UK Catholics Support Pro-Life Initiatives

Donations Given for Pregnancy Counseling, Stem Cell Research

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LONDON, JULY 22, 2010 ( On Sunday, Catholics in England and Wales will celebrate the annual Day for Life. Through collections taken up this day, the Church has given substantial donations to local pro-life initiatives.

Over the last two years, an amount of £500,000 ($764,000) has been distributed by the Day for Life archbishops, Archbishop Bernard Longley and Archbishop Peter Smith.

These donations, collected in the parishes on the last Sunday in July each year, go toward grants that are awarded to life initiatives supported by the Church.

For example, the City Pregnancy Counseling Psychotherapy, which reaches out to men, women and couples who are faced with a crisis pregnancy, pregnancy loss and infertility, was given £10,000 ($15,282).

Workers at this organization in London expressed gratitude for the grant, and noted that since it was set up in September, 2008, it has received 1893 client contacts.

The counseling center counts on the services of 14 therapists who give of their time for free. Thus, the grant will go primarily toward the operation costs and rent for the premises in the center of London.


Another £50,000 ($76,400) went to fund ethical stem cell research. One of the researchers, Neil Scolding of the University of Bristol Institute of Clinical Neurosciences, said, «We are absolutely delighted with this splendid contribution to our bone marrow stem cell research program relating to multiple sclerosis.»

«Not only is it an extremely substantial help in funding our work, but an inspiring expression of confidence and optimism in what we are doing,» he said.

The researcher affirmed that «this major donation will accelerate our work, and we are extremely grateful to the bishops’ conference, and to churchgoers throughout the United Kingdom for their great generosity.»

Archbishop Longley expressed gratitude for «the generosity of parishioners up and down the country who give so generously to the Day for Life collection each year.»

«Your generous giving enables us to support so many worthy projects and organizations,» he said, «all working in different ways to promote the dignity of life from conception to natural death.»

Sunday’s celebration will focus on the theme of end of life issues. It aims to present the Church’s teaching on death.

As well, it will «highlight the importance of the sacrament of the sick, of praying for the dead and of accompanying the dying person as they journey towards God,» stated a press release from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

It added that this celebration «will also point towards the consoling presence and support of the community of faith and all of those who ‘have gone before us marked with the sign of faith.'»

Previous Days for Life have focused on suicide, mental health, disability and the sacredness of human life.

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