By Mary DeTurris Poust
Some people make a lasting impression. Chris Bell is one of those people -- and for all the right reasons. I met Chris back in the 1980s, when I was a young reporter for Catholic New York newspaper. After working with homeless runaways in Times Square, Chris -- along with Father Benedict Groeschel, CFR -- went on to found Good Counsel Homes, a network of shelters for pregnant women who have nowhere else to turn. One morning my editor sent me to the Spring Valley, N.Y., residence to visit with some of the moms and children and to see how Good Counsel helps mothers facing crisis pregnancies get the education and skills they need to create a stable life for themselves and their children when they're ready to move on from the residences.
I was impressed with the home, but, even more so, I was impressed with Chris, who was living proof that some people are willing to walk the walk, even when it's a very difficult road. So when I saw that Fathers For Good, an initiative of the Knights of Columbus, was featuring Chris and his wife, Joan Andrews Bell, another pioneering pro-life activist, I knew I had to share it with you. Not only because they're an inspiring pro-life couple, but because this is Respect Life Month, and yesterday was Respect Life Sunday.
Here's a quote from Chris about his work:
"Good Counsel is a family for abandoned single mothers before, during and after the birth of their baby. Good Counsel helps a mom take the next good step educationally, puts her on a vocational track and moves her toward self-sufficiency. Since 1985, Good Counsel has had more than 5,600 mothers and babies in our homes offering more than 520,000 nights of shelter and days of loving support.
"We've seen about 800 babies born to moms in our homes."
Those are some amazing numbers -- 800 babies born to moms who might otherwise have picked abortion. But Chris and Joan's pro-life commitment isn't just a Christian mission; it's a personal vocation as well. They have seven children -- six of them adopted and with special needs. Want to be inspired? Read more by clicking HERE to go to the Fathers for Good interview. To learn more about Good Counsel Homes, click HERE.