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Chautauqua parish holds baby shower for Mary


Father David Tourville and parish volunteers display the collection brought in for their “Shower for Mary.” St. Dominic Parish in Westfield collected clothes and blankets for the mothers at St. Gianna Molla Pregnancy Outreach Center in Fredonia. (Photo courtesy of St. Dominic Parish)

WESTFIELD — The parish of St. Dominic’s held its first “Shower for Mary” on Dec. 15. The recipient of this shower was the St. Gianna Molly Pregnancy Outreach Center of Fredonia. This center serves pregnant women, expectant fathers, and their children, and provides new mothers and families in need with material, emotional and spiritual support, for early stages of pregnancy through the first years of a child’s life. They are a 100 percent volunteer and a nonprofit organization.

Father David Tourville, pastor of St. Dominic Parish in Westfield and Brocton, borrowed the idea of a “Shower for Mary” from the Sisters of St. Francis in Allegany. This shower consisted of a short service with prayer,

music, scripture readings, and a reflection. Guests were invited to bring gifts to Mary, while the Magnificat or Canticle of Mary (taken from the gospel of Luke) was sung. In turn, those gifts would be shared with the young mothers, fathers and children in the area through this satellite center of the Office of Pro-Life Activities of the Diocese of Buffalo.

Kathy Hamernik and Sally Keppel from the outreach center then gave a small talk on what the Fredonia site does for the community. Also present was Camile Belcher, St. Dominic’s Pro-life chairman and center volunteer.

Along with what was brought to the altar during this time of reflection, there were also baby items, such as hand-crafted hats, bibs and blankets. Many of those items were made with lots of prayer with each stitch. Five other parishes in the four counties of Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Wyoming participated by donating to this event. Several monetary donations were also raised (including a Christmas wreath raffle) totaling over $1,300.

Originally, a small reception of cookies and punch was to follow, but due to Covid-19 restrictions, small boxes of cookies were handed to all guest that participated as they left the church. Everyone involved is looking forward to next year’s event.


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