April 25, 2002
By Connie Cissell/ SUN editor
MEXICO — With a real team of volunteers and the support of a parish that is Pro-Life with a capital “P,” Teresa Tyldesley keeps the New Life Crisis Pregnancy Center running at full-speed. The center is a ministry of St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish and is located across the street from the church on Mexico’s Main Street.
The work of pro-lifers is filled with ups and downs. There are successes and breakthroughs and there are stories that do not end with God’s gift of life. But, Tyldesley wouldn’t trade her job for anything. The center opened its doors in September of 1999 and so far, Tyldesley is happy to report the birth of 16 baby girls and 9 baby boys through the efforts of the center. The young women, some of them still girls, and the older women all come with their own individual set of difficulties. They are typically in a state of despair, not knowing how they will cope with the challenge of a pregnancy that they did not plan or do not want. That’s when Tyldesley’s job can be difficult. When they work through the challenge and she is there in the delivery room helping to coach the mother through the birth of her baby, then she feels complete satisfaction and joy, Tyldesley said.
“When I’m there from the start of the pregnancy, from the pregnancy test all the way to the hospital to coach and help deliver that baby and bring it home, that’s the fun part. The good part is to see that life when it seemed so grim at times before that,” Tyldesley said. New Life has helped find adoptive parents for a few babies and has also referred the women to agencies that can help them care for the new life they’ve created. When a woman comes to the center for a pregnancy test, she may or may not be considering an abortion. The center helps her realize that there are alternatives.
“They come with a low support system, without anyone to help them. They need to know they’ll be loved and cared about no matter what. They are a woman having a baby and we care about each one the same. After you get to know them, there is definitely a bond. It has been really special for me,” Tyldesley said. Ironically, Tyldesley explained that the age group the center has dealt with most often is women ages 21 to 35. They are women with “a plan,” she said. “They are the age group that has a plan and the baby doesn’t fit in. They are a more challenging group to work with. They’ve already thought of all the reasons why they don’t want that child and they do want an abortion. My heart gets heavy then,” she said.
There are counselors who can talk to the women and explain the services available to them before and after their baby is born. The center can help with clothes, diapers, cribs, car seats and more. Many times the mothers still stop by the center for emotional support and encouragement after they have their baby.
The director of the center, Nancy Evale, is very pleased with the success of the center and the work that those involved have accomplished — from the parish support to the financial support. “We have been overwhelmed with the generosity of many who have supported the center with material gifts and prayers. Of course, we never had a doubt that our center would thrive,” Evale said. “When you pray for rain, you better bring your raincoat and ours is always handy.” Evale reports to the parish at least once a year, giving parishioners a financial update and sharing stories of the women who come to the center. The center has served 63 clients since it opened, Tyldesley said.
“Word of mouth has gotten around the community. We have served people from Sandy Creek and Pulaski, Central Square and West Monroe, Watertown and Jefferson County, and even someone from Onondaga County. They are willing to travel because they want confidentiality,” Tyldesley said. Her job is not something that she can always leave at the door when she walks out of the center each day. “It is hard to separate myself from it,” Tyldesley said. “But, I have no doubt this is God’s plan for me.”