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“Insurance by Brother Knights, for Brother Knights. That is the Knights of Columbus

promise. That is the Knights of Columbus

difference. That is the Knights of Columbus

advantage.” Carl Anderson

Supreme Knight

Trust the Knights of Columbus to help protect your family’s future. Find an agent at kofc.org or 1-800-345-5632





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A Better Choice Life-affirming medical clinics thwart the abortion industry by truly serving women’s health care needs. BY CAROLEE MCGRATH

12 Behind the Mask of Planned Parenthood An interview with Jeanne Mancini about the nation’s largest abortion provider on the eve of the March for Life. BY COLUMBIA STAFF

16 The Field Hospital Is Open The Holy Year of Mercy shines a spotlight on Project Rachel’s ministry of hope and healing. BY VICKI THORN

19 Lifesaving Legislation With growing support, U.S. legislators work to pass bills to protect women and unborn children. BY MARJORIE DANNENFELSER

24 Contraception: Aftermath and Alternatives The consequences of hormonal birth control are leading women and physicians to discover healthier choices. BY MEG T. MCDONNELL

Pope Francis crosses the threshold of the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica, inaugurating the Year of Mercy Dec. 8, 2015. The Vatican Television Centre (CTV) broadcast the opening events of the Extraordinary Jubilee worldwide using 4K/Ultra HD technology, thanks to upgrades made possible by Knights of Columbus sponsorship. The Order also underwrote the restoration of the Holy Door in preparation for its last opening during the Jubilee Year 2000.


Building a better world


Strengthening collaboration with parishes will allow K of C councils to better serve young people. BY SUPREME KNIGHT CARL A. ANDERSON

Learning the faith, living the faith


Order Partners With Catholic Relief Services to Help Refugee Children • Knights Distribute Coats for Kids on Black Friday • Poll Confirms Majority of Americans Favor Abortion Restrictions • Texas Knights March for Religious Liberty

In seeking to love and serve the vulnerable, our pro-life service makes present God’s healing mercy.



PLUS: Catholic Man of the Month


Knights of Columbus News

Knights of Columbus News


Knights in Action

Midyear Meeting of State Deputies Highlights New Initiative to Strengthen Families and Parishes



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The Face of Pro-Life AFTER THE U.S. Supreme Court decriminalized abortion throughout the nation in 1973, citizens began to unite in peaceful protest. Within months, the Knights of Columbus contacted Nellie Gray, a young lawyer in Washington, D.C., and helped to organize a rally and march on Capitol Hill. On Jan. 22, 1974, the first anniversary of Roe v. Wade, thousands of pro-life advocates gathered for the first national March for Life. What was to be a one-time event has taken place every year since, and the crowds of participants have grown ever larger. In 2010, hundreds of thousands gathered for the 37th annual March for Life, as the temperature hovered just above freezing. After the event, a Newsweek article quoted Nancy Keenan, then president of the pro-abortion-rights group NARAL, who had encountered throngs of pro-life youth at Washington’s Union Station. “I just thought, my gosh, they are so young,� Keenan said. “There are so many of them, and they are so young.� Two years later, Keenan announced she would be stepping down from her position, citing an “intensity gap� among young people on life issues. Polling has confirmed what Keenan observed: Millennials who are passionately pro-life vastly outnumber those who strongly support abortion rights. Although attempts are made to paint the pro-life movement as some kind of hateful fringe group, millions of joyful pro-lifers reflect a very different picture. Those on the frontlines of the pro-life movement, young people included, are motivated by a sense of charity,

compassion and social justice for the most vulnerable. Consider, for instance, the staff members and volunteers at thousands of pregnancy resource centers and a growing number of pro-life medical clinics (see page 8). Their invaluable work helps to ensure that women in crisis, so often pressured to have an abortion, can make a true “choiceâ€? for life. Consider also those who work with Project Rachel, counseling women who have regretfully experienced an abortion loss (see page 16). The healing witness of this ministry is particularly meaningful during the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, which began Dec. 8. In a September 2015 letter on the occasion of the holy year, Pope Francis wrote, “The tragedy of abortion is experienced by some with a superficial awareness, as if not realizing the extreme harm that such an act entails. Many others, on the other hand, although experiencing this moment as a defeat, believe they have no other option.â€? He added, “I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision.â€? Still, Pope Francis made it clear that hope remains because of the healing power of God’s infinite mercy. Indeed, many have experienced this mercy thanks to the loving witness of others and are now among the most passionate defenders of human life. They, too, are the face of the pro-life movement, which continues to grow larger and more vibrant each day.♌ ALTON J. PELOWSKI EDITOR

