Groundbreaking set July 26 for new Family Resources Center
Photo Caption: An artist’s rendering of the proposed new home for the Family Resources Center, to be located across Monroe Street from the Spalding Pastoral Center in Peoria.
By: By Jennifer Willems
Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, will advance the cause of respect for life again this Thursday, July 26, when he blesses and breaks ground for a new home for the Family Resources Center in Peoria.
The ceremony will begin at 1:30 p.m. at 409-413 N.E. Monroe St. A reception will follow in the Spalding Pastoral Center, which is across the street.
“I get excited thinking about all of the new, wonderful, exciting activities we can have in our new space to build happy and holy families,” said Jan Smith, who has directed the Family Resources Center since it was established as an outreach of the Diocesan Respect Life Board in 1980. It is currently located at 321 Main St. in downtown Peoria.
In addition to the thousands of videos, DVDs, books, research materials and fetal models that are offered on a free-loan basis by the Family Resources Center, the 14,000-square-foot facility will house the Christ Child Society of Central Illinois. The Christ Child Society provides layettes to area hospitals for the babies of families in need.
There will also be a devotional area, classrooms, a special space for children, and offices on the first floor, and a full basement with room for large meetings.
This expansion of the diocesan “campus” will proclaim Bishop Jenky’s vision of respect life ministry in an even more powerful way, according to Deacon Bob Sondag, vice chancellor of the Diocese of Peoria.
“Doing this in concert with our ministries in the diocese and having it located next door to the pastoral center will only amplify the importance of this ministry and respect for life,” he told The Catholic Post. “Given the climate, especially today, this will be a centerpiece in our ministry.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has mandated that even religious employers provide free health insurance coverage for contraceptives, abortion-inducing drugs and sterilizations. On more than one occasion Bishop Jenky has voiced opposition to the mandate, vowing to continue “our unwavering commitment to the Gospel of Life.”
Joining their commitment to that of the bishop were “a devout couple” who came forward with a gift of more than $1 million and allowed construction of the new Family Resources Center to begin.
“God has blessed us with the goodness of so many people who have made this building possible,” said Smith.
Invitations have been sent to them as well as members of the Christ Child Society and Family Resources boards and the Diocesan Respect Life Board. Deacon Sondag said the festivities will be simple, but are open to anyone who would like to come.