Gabriel Project is a national parish-based program which exists to help pregnant women both materially and spiritually. These needs are met with no charge to the mother.
Out of 199 Dioceses in the United States, 47 have Gabriel Projects; 25 additional Dioceses have showed interest or are in the beginning stages of establishing the apostolate.In the Dioceses of Texas, the state where Gabriel Project was founded, all 15 Dioceses have the Gabriel Project
Gabriel Project Day of Enrichment
Diocesan Gabriel Project Coordinator Named
Kathleen Olsen, a parishioner of St. Mary’s Church in Potsdam, has accepted the new position of Diocesan Gabriel Project Coordinator. “While Gabriel Project is a parish apostolate, helping women with spiritual, emotional and material needs during pregnancy, a liaison is helpful” said Colleen Miner, Respect Life director.
Mrs. Olsen will serve as the go-to person for collaboration such as if materials need to be shared between Gabriel Projects. Mrs. Olsen will also provide ongoing opportunities for training and offer days of spiritual enrichment for the Gabriel Angels.
Mrs. Olsen attended Catholic schools for all of her early education: St. Thomas Aquinas grade school, Mount Mercy Academy high school and Trocaire College for nursing. Mrs. Olsen attended the University of California, Riverside for a B.A. in Music and Crane School of Music for a graduate degree in Music.
After 17 years at SUNY Potsdam and the Community Performance Series, serving as Executive Director for the last ten years, Mrs.Olsen took advantage of an early retirement incentive and retired in Sept 2010. Mrs. Olsen said “A special blessing as a result of that decision - I was able to make an amazing pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Fr. Scott Fobare and Fr. Scott Seymour. I enjoyed a year off work and a time of transition and have resumed work as an RN and am currently the Health Director for Cornell Cooperative Extension's Summer camp program for children. I also tutor nursing students and humanities courses at SUNY Canton and am a writing coach.”
Mrs. Olsen has two grown children and ten grandchildren with two more on the way. She has been a Gabriel Angel since 2007. Mrs. Olsen has also served as the parish Respect Life Representative since January 2011. Mrs. Olsen recently completed year one of the Formation for Ministry program and plans to complete the program this spring.
Mrs. Olsen is preparing for a gathering of the Gabriel Angels to introduce herself and provide training from experienced Gabriel Project angels. The day will include an afternoon of reflection which will conclude with Mass. Msgr. AuCoin has graciously offered to host the day in the Potsdam area. The theme of the Day of Reflection is"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5.
Gabriel Project Day of Enrichment
After Mass, Bishop LaValley presented the Madonna of the Streets award to those serving six or more years in the Gabriel Project Apostolate. Those receiving awards for nine years of service were: Carrie Dumas (St. Joseph’s, Mooers), Marilyn Willette (St. Joseph’s, Mooers), Carol Alexander (St. Ann’s, Mooers Forks), Carol Pulsifer (OLV, Plattsburgh), Sr. Joan Lashway (OLV, Plattsburgh) and Louise Mazuchowski (St. Joseph’s, Dannemora). Mary Pulsifer received an award for seven years in the Gabriel Project ministry. Those receiving awards for six years were: Donna Steenberg (St. Patrick’s/St. Lawrence, Brasher Falls and North Lawrence), Sr. Evelyn McCarte (Gabriel’s Helping Hands, Massena) and Linda Proulx (Gabriel’s Helping Hands, Massena).
The day included time for sharing and socialization. Angelo and Suzanne Pietropaoli, directors of the Natural Family Planning office for the Diocese of Ogdensburg, gave an informative, afternoon presentation. The day concluded with a drawing for two door prizes containing items for expectant moms. The winner of the second prize basket was Chris LaRose from St. Lawrence Church, North Lawrence and the winner of the first prize basket was Judy Austin from St. Patrick’s in Brasher Falls
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The Diocese of Ogdensburg has eleven Gabriel Project parishes:
St.Mary's in Potsdam (315) 265-9520
St. James in Gouverneur (315) 287-0114
Our Lady of Victory in Plattsburgh (518) 578-1068
St. Vincent de Paul Society in Massena (315) 769-1200
St. Joseph’s in Mooers (518) 236-5632
St. Ann’s in Mooers Forks (518) 236-5632
St. Joseph’s in Dannemora (518) 492-7118
St. John the Baptist in Keeseville (518) 834-7100
Our Lady of Lourdes in Schroon Lake (518) 532-7100
St. Edmund’s in Ellenburg (518) 594-8843
St. Patrick's in Brasher Falls (315) 389-5401
The Church offers this program which provides parishioners the means to walk with needy, hurting women. The women are picked up and helped by members of the community.Volunteers for the Gabriel Project are called ‘angels’. The Gabriel Angel throughout history delivers the message: "Rejoice! Fear Not!" When a pregnant woman calls the Gabriel Project hotline, she is assigned a Gabriel Project angel. The church volunteer becomes a friend and advocate for the woman in need. The angel delivers the message to the church and community, any physical needs the woman may have and discerns with the parish clergy in her spiritual needs.According to Wanda Gaffney, co-chair of the Bishops Apostles for Life, "Gabriel Project is a fairly easy program to get started up." Start by asking permission from your pastor to put a brief description in your bulletin. Ask for volunteers and call a meeting. The only initial cost is for the Gabriel Project sign which is placed on Church property. The sign is $120.Gabriel Project is a perfect response to Jesus’ call to the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy (Matt 25) . For more information on how to start Gabriel Project in your parish, call Our Lady of Victory Parish at 518-561-1842. The parish is also available for training of Gabriel Project volunteers anywhere in the Diocese.Additional information can be found at www.diogh.org/RespectLife/gabrielproject.htm
If you would like to send a donation please address to: Gabriel Project c/o Our Lady of Victory Church, 4919 South Catherine St., Plattsburgh, NY 12901