Clark County parishes present a fresh start for new moms


New moms in Clark County in the northeastern part of the diocese don’t have to be worried about being overwhelmed these days, thanks to the generosity of the parishioners of St. Michael Parish in Kahoka and Shrine of St. Patrick Parish in St. Patrick.

Over the past year, parish leaders developed a new ministry called A Starter Kit for New Baby.

The concept is simple: Moms who are served by the Clark County Health Department are given a gift basket.

It includes a mattress, blankets, diapers, wipes and sleepers among other things.

There is also a card congratulating the mom “signed” by the Catholic churches of Clark County.

Gloria Allen of St. Patrick Parish is one of the leaders of this effort.

“Around a year ago, we had a meeting between our parishes on how we could reach out to our community and be more visible,” she explained. “Someone mentioned this idea, and we loved it.”

She does the shopping for the boy or girl baskets and said there is nothing she doesn’t like about this effort.

“It has been a delight to put these together,” she said.

She added that the ministry is funded by the two parishes.

While the idea for the starter kits emerged about a year ago, it was delayed quite a bit due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It has picked up over the past several months, amid rave reviews from the local health department.

Mrs. Allen estimated that the parishes have given out around 12 baskets so far.

“I just took in six baskets, and I got a call that they will need more soon,” she added.

Evelena Sutterfield is administrator at the Clark County Health Department.

“Our WIC (women, infant child) participants are very, very appreciative of the baskets,” she told The Catholic Missourian. “I know the items in the basket are useful and great for new moms. These are things all new moms need.”

Equally impressed has been Father Robert Fields, pastor of the Clark County parishes and administrator of St. Joseph Parish in Canton and Queen of Peace Parish in Ewing.

“It has been a great way for our (Clark County) parishes to work together,” he said. “As well, it’s be a great way for our Catholic churches to get our name out there and evangelize in our area.”