Expanding on the family ministry component of its services, Centro San Juan Diego, the Hispanic Institute for Family and Pastoral Care of the Denver Archdiocese, will open a new Gabriel House. The house, the fifth in the archdiocese, will respond to the material, emotional and spiritual needs of pregnant women and mothers.
“The ministry of defending life is part of the Catholic mission,” said Luis Soto, executive director of Centro San Juan Diego and director of Hispanic Ministry for the archdiocese. “We see a good number of Hispanic women at the other houses.”
Centro has never done anything as “practical” as this, he said.
“It’s the first time we’re entering into the ministry of direct services.”
Established in 2003, Centro empowers Hispanic families through pastoral services and education including leadership training, advanced degrees, literacy programs, faith-based workshops and U.S. citizenship preparation, among many other courses.
“People can come for Gabriel House services, then also get information on classes,” he said. “It feeds very well into our family ministry.”
Mimi Eckstein is executive director of the Gabriel Project, a ministry of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Denver. She headed up opening the first house in Denver in 2009, followed by additional houses in Aurora, Boulder and Lakewood.
“This type of outreach is a good fit for Centro and the surrounding community,” Eckstein said, mentioning its proximity to Charities’ Margery Reed Mayo Day Nursery at 1128 28th St. and nearby Samaritan House at 2301 Lawrence St.
“The ministries can collaborate,” she said. “We can help families by working together with other Catholic Charities’ operations right in downtown Denver.”
Organizers hope the “house”—located in a converted classroom of the historic 1889 building, formerly Sacred Heart School—will be ready to open mid-May. It will be blessed by Archbishop Samuel Aquila 11 a.m. May 15.
To help get Centro’s Gabriel House up and running, they are seeking Spanish-speaking volunteers. There will be an informational meeting at 6 p.m. March 31 for potential volunteers at Centro located at 2830 Lawrence St. They are also accepting donations of diapers, wipes, formula and baby clothes; and financial donations can be mailed to the administrative offices at 1341 Oneida St., Denver, CO 80220. For more information, contact Eckstein at 303-377-1577 or visit www.gabrielhousedenver.org.
Gabriel House at Centro San Juan Diego (expected to open in May)
Where: 2830 Lawrence St., Denver
What: Informational meeting for volunteers
When: 6 p.m. March 31
What: Blessing by Archbishop Samuel Aquila
When: 11 a.m. May 15
More information: www.gabrielhousedenver.org or 303-377-1577