An open ear for 20 years

An open ear for 20 years

A total of 15 counseling centers with 43 main and satellite locations: esperanza pregnancy counseling is an important point of contact for parents and in the Archdiocese of Cologne. Now the help network under the umbrella of Caritas is celebrating an anniversary.

Since it was founded under the Caritas umbrella in 2000, 185.000 mothers and fathers found help. "Esperanza helps mothers and fathers, regardless of nationality and religion, to set out into life with their children with hope and confidence, that's what it's all about," says Dr. Frank Johannes Hensel, Cologne Diocesan Caritas Director.

On the occasion of the anniversary on Thursday, 26. November, this site broadcasts.DE at 10 o'clock in the Internet TV the pontifical mass and the ceremonial act to the 20-year existence of the pregnancy consultation esperanza from the Cologne Basilika St. Maria im Kapitol with auxiliary bishop Ansgar Puff.

Meanwhile, the number of esperanza counseling sessions continues to rise, with women mostly coming in. They feel overwhelmed and come forward with personal conflicts – for example, because they are uncertain about their partnership, are worried about a possible disability of the child, or because of financial and housing difficulties.

50 million euros invested so far

Around 50 million euros have so far been invested in this service for life in the Archdiocese of Cologne. Today, esperanza also offers counseling on prenatal diagnosis (PND) and confidential birth, as well as sexual education work with young people and targeted counseling for fathers.

A few years ago, the Diozesan-Caritasverband and the Sozialdienst katholischer Frauen (SkF) from Cologne also started a project to help with genital mutilation. "The broad network of help shows how important the esperanza counseling is. At the same time, it is a seismograph for social phenomena and problems," said Hensel.

Esperanza was founded by the former Archbishop of Cologne, Joachim Cardinal Meisner, after the Catholic Church in Germany withdrew from the state system of conflict counseling – with the counseling certificate as a prerequisite for a penalty-free abortion.

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