The celebrant of the Mass was Fr. Bill Cosgrove, pastor of St. Augustine’s in New City, and the guest speaker at the breakfast was Debbie DuHaime, Traffic Reporter from WABC radio and television. Joe Quartucci, from Good Counsel Homes, was Breakfast Chairman and master of ceremonies.
In his homily, Fr. Bill spoke of the deeper, expanded meaning of the response of Jesus to the woman who called out to him, “Blessed be the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you.” Jesus’ reply — “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it” — is His call to all of us to be hearers and doers of His word, like his Mother, who was blessed because of her willingness to bear the Son of God, to nurse and form Him, and do all things according to God’s will.
Fr. Bill noted the work of the Good Counsel Homes — supporting both mother and child in need — as a way of putting the word of God into action.
At the breakfast in the retreat center cafeteria after Mass, Nannette Morris, the House Manager of the Spring Valley Home, introduced Dolly, one of the mothers who lived for there for a time and is now out on her own. Dolly told her moving story of how she found a true home for herself and her son at Good Counsel and how she also found support from her father when she least expected it.
The guest speaker at the breakfast was Debbie DuHaime, a longtime volunteer with the Good Counsel Homes, who herself became pregnant at the age of 18. When a healthcare worker told her “You can always have an abortion,” Debbie’s response was she would never have an abortion. And with the support of her family, she raised her son, worked, returned to school for broadcasting training, and went on to a career in television and radio.
Debbie works as a traffic reporter with Total Traffic covering traffic on 970AM The Answer on “The Curtis Sliwa Show.” She also fills in on Channel 7 Eyewitness News and ESPN radio on “The Michael Kay Show” reporting traffic. Debbie can also be heard on Sirius Radio reporting traffic weekday mornings. She interned with the legendary Rush Limbaugh at 770 AM WABC radio.
It was the blessings of her family, faith, and friends, Debbie says, that got her through the difficulties in her life, and she’s grateful to faith-based Good Counsel for being there for other young women who need a shoulder to lean on.
Debbie says the Blessed Mother has guided her through so many difficulties and the Rosary is a favorite devotion.
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Good Counsel Homes, co-founded by Father Benedict Groeschel and Christopher Bell, opened its Spring Valley home in 1987, moving into an empty convent belonging to St. Joseph’s Church. The home at 22 Linden Avenue is able to house seven women with room for an eighth mother in an emergency case, plus their children.
Staff and volunteers conduct regularly scheduled “Life Skill” programs including parenting classes, nutrition, budgeting, health, spirituality, and chastity.
Child care is available inside the home so a mother may work or go to school to complete here education. Case managers work with each mom to develop an individual set of goals tailored to her.
All this is possible because of individual support from generous donors.
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