Nova Scotia

Halifax Archdiocese pulls funding from Guardian Angel

The Archdiocese of Halifax has severed its ties of more than a century with the Home of the Guardian Angel, and now the organization is facing a major financial shortfall.
Donna Williamson says the withdrawal of support will hurt. ((CBC))
The Archdiocese of Halifax has severed its ties of more than a century with the Home of the Guardian Angel, and now the organization is facing a major financial shortfall.

That puts its adoption program in jeopardy.

Donna Williamson, executive director for Home of the Guardian Angel, said the archdiocese contributed $40,000 every year toward its operation.

"Forty thousand dollars is huge for us," she said Thursday. "Funding through the province ended in 1996, so it really is detrimental to the adoption program."

The Archdiocese of Halifax established the Home of the Guardian Angel 124 years ago to help single mothers and abandoned babies.

Since then, opinions have changed and government agencies have stepped in to help fill the gap. So now the Archdiocese says it's decided to put its money somewhere else.

"The whole world has changed since that time, so what became very important was that as the church, as the Archdiocese of Halifax, we pay attention to what is the work that we need to do now, " Archdiocese spokeswoman Marilyn Sweet said.

They're looking at supporting agencies that are following the Catholic direction, she said.

Williamson said they discuss three options when counselling pregnant women: "To parent the child, to place the child for adoption or to have an abortion."

Sweet said the Catholic Church does not support abortion.

Extra fundraising necessary

"Certainly there's no way that the Catholic Church supports abortion. We're very clear on that and the Home of the Gurdian angel is not a Catholic agency, so does it factor in? All questions need to be raised and looked at when you're making decisions," she said.

The new reality means extra fundraising must take place to save the adoption program.

"We're really hoping that we'll find our guardian angel and that funding will come through for us," Williamson said.

Tom Miller adopted his son through the Home of the Guardian Angel. ((CBC))
Tom Miller who became a board member with Guardian Angel after adopting his son, said  it's hard to see the organization falter.

"To see the organization even flutter a little bit, that's tough," said Miller, who is dad to nine-year-old, Nate, and 2½-year-old, Avery.

"They're here for you. The staff here is wonderful, they're warm, and it's just like the name says, it's a home, and it's someone you can count on," Miller said.

He hopes the organization can be saved.

"It touches the lives of not just the parents, it's the kids, it's the ones that get placed for adoption and get placed in loving homes," Miller said.

A fundraising event is scheduled for next month.