THE 34TH ANNUAL CURA CONFERENCE
2 APRIL 2011
• “People [nowadays] … are independent, vocal and confident. However, this does not mean that if a crisis occurs in their life – such as an unplanned pregnancy – it is any easier to manage today than it would have been in previous generations. Cura cares” – Bishop Clifford
Cura, the crisis pregnancy agency of the Catholic Church, held its 34th annual conference on 1 and 2 April in Athlone. Bishop Gerard Clifford, President of Cura and Auxiliary Bishop of Archdiocese of Armagh, addressed the conference which was attended by 150 Cura members.
The 2011 conference focused on the strategic review and planning process which is currently being undertaken by the agency. The objective of this process is to evaluate how effectively Cura has been delivering support and help to clients facing an unplanned pregnancy; and, to identify ways to improve the agency’s effectiveness in delivering these services to our clients in the future.
The process involves three phases: review, planning and implementation. It began in September 2010 and is scheduled to be completed by this October.
This year’s annual conference provided an opportunity to present the interim findings to Cura members and it facilitated discussion and feedback which can now inform the ongoing review and planning process.
In his conference address Bishop Clifford acknowledged the central role of the counsellors in Cura and thanked them for their work which is offered on a voluntary basis. Throughout the country Cura counsellors provide a range of crisis pregnancy support services, counselling after an abortion services, schools awareness programmes and support to new mothers in professional and caring manner.
Bishop Clifford said, “The spirit of voluntarism within Cura is to be commended. The professionalism, wholehearted commitment and positivity, which exists to help women at a time of crisis, clearly permeate and resonate every aspect of our organisation. Irish society is the better for it.
“Sometimes you, the Cura counsellor, are the only person that a woman facing a crisis pregnancy can turn to – and trust. I believe that the passion you have for your work; your availability, the support you lend to each other, and the security in knowing that what you do in your role in Cura is greatly appreciated, not just by the individual client, but by their family and their friends.
“We live in a changing world where attitudes like independence, self expression and freedom are very much part of the changing society. People are generally better educated and informed than in previous generations. They are often more secure in their lives, with greater freedom than in the past. They are independent, vocal and confident. However, this does not mean that if a crisis occurs in their life – such as an unplanned pregnancy – it is any easier to manage today than it would have been in previous generations. Cura cares and is here to help anyone affected by a crisis pregnancy.”