Ground broken for St. Gianna women’s homes in Nebraska
By S.L. Hansen

.- Last week, Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska, Father Christopher Kubat, the diocesan director of Catholic Social Services (CSS), Sister Jacqueline Darner, M.S., and others gathered to turn the first shovelfuls of dirt that will make way for the new 24-unit St. Gianna Women’s Homes.  The secure apartment building will be comprised of 24 one-, two- and three-bedroom units that will house women and children escaping domestic abuse and the pressure to abort.

It will also include a chapel, daycare center, kitchen, exercise facility, commons area, and a small three-bedroom cloister for the Marian Sisters who will serve as caseworkers for the women living in the facility.

Father Kubat noted that the project was funded through the CSS “Expanding the Works of Mercy Campaign.” That campaign sought to raise $5 million for a number of CSS projects, and recently met that goal.

One purpose of the campaign was to consolidate Lincoln social services in a downtown location, which required purchasing and renovating its current building at 23rd and O streets. Another was to open a permanent gift and thrift store – St. Isidore – in Imperial, which opened March 8.

The campaign also acquired monies to start an endowment so that all CSS programs would have an ongoing supply of funds.

However, it was the St. Gianna Women’s Homes project that inspired the generosity of many throughout the diocese.

“Response to this project was just tremendous across the diocese,” Father Kubat said. “This is the one element that struck the heartstrings of most people.”

All told, it will take $3 million to build the new apartment building, and somewhere between $200,000 and $300,000 to run it each year. For that reason, fundraising efforts for St. Gianna Women’s Homes will be ongoing.

Father Kubat said that currently, it is “very, very difficult” for CSS to care for women and children who are victims of domestic abuse or the threat of abortion.

“There’s just not enough beds,” he lamented.

At present, the best CSS can do is help a woman find an apartment, furnish it, pay the first month’s rent, fill the cupboards with food and help the woman find a job. Sometimes, CSS resorts to putting someone up in a motel, but that is cost-prohibitive.

Recently, CSS helped a woman from south-central Nebraska who was living with her children in a shed equipped with just a space heater. Another CSS client was living in her car with her children. CSS is in desperate need for more housing to accommodate these women in crisis.

“We do our best, but there just isn’t enough space to house these victims,” said Father Kubat. “It’s an incredible challenge.”

St. Gianna Women’s Homes will enable CSS to provide safe and clean temporary housing for at-risk women from across the diocese. The program will accept women of any age, religion or ethnicity who are being threatened by domestic abuse or who are being pressured into abortion by partners, parents, finances or other factors.

The project is named for St. Gianna Beretta Molla. She was an Italian mother, physician and social worker who faced a uterine tumor while she was pregnant with her fourth child.

Choosing her baby’s life over cancer treatment, St. Gianna gave birth to a healthy daughter and died one week later, on April 28, 1962. Her daughter, also named Gianna, became a physician and has continued her mother’s legacy, though by caring for the aged instead of working as a family doctor. St. Gianna’s family also operates a charitable foundation to help the needy.

Construction of the new apartment building for St. Gianna Women’s Homes will take about 10 months. Meanwhile, fundraising will continue in earnest, with “First Friday Fish Fry” dinners at the main CSS building in Lincoln at 23rd and O (during months outside of Lent only), a new cake walk and cake auction fundraiser called “That Takes the Cake,” and several other creative ideas.

Donations to the project can also be sent to CSS, 2241 O St., Lincoln, NE 68510.

Father Kubat is gratified that so many people in the diocese understand the dire need for St. Gianna Women’s Homes.

“It’s very edifying,” he said. “It’s very exciting that we’re really going to be able to help so many more women and their children.”

Printed with permission from the Southern Nebraska Register, newspaper for the Diocese of Lincoln.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: