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Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina

102816 miraviaCHARLOTTE — At its “Gifts of Mercy” banquet in uptown Charlotte Oct. 20, nearly 1,000 supporters of MiraVia gathered to raise money and hear the good news about the outreach ministry which helped more than 420 young mothers and children last year.

MiraVia, which began as Room At The Inn in 1994, helps abortion-vulnerable women choose life and build independent, healthy lives for themselves and their children. MiraVia offers life skills classes, material assistance and moral support to the women who come to them for help – free of charge. Since its founding, MiraVia has helped nearly 7,000 women and their children at its outreach facility in Charlotte.

“You continue to be the face of mercy,” Executive Director Jeannie Wray told the more than 963 supporters in attendance at the annual banquet.

Donors contributed more than 25,600 diapers, 1,100 bags of clothing and 5,200 pounds of food over the past year, she reported.

Fourteen mothers and their babies were served by MiraVia through their residential facility for college student mothers on the campus of Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, and two of the mothers graduated from college, she also said.

“More than 90 percent of the women who come to us first considered abortion,” Wray noted. “These babies are your gifts of mercy… This program works.”

Over the past year, MiraVia was able to retire its debt on the Belmont facility, Wray also said. That was three years earlier than anticipated, she stated.

She illustrated the effectiveness of the ministry and the support of the women and their children by sharing a story of one toddler’s return to the facility in Belmont recently, saying to his mother when he came through the doors, “Mama, we home!” She then took Wray by the hand and said, “Let’s go see Jesus (in the chapel).”

In her remarks, Wray reminded those gathered that “God is using all of us as conduits of His mercy.”

Kerri Caviezel offered the keynote address at the banquet. Caviezel has been active in pro-life ministry for more than 20 years. She and her husband have adopted three children.

She spoke of her great love and admiration for women who reject abortion, especially those birth mothers who choose life and place their children for adoption.
“You’re a real mother any time you give a child love. That is what MiraVia is showing these women,” Caviezel said.
— SueAnn Howell, Senior reporter

Pictured above: Sister Mary Elizabeth of the Daughters of the Virgin Mother, a lay apostolate which serves the women and their children at the MiraVia residential facility for college student mothers and their babies, plays on the floor with one of the younger residents. (Photo provided by MiraVia)