Culture of Life Resource: Men and Abortion The booklet Men and Abortion: Finding Healing, Restoring Hope (#334) by Dr. Catherine T. Coyle is part of the Veritas Series published by the Order’s Catholic Information Service. Explaining how both men and women suffer from the painful consequences of abortion, the booklet offers a profound, four-phase process of healing and forgiveness for men. To download this and other Catholic resources, visit kofc.org/cis. 2 ♌ COLUMBIA ♌


COLUMBIA PUBLISHER Knights of Columbus ________ SUPREME OFFICERS Carl A. Anderson SUPREME KNIGHT Most Rev. William E. Lori, S.T.D. SUPREME CHAPLAIN Logan T. Ludwig DEPUTY SUPREME KNIGHT Charles E. Maurer Jr. SUPREME SECRETARY Michael J. O’Connor SUPREME TREASURER John A. Marrella SUPREME ADVOCATE ________ EDITORIAL Alton J. Pelowski EDITOR Andrew J. Matt MANAGING EDITOR Patrick Scalisi SENIOR EDITOR ________

Venerable Michael McGivney (1852-90) Apostle to the Young, Protector of Christian Family Life and Founder of the Knights of Columbus, Intercede for Us. ________ HOW TO REACH US MAIL COLUMBIA 1 Columbus Plaza New Haven, CT 06510-3326 ADDRESS CHANGES 203-752-4210, option #3 PRAYER CARDS & SUPPLIES 203-752-4214 COLUMBIA INQUIRIES 203-752-4398 FAX 203-752-4109 K OF C CUSTOMER SERVICE 1-800-380-9995 E-MAIL columbia@kofc.org INTERNET kofc.org/columbia ________ Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to men 18 years of age or older who are practical (that is, practicing) Catholics in union with the Holy See. This means that an applicant or member accepts the teaching authority of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals, aspires to live in accord with the precepts of the Catholic Church, and is in good standing in the Catholic Church.


Copyright Š 2016 All rights reserved ________ ON THE COVER Pope Francis opens the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica Dec. 8 to inaugurate the Jubilee of Mercy.




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Our Service to Youth Strengthening collaboration with parishes will allow K of C councils to better serve young people by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson

DURING THE November midyear such as the Free Throw Championship State Deputies meeting, I announced and the Soccer Challenge. Youth Activour new Orderwide initiative, Building ity chairmen should act as liaisons with the Domestic Church While Strengthening the parish youth ministry teams to deOur Parish. My remarks were reprinted termine how councils can appropriately youth ministry. If so, the grand knight in last month’s Columbia and are avail- support parish youth activities. should coordinate with troop leaderTo promote better integration into ship and the local Scouting council to able on kofc.org. At the heart of this new program is a parish life, the Board of Directors has designate the parish as the chartered orcommitment to strengthen the Catholic concluded that the Knights of Colum- ganization for the troop. Once this identity of our families by integrating bus will no longer be the chartered or- change has been made, the council our activities more fully into the sacra- ganization for Boy Scout troops. This should continue to provide volunteer mental and social life of our parishes. In does not mean that the Order has aban- and financial support. this way, we will not only help If a council has an active families, but also further the Squires circle, the grand mission of the new evangelizaknight and Squires counselor A multifaceted approach in support should meet with the pastor tion and revitalize parish life. The Knights of Columbus to discuss how Squires activiof parish life will make the has always been an organizaties may be better integrated tion dedicated to the family into the parish’s youth minKnights of Columbus the strong and to helping our brother istry. Active Squires circles right arm of our parish church. Knights be better husbands and may continue serving boys acfathers. Our new initiative is recording to current practice, refocusing on this core mission. porting to the council and A major aspect of the family as “do- doned Catholic Scouting. Rather, we recruiting new members. The Supreme mestic church” is our responsibility to intend closer alignment of our youth ac- Council will continue to provide suptransmit the practice of the faith to our tivities with the goals of each parish. port materials to these circles. However, children and grandchildren. To the extent that pastors wish to councils are encouraged not to form In November, I said that our youth provide Catholic Scouting in their new circles, and inactive circles should need a stronger relationship with their parish, councils are strongly encour- be disbanded. parish and that parishes need more ef- aged to continue volunteer and finanOur new approach to youth evangefective youth ministry programs. The cial support for Scout troops, under lization is one important part of our Knights of Columbus is providentially the guidance of their pastors. This Building the Domestic Church While positioned today to further both of change is meant to strengthen the re- Strengthening Our Parish initiative. lationship between the parish and the Over time, this initiative will develop a these goals. As part of the Building the Domestic troop. Our goal? To provide for a more multifaceted approach in support of Church While Strengthening Our robust and sustainable Catholic Scout- parish life that will make the Knights of Parish initiative, grand knights should ing experience. Columbus the strong right arm of our meet with pastors to discuss how their Where a council presently sponsors a parish church. This will also set a firm councils can support parish-based youth Scout troop, the grand knight should foundation for the future growth of ministry activities. This can incorporate meet with the pastor to discern whether strong parish-based councils. Knights of Columbus youth programs Catholic Scouting fits into the parish’s Vivat Jesus!



