Gordon added, “Though these women have made mistakes in their lives we can give them a chance with a family of love. We must let them know that even if they are not ready and make mistakes, God will be true to them and meet them where they are, in the purpose He has for them.”
The home was also dedicated to the late Archbishop Anthony Pantin who founded the first MCC located at 43 Gallus Street, Woodbrook. Archbishop Gordon said Archbishop Pantin’s vision raises the fact that Church cannot continue to talk against abortions in the country unless “we are willing to make a place for young women who are challenged by their families to have abortions”.
He also described the establishment as “a lesson in faith” as he was not convinced the centre could be opened in the three-week period Deborah de Rosia and her team told him it would.
The Eternal Light Community and its directress, de Rosia will be in charge of running both centres. She said the Woodbrook facility started experiencing a backlog and was running out of space to house residents thus, the management team started looking at ways to solve the problem.
“I realised the Archdiocese had this property that was being unused and made the necessary proposals. A lot of our mothers come from deep south so this location is also ideal,” she shared.
At MCC, the young women will be taught to care for themselves and their newborns as well as learn skills to enable them to be employable and self-sufficient.
MCC collaborates with the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, the Children’s Authority and the Child Welfare League of Trinidad and Tobago.