Here's a great way to imitate Mary and show your care for moms and babies in need.
Baby showers as we know them didn’t exist in biblical times, but while Mary may not have had a slick online registry or a brunch with baby-themed games, she likely had help from her loved ones — including St. Anne (her mother), St. Elizabeth (her cousin), and the family of St. Joseph — to help her prepare for the birth of Christ. And she herself made a point of traveling to help her pregnant cousin, Elizabeth, demonstrating that helping new mothers is a mission close to her heart.
Inspired by Mary’s example, one Catholic artist, Erica Tighe Campbell, is encouraging women to help mothers in need during Advent (or anytime!) — and to do so in Mary’s name and honor. Throwing a “baby shower for Mary” is a creative way to collect needed donations for women in crisis pregnancies, and a fun reason to get together with friends.
Tighe Campbell explains her reasoning behind this sweet party idea:
“Baby things are expensive. The one time costs of strollers and breast pumps and cribs and the ongoing costs of diapers and wipers and formula. So what if women gathered all over the world (one can hope, right?!) and threw a baby shower for Mary — all the gifts being donated to women in our communities who are in need. Gifts for baby Jesus would indeed be gifts for His loved ones.”
To facilitate the planning during the always-busy holiday season, Tighe Campbell offers a free party guide on her website. The free guide includes:
- invitation you can edit
- food ideas
- activity idea
- timeline for the day
- reflection by Pope Francis to read together
- a guided meditation
You can also check out Tighe Campbell’s events page to find a “baby shower for Mary” near you, or add your own gathering to the page to spread the word.
Need ideas of what gifts to bring to a baby shower for Mary? Most crisis pregnancy centers are always looking for donations! Possible gifts could include any new products of the following:
- Crib sets (crib, mattress, mattress pad, sheet)
- Car seats and strollers
- Baby clothes (sizes 0 to 12 months)
- Receiving blankets
- Diapers (sizes 1 to 5)
- Baby wipes
- Diaper bags
- Baby toiletries
- Baby toys and books
- Purse-size hand sanitizer, tissue, lotion and lip balm for moms
- Or you may simply choose to collect donations to be donated to your local pregnancy resource center.
While Mary may not have had a baby shower while she lived on earth, she dwells with God outside of time, and these gatherings surely make her motherly heart happy. During the time of year when Christians are so closely united to Mary’s pregnancy and birth, what a beautiful way to honor her and other mothers in need.
These paintings of the Virgin Mary are on display at the Vatican for the first time
How to help an expecting mom when she doesn’t need a baby shower