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The Year of Mercy and the Gospel of Life In seeking to love and serve the vulnerable, our pro-life service makes present God’s healing mercy by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori IN LATE NOVEMBER, a deranged man’s Redeemer” (Misericordiae Vullone gunman killed three people and tus, 3). In Mary’s womb, the eternal wounded nine others at a Planned Par- Word took flesh by the power of the enthood facility in Colorado Springs. Holy Spirit and assumed our human Everyone was quick to condemn the nature. In the mystery of the Incarna- challenges, problems, fears or tragedies attack, especially those who stand for tion, the child Jesus went through all we must endure in life, we know deep the sanctity of life — since life is not the stages of development within down that our lives have meaning and defended through violence but Mary until that day when he was born dignity, thanks to the truth that “the through love. Others, however, chose in Bethlehem, laid in a manger and Word became flesh and dwelt among to politicize the tragedy by insinuating wrapped in swaddling clothes. us” (Jn 1:14). This is how our Savior, the beloved that somehow the pro-life movement Let us think of all those who have created the conditions that made this and eternal Son of the Father, entered been channels of God’s love and tragic incident possible. Such is mercy in our own lives: our parthe state of political rhetoric in ents who gave us life, family contemporary culture. members, teachers and mentors, During this Jubilee of Mercy, The attack took place on the and friends. Let us not forget let us practice the corporal and eve of the Jubilee of Mercy, the priests, catechists and others which Pope Francis has invited spiritual works of mercy in service who have opened our eyes to the whole Church to take part the beauty and wonder of the in. It is an extraordinary holy Catholic faith and helped us to to the cause of human life. personally encounter the Lord year, a grace-filled opportunity for us to open our hearts, perof life. haps as never before, to the overflowing the world and human history. This is love and mercy of God the Father, as re- how God, the Father of Mercies, re- MINISTERS OF HEALING vealed in the face of Jesus. This special vealed himself to us. Jesus made the full- We are each called to be disciples of the time of grace sheds light on the truth, ness of God’s love visible, tangible and Lord and witnesses of the Gospel. At beauty and gentleness of the authentic audible by becoming one of us. And in the heart of the Gospel is respect for pro-life movement, of which the the process, he fully revealed our human God’s gift of life through which the Knights of Columbus is an integral part. dignity. The fact that God sent his Son Savior entered the world to preach and to assume our human nature tells us heal, to suffer and die, and to rise in MERCY MADE FLESH how deeply God loves us and helps us glory. We are not only the recipients of Pope Francis chose to begin the Ju- see the inviolable dignity that he has be- God’s mercy, but also the instruments bilee of Mercy on Dec. 8, 2015, the stowed on each human person. by which God’s mercy reaches others, Solemnity of the Immaculate ConGod’s everlasting mercy has reached especially the vulnerable and the marception. He did so because this feast us through the Child who was born of ginalized. As Pope Francis wrote, “In celebrates the mysterious and wonder- Mary. We should meditate on this this Holy Year, we look forward to the ful love of God the Father who truth with profound gratitude, not just experience of opening our hearts to “turned his gaze to Mary, holy and at Christmas, but throughout the year, those living on the outermost fringes immaculate in love (cf. Eph. 1:4), since it is a fundamental truth upon of society: fringes which modern socichoosing her to be the Mother of which our faith is based. Whatever ety itself creates” (MV, 15). 4 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦


