Sparrow House, a Baltimore maternity home that suspended operations in July because of a lack of finances, is reopening Nov. 15. The home raised more than $34,000 in one-time gifts and more than $38,000 in pledges over the last several months – enough to cover its $6,000 monthly minimum operational expenses for the next year.
“We are really thrilled,” said Anthony DiIulio, executive director of Bowie-based Gabriel Network, a pro-life Christian ministry that operates Sparrow House.
“Seeing this actually happen is a joy,” he said. “For all of us at the Gabriel Network, it’s a privilege to know the Lord is working through this organization. This home is strong and vibrant. It shows the church really backs up its commitment to the pro-life cause with action.”
Located in the former convent at St. Benedict, Sparrow House will accommodate up to 10 women facing crisis pregnancies. Interviews with potential clients are currently being conducted and the facility is expected to reach capacity by the end of January. Kathleen Barthelemy has been hired as the program’s house director.
DiIulio said he was impressed by those in the Catholic and pro-life communities who rallied to save Sparrow House. He noted that 77 people made gifts or donations and St. Benedict parish forgave three month’s rent.
The Northeast Catholic Brotherhood, based at St. Anthony in Baltimore, joined forces with the Catholic Men’s Fellowship of St. Margaret in Bel Air to make physical improvements at Sparrow House such as replacing toilets, installing a guest bathroom and repainting the bedroom walls.
Student volunteers from Mount de Sales Academy in Catonsville plan to clean the home and get it ready for its reopening.
More money needs to be raised for additional renovations and to cover the costs of keeping Sparrow House open beyond the next year, DiIulio said.
“We’re totally confident in the Lord to provide,” he said. “We will need the sustained support of the community at large to keep it going.”
Sparrow House will host an open house Jan. 22 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Visit www.gabrielnetwork.org for more information.