Jill McNamara

Jill McNamara is known as the go-to person for various community causes.  In response to the attempted abduction of her oldest son, Jill called her local police department and became involved with the organizing and with the incorporation of her community’s crime watch program.  After the birth of her daughter, who was born with disabilities, she was accepted to participate in the Indiana Governor’s Planning Council for People with Disabilities volunteer advocacy training program and took additional special education law training through the Indiana Resource Center for Families with Special Needs (INSOURCE).  However, it was during her eight years of employment within the funeral and cemetery industry that Jill recognized the need to change the medical practices concerning the treatment of the fetal remains of an unborn baby less than twenty (20) weeks gestation.  In addition to her work with Miscarriage, Mothers & Others, Jill continues to volunteer as a bereavement specialist for Elizabeth Ministry International.

Diane Kilarski
Vice President

Diane Kilarski began her career as a medical social worker at a local Catholic hospital in 1973. Through the invitation of a co-worker, she was introduced to Birth Right, an organization which helps abortion-minded women find alternatives to abortion. When it became apparent to Diane that women were in need of more services than those offered through Birth Choice, she began her own faith-based and charity-based organization and called it Birth Choice.  For over thirty-eight years Diane and her volunteers performed free pregnancy testing, provided emotional support, encouraged abstinence, distributed education-based resources about the harms of contraception, and offered free diapers, formula, clothing, including additional items to women and their families.  Since as many as 40 percent of early pregnancies end in a natural miscarriage, throughout the years, Diane has assisted many women, through the grief and guilt, which is commonly experienced after a miscarriage. Before her retirement in 2012, arrangements were made to transition her Birth Choice facility into a Women’s Care Center.

Sharon Staley

Sharon Staley’s diversified work and volunteer experiences have provided her with a wealth of knowledge and understanding when reaching out to others during a crisis.  Sharon’s employment experience includes being an office manager for an organization that provides services to adults with disabilities.  Her position required her to enable each to adult to function at their best potential by teaching them life skills, behavior modification, personal hygiene, and how to make good and healthy choices. Additionally, Sharon is a personal advocate for several adults who are mentally challenged and maintains that their rights are being safeguarded. Sharon’s personal witness, that all life is sacred, was witnessed during the fourteen years she provided constant and compassionate care to her ailing mother.  She used her experience to help others as a team member for Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat Weekends for women healing from a regretted abortion.  During retreat weekends, Sharon listened, guided and supported retreatants through their bereavement journey and how to find peace and forgiveness within themselves.  She has also served on the Diocese of Gary Spiritual Life Board, worked on several ecumenical projects, and spoke at the Indiana March for Life in 2013.

Sue Kresich

Sue Kresich’s introduction to Elizabeth Ministry International, was also her introduction into a better understanding of how to support women and their families after the death of a child.  Sue was given permission to organize an Elizabeth Ministry Chapter at her parish and eventually became connected with other Elizabeth Ministry Chapters in her area.  In 2004, after a local cemetery promoted its dedication of a special burial section for miscarried fetal remains, Sue and other Elizabeth Ministers contacted the cemetery’s office to inquire about the possibility of organizing an outdoor memorial program for anyone who had experienced the death of a child through miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, or infant death.  The cemetery supported their efforts and began co-sponsoring the annual ecumenical Remembering the Children Memorial Programs with the Elizabeth Ministers. Sue also initiated the Service of Light Memorial Masses for grieving parents throughout the Diocese of Gary.  Her other volunteer endeavors include:  mentoring young mothers at the St. Monica Home where expectant teens can have a healthy and safe environment to reside in while awaiting the birth of their child; assisting at the St. Joseph’s Carmelite Home which is an emergency foster care home for newborns, toddlers and teenagers; being the Committee Chairperson for the Diocese of Gary’s Catholic Committee on Scouting to help Scouts to earn emblems; and coordinating the annual Mass with the Bishop for the Diocese of Gary to present the Scouts with their emblems.   

Rev. Theodore J. Mens
Spiritual Director

Reverend Theodore J. Mens has been the pastor of St. Mary Church in Griffith, Indiana since July 1, 1993 and is in charge of the Office for Pro-Life Activities for the Diocese of Gary.  He was ordained for the Diocese of Gary in 1967 and has served the Diocese of Gary as a teacher at Bishop Noll Institute and St. Joseph College, both in Hammond.  He was also pastor of St. Mary Church in East Chicago and All Saints Church in San Pierre.  While teaching at Bishop Noll Institute, he was in residence at St. Casimir Church, St John Bosco Church and All Saints Church in Hammond, St. Patrick Church in East Chicago, and Associate Pastor at St. Thomas More in Munster.  Reverend Mens has extensive pastoral experience with people of every background in rural, inner-city, suburban, and city parishes, large and small.  He believes firmly that the task of pastoral life is to respect the dignity of each person and to bring him or her closer to God and to each other and to change our society for the better as God wants each person to do.

Our Leadership

Miscarriage, Mothers & Others

Providing information about miscarriage to mothers and others who grieve the loss of an unborn child.”

A Baby Is A Person - No Matter How Small