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Who is more vulnerable than an unborn child? Who feels more marginalized than a young unmarried woman facing an unexpected pregnancy? To them, we are called to bring the healing and merciful love of the Gospel of life. We do not claim any sort of moral superiority, nor do we approach expectant mothers and their families with harshness. Rather, conscious of our own need of God’s mercy, we seek to be ministers of God’s healing love. In our mission to preserve the life of the unborn child and to look after the well-being of the expectant mother and

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Offered in Solidarity with Pope Francis UNIVERSAL: That sincere dialogue among men and women of different faiths may produce the fruits of peace and justice. EVANGELIZATION: That by means of dialogue and fraternal charity and with the grace of the Holy Spirit, Christians may overcome divisions.

her family, the Church is confessing her faith in the Child who took flesh in the womb of Mary so as to be the face of God’s mercy for all times and cultures. You can see this love in the thousands of young people who take part in the March for Life in Washington, D.C., each January. There is no harsh rhetoric — only a burning desire to build a culture of life. You can see this love in pro-life pregnancy resource centers, where expectant mothers are welcomed with love and are shown, via ultrasound, the beauty and humanity of their unborn children.

You can see this love in the healing outreach of Project Rachel, which offers counseling, hope and mercy after an abortion. The goal of the pro-life movement is not political power, but rather to create the conditions in our society whereby the life of both mother and child are cherished and nurtured. During this Jubilee of Mercy, let us practice the corporal and spiritual works of mercy in service to the cause of human life. And when this special year of grace has run its course, may we all be closer to creating a civilization of love.♌


Blessed LĂĄszlĂł BatthyĂĄny-Strattmann (1870-1931) THE SIXTH of 10 brothers, LĂĄszlĂł BatthyĂĄny was born into an ancient noble family in Dunakiliti, Hungary, on Oct. 28, 1870. In 1876, the family moved to Austria, where from an early age BatthyĂĄny aspired to relieve the plight of the sick and the poor. After studying at Jesuit high schools, BatthyĂĄny enrolled at the University of Vienna. He studied a wide variety of subjects before graduating with a medical degree in 1900 and opening a private hospital two years later. In 1898, BatthyĂĄny married Countess Maria Teresa Coreth, a woman of deep faith, and they were blessed with 13 children. Each day, the family attended daily Mass, after which BatthyĂĄny assigned the children concrete acts of charity. In the evening, they prayed the rosary together. Following the death of his uncle in 1915, BatthyĂĄny inherited KĂśrmend Castle in Hungary along with the title “Princeâ€? and the name “Strattmann.â€? In 1920, he moved his family back to Hungary, where he turned a wing of the castle into a hospital specializing in ophthalmology.

A renowned physician, BatthyĂĄnyStrattmann was called “the doctor of the poor,â€? because he treated the needy free of charge. Upon discharging patients, he would present them with an image of Christ and a spiritual book titled Open Your Eyes and See. Diagnosed with bladder cancer at age 60, he was admitted to a sanatorium. “I do not know how long the good Lord will make me suffer,â€? he wrote to his daughter Lilli. “He has given me so much joy in my life, and now I must also accept the difficult moments with gratitude.â€? After enduring 14 months of acute pain, BatthyĂĄny-Strattmann died in Vienna Jan. 22, 1931. He was beatified in 2003.♌



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Midyear Meeting of State Deputies Highlights New Initiative to Strengthen Families and Parishes



Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson speaks at the annual midyear meeting for K of C leaders, which took place Nov. 20-22, 2015, in San Antonio. as a parish priest, Father McGivney saw that this renewal could be assisted in powerful ways in the parish by the new organization he had established.� To help councils become more integrated into their parishes, the supreme knight announced a new Orderwide initiative: Building the Domestic Church While Strengthening Our Parish. “This new initiative builds upon our past programs and accomplishments,� Anderson said. “At the same time it requires that in the future we do some things differently.� The supreme knight’s full remarks were published in the December 2015 issue of Columbia for all members to read. FAITH, FREEDOM AND GROWTH On Saturday during the midyear meeting, Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore celebrated Mass for the K of C leaders. In his homily, the supreme chaplain reflected on that day’s feast, the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“None of us has been given Mary’s unique vocation, and none of us has her unique and God-given privileges, but all of us are called to be those disciples ‘who hear the Word of God and keep it,’� he said. “What could this mean for you and me except a daily process of surrendering ourselves, moment by moment, to the saving will of God? What could this process of surrendering to God’s will mean for us, the family of the Knights of Columbus, but that we seek to live and embody the Gospel principles of our Order?� Following Mass, Archbishop Lori also addressed the opening business session. He focused on the topic of religious freedom, citing remarks by Pope Francis during the Holy Father’s 2015 visit to the United States. There are ways that Knights can help to preserve religious freedom at home and abroad, he said. “First, we must continue to help brother Knights and their families to understand what the Church teaches about human dignity, truth and religious freedom,� he said.


KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS leaders from throughout the Order gathered in San Antonio, Nov. 20-22, to discuss the current state of membership and programs, and to plan for the future. In his opening remarks to the assembled state deputies on Friday night, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson thanked them for their efforts that led to the Knights of Columbus reaching 1.9 million members the week prior to the meeting. “Everyone worked hard to get us here,� Anderson said, “and today we start heading to 2 million.� The supreme knight asked the state deputies to accelerate their collaborative efforts with pastors to strengthen parishes and Christian family life. “The family as domestic church is central to both the work of the new evangelization and to the future sustainability of our parishes — as well as the future sustainability of the Order,� Anderson said. “But the Catholic family cannot perform this important mission on its own. The reason is simple: As Pope Paul VI observed, the family can only truly be a domestic church when its daily life ‘mirrors the various aspects of the entire Church.’ And for this to become a reality the family must be more fully integrated into the sacramental life of the parish.� Parish-based councils today not only provide invaluable support to charitable and social activities, he said, but they also support evangelization. They can strengthen the domestic church by more fully integrating families into the life of the parish. “If we do this, then we will continue the legacy of Father McGivney — a legacy, which as Pope Benedict observed, was to promote spiritual renewal among Catholics by strengthening them in holiness and unity,� Supreme Knight Anderson said. “And

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Supreme Chaplain William E. Lori of Baltimore celebrates Mass for the state deputies and their wives. An image featured in the Order’s Holy Family Prayer Program is pictured at left, and the background depicts mosaics from the Knights of Columbus headquarters’ Holy Family Chapel. “Second, we must lead our brother Knights and their families in praying for those in many parts of the world who are persecuted for their faith [and] for a renewed spirit of vigilance in our country and in many liberal democracies where fundamental freedoms are slipping through our fingers.” Archbishop Lori added that elected officials need to hear from Knights, and that Knights need to defend our freedoms by exercising them — by worshipping, by educating, by engaging in works of charity, and by making their voices heard in the public square. Louis Barbour, vice president for membership growth, also addressed leaders at the business session by reviewing key ways to reach membership goals. In particular, he urged the state deputies to hold one Admission Degree each month, look to state and local leaders as a resource, and focus on earning Star Council status. Supreme Knight Anderson ended the morning session by addressing the challenges of membership recruitment. He highlighted the short-term task of meeting the 2015-16 fraternal year goals, and the long-term chal-

