Angelina’s Story and Katie’s Story

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National Catholic Register: Mothers on Campus — University of Mary Creates Community to Empower Young Women to Choose Life While Pursuing Degrees

Photo Credit: National Catholic Register

Amid the crowd of college students and faculty on campus at the University of Mary, two babies are a common sight. The students wave to them in the halls, volunteer to babysit them while their moms are in class, and share meals with them in a campus restaurant.

One professor at the Bismarck, North Dakota, university calls baby Lucia, with her dark pigtails and feisty personality, his favorite student, and another professor’s wife loves to watch baby Augustine during review sessions.

“The students here, they all love babies,” Katie, Lucia’s mother, told the Register, adding that it’s “comforting” that when babysitting plans fall through and she brings Lucia to class, “everyone in the room is just happy to have her.” She credits the community with giving her the confidence to return to school and work on finishing her degree after her unplanned pregnancy.

She and Angelina Hanft are the first two participants in the St. Teresa of Calcutta Community for Mothers, a program that the Benedictine school launched in January. It provides childcare, room and board, and other assistance to women facing unexpected pregnancies as they pursue their degrees.

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EWTN News In Depth: The Effect of New Programs for Pregnant Students & New Mothers

Photo Credit: EWTN News In Depth

An EWTN News In Depth segment features a program for pregnant student mothers at a North Dakota college. Two moms, Angelina and Katie, share their stories of how the program has empowered them to choose life and pursue their degrees.

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Catholic News Agency: Moms on Campus: How Are Catholic Colleges Helping Students Facing Unexpected Pregnancies?

The shame and scandal an unexpected pregnancy may have caused on a Catholic campus in the past is giving way to more proactive, life-affirming policies, informed by a keener awareness of the pressure society places on unmarried young women to opt for abortion.

The pro-life movement needs this kind of “strong and beautiful” witness more than ever, says Monsignor James P. Shea, president of the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota, whose new St. Teresa of Calcutta Community for Mothers offers one of the most comprehensive support programs for young moms pursuing a college degree.

The rationale for these efforts is the same one motivating pro-life pregnancy centers and the U.S. bishops’ Walking with Moms in Need campaign. “If I’m going to advocate for the protection of unborn lives,” Shea explained, “that means that I’m going to do everything I can to support those lives once they’re born and the women who are generous enough to bring those lives into the fullness of light.”

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