“Be Not Afraid”

“Be Not Afraid”

Leticia, blogging at Cause of our joy linked to my entry “A Lesson in Motherhood,” and included her comments, which are worth reading. 

She also links to the website of a wonderful online ministry, Be Not Afraid, founded by Catholic mother Monica Rafie, that reaches out to mothers who have received a “poor pre-natal diagnosis” and to an article about Be Not Afraid in the Catholic Standard and Times.

�I was pregnant with my second child, and went in for my 20-week ultrasound, when my baby was declared to be �incompatible with life,�� Monica Rafie said….

…She was discovering what Harvard Medical student Brian Skotko documented in a 2005 article for the Journal of American Obstetrics and Gynecology � American doctors fall short when it comes to delivering poor prenatal diagnoses. Skotko found the physicians are far too negative, provide inadequate information to patients, and are even �offensive� at times when patients decide to continue their pregnancies rather than have an abortion….

… Rafie decided to build a Web site where other parents who were going through the same experience could share their stories, and help each other endure.

�My husband is a Web developer, so it just fell into my hands,� she said. �I thought, �If I don�t do what I can do, woe is me on the last day.��

Rafie built the site based on what she learned while cruising pregnancy message boards on the Internet, particularly the �termination boards,� where women discussed their intentions to end their pregnancy.

�I just wanted to counter a site out there called, which is where people go after diagnosis and it�s all pro-termination,� Rafie said. �My original goal was to just have something up there to counter that.�

Her site, which is full of personal stories, articles and resources, is for parents who are searching for information about various birth defects and syndromes �which means it draws a variety of people from all different faiths.

There are so many amazing stories at Be Not Afraid, the kind of stories I’ve been collecting loosely for a while now. It’s great that there is an attempt to collect them in one place. And there are many discussion forums where members can support each other, offer advice and encouragement.

Leticia is also working with Monica Rafie to compile a book of stories. If you or someone you know has a story about courageous mothers “whose moral courage has inspired them to go beyond the culture of death, to hope, to believe and to love in extraordinary ways,” you can contact Leticia here.

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