Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Friday, May 25, 2018

st gianna rousseau 5005 webFather Robert Rousseau, director of Pro-Life Activities for the Archdiocese of Hartford, receives an award from Heidi Kehlenback, a member of the board of the St. Gianna Center board of directors, left, and Carolyn Falcigno, executive director and co-founder, at a dinner April 18 at Amarante’s Sea Cliff Inn in New Haven. (Photo by Mary Chalupsky)

NEW HAVEN – The St. Gianna Center honored Father Robert Rousseau, director of Pro-Life Activities for the Archdiocese of Hartford, at its inaugural benefit  dinner April 17 at Amarante’s Sea Cliff.

“He was the inspiration for the center,” said Carolyn Falcigno, executive director and co-founder of the center. “He saw the need in New Haven for people to have an alternative to abortion when facing a pregnancy crisis.”

A surprise highlight of the dinner was a Skype message from Dr. Alveda King, pro-life activist and niece of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Speaking from her home in Atlanta, she told the 180 people gathered how crucial it is for women to have spiritual counseling and spiritual guidance when facing a pregnancy crisis.

“The work you are doing is very, very important,” she told participants. “You can’t have a better investment than life.”

In addition to the special presentation honoring Father Rousseau, the dinner also included a live auction and raffle drawing.

Since formally opening on Dec. 12, 2012, the center has served more than 200 mothers, fathers and other family members. The center offers free pregnancy testing, consultations, financial and legal aid referrals, referrals to housing agencies and maternity and baby supplies.

In addition, the center offers education in prenatal development, childbirth, breastfeeding, parenting, natural family planning and sexual integrity, as well as referrals for adoption and post-abortion programs.

The Catholic pregnancy resource center, located at 100 Whitney Ave., is named after Saint Gianna Beretta Molla (1922-1962), Italian wife, mother and doctor who, when complications arose during her pregnancy with her fourth child, willingly pleaded to give her life in order to save that of her child.

For information about  the center, call 203-624-BABY (2229) or visit