After the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision (1973) made abortion legally permissible in the United States, Rev. Msgr. John Perusina, the late pastor of St. Michael’s Parish in Houston, Texas, placed a sign in front of his church saying that if a woman wanted to have her baby, the church would support her. The sign still stands today. It was from that sign that the Gabriel Project or Project Gabriel was born.
In 1990, Cathy McConn and her friend, Rex Moses suggested Project Gabriel for the diocese of Corpus Christi. By 1991, sixty Catholic and Protestant churches in the Corpus Christi were participants in the Gabriel Project. Presently, somewhere between 200-300 churches are participating nationwide and that number is growing.
In Illinois, Project Gabriel can be found in the Chicago and Joliet dioceses. Holy Cross-Batavia, is the first church from the Rockford Diocese participating in the project.
For Catholic Christians, Mary is the model of affirmation and acceptance of God’s will. When the Angel Gabriel announced to her that she would be the mother of the Messiah, Mary asked, “How can this be?” But the angel told her, “Fear not! Nothing is impossible with God.” Mary responded, “Let it be done as you say.” She trusted that the Lord’s words to her would be fulfilled.
Project Gabriel carries the same comforting message from the Church to women in crisis pregnancies who may be frightened and alone: God is faithful if we trust. Like the Angel Gabriel, our mission is to:
The purpose of Project Gabriel is to live the charism of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth: