Preserving the sanctity of life through baby bottles

Bill Brewer Catholic Charities of East Tennessee, Diocese of Knoxville, Health, News

Sanctity of life activities at St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Madisonville will mean more money for sanctity of life activities at Catholic Charities of East Tennessee.

St. Joseph the Worker parishioners recently have raised $973 for Catholic Charities’ Pregnancy Help Centers through the baby bottle fundraising drive it holds twice a year.

Father P.J. McGinnity initiated the baby bottle drive in 2009, when he was named pastor of the the Monroe County parish. In the most recent drive, parishioners filled empty baby bottles with change over the summer, raising nearly $1,000 for the Pregnancy Help Centers, which provide resources to women and couples during pregnancy and in the early weeks of parenthood.

The Pregnancy Help Centers, which are located in Chattanooga, Knoxville, and LaFollette, provide education and instructions on caring for a baby as well as items like diapers, car seats, clothes and cribs.

Father McGinnity said parishioners have really come out in support of Catholic Charities and Right to Life groups in Maryville and Chattanooga.

“They’re very much involved and see this as worth contributing. As I’ve said, we’re all contributing, even in a small way, to the sanctity of human life. That’s why, I think, we’ve gotten such a good response,” he said.

Contributions from St. Joseph the Worker members were well-received by Catholic Charities.

“We’re just so grateful for the support we are getting from St. Joseph the Worker Parish. It means a lot to have parish support for what we are doing, especially for a parish that is relatively distant from Knoxville and Chattanooga. We know what we’re doing is significant, but to know that we are supported by Catholic people across the diocese is hugely important to us. So we are very grateful,” said Sister Mary Christine Cremin, RSM, Catholic Charities of East Tennessee executive director.

Father McGinnity was joined by parish secretary Susan Mangiaracina in presenting a check to Sister Mary Christine, who was joined by Sandi Davidson, Pregnancy Help Centers coordinator, Carrie McConkey, CCETN development director, and Rebecca Williams, development coordinator for CCETN.