lenge of recruiting young husbands and fathers to strengthen and sustain the Order. WITNESS OF CHARITY Following a variety of workshops throughout Saturday afternoon, the final day of the meeting began with Mass celebrated by Archbishop Lori for the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. In his homily, the supreme chaplain said, “Our knighthood is at the service of Jesus Christ, our great King and Shepherd, and our gallant service seeks to advance not an earthly kingdom, but rather a kingdom ‘not of this world,’ the kingdom of God.” He continued: “If we want to become permanent citizens of the kingdom of God, then our passport, our green card, is charity. Charity and compassion are how we acknowledge the true sovereignty of Christ our King.” Following the Mass, at the closing business session, the supreme knight thanked the state deputies and Archbishop Lori for their leadership, and saluted retiring Senior Vice President

of Fraternal Services George Hanna for his outstanding service to the Order. Turning to the Order’s programs and long-term goals, the supreme knight again underscored the importance of the Building the Domestic Church While Strengthening Our Parish initiative. “You and I know the threats that are attacking our youth and families today,” he said. “And the only thing that is going to preserve them are closer ties to the sacraments — living the sacramental life — and greater connectivity to our parishes.” He added that the Order was blessed with the visits of Pope Francis to the Philippines and the United States, and will be blessed again when the pope visits Mexico in February. “There is no organization in greater alliance with our Holy Father’s message of charity, unity and reaching out to the margins to help the needy than the Knights of Columbus,” the supreme knight concluded. “We have everything in place for another great year and to make a tremendous difference in every community where our councils are active.”♦



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A Better Choice Life-affirming medical clinics thwart the abortion industry by truly serving women’s health care needs by Carolee McGrath


eflecting on the day she found out that she was pregnant, Clinics of Southern California, Inc., and the Obria Foundation, has played an active part in this history since 1981, when Davina Ellis said, “I was terrified. I was scared.” At the time, Ellis was a 20-year-old college student in she opened the first Birth Choice clinic to help vulnerable southern California. She and her boyfriend were in love, but pregnant women. by no means ready for marriage, let alone a baby. Bravo understood firsthand that these women needed inIn over her head, Ellis didn’t know where to turn. An In- formation, love and support to empower them to choose life ternet search for health clinics and pregnancy testing led her for their unborn babies. One year earlier, at age 28, Bravo had to discover Birth Choice, a network of state-licensed clinics faced an unexpected pregnancy and was urged to have an now called Obria Medical Clinics. abortion. She went through with it, and rather than feeling “They gave me a pregnancy test, and I had an ultrasound a relief, she suddenly found herself lost and alone. week later,” Ellis recalled. “I found out “After that abortion, I walked away I was six weeks pregnant and was in from everything in my life. I quit my tears the whole time. They treated me job. I was living on the run,” Bravo with care and love.” said. UR CLINICS ARE Seven years later, Ellis and her Months later, amid a time of darkboyfriend are married, and the couple ness, Bravo decided to go to church for PRO-LIFE, SOCIAL JUSTICE has three children. Ellis now serves on the first time in eight years. By coincithe board of Obria, and she remains dence, a parishioner spoke at the end CLINICS, SERVING THE grateful for the compassion she reof Mass about a pregnancy help center ceived during a time of crisis. she had opened. PATIENTS BY OFFERING Similar care and love is provided by “At that moment I said, ‘O God, if THEM A CONTINUUM OF thousands of pregnancy help centers, you would bring me just one woman, many of which offer not only support and I can share with her what I went CARE.” such as free pregnancy testing, counthrough, and she doesn’t abort, I can seling, referrals and baby clothes, but forgive myself,’” said Bravo. also medical services such as ultraThat was 36 years ago. Today, Bravo sound scans. Still others, like the Obria has touched the lives of thousands. Medical Clinics, provide comprehensive health care services After converting the network of Birth Choice pregnancy refrom a pro-life perspective, which excludes contraceptives and source centers to licensed medical clinics in 2007, Bravo reabortion. branded the expanding nonprofit organization as Obria Medical Clinics last year. Each staffed with a doctor, nurses, THE EVOLUTION OF CARE nurse practitioners and medical assistants — many of whom The history of pregnancy resource centers predates the are volunteers — Obria clinics provide a full range of free Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which decrimi- health care services and other resources to low-income and nalized abortion throughout the United States. According to underserved individuals. the Family Research Council, the first center opened in CalWith six medical clinics in southern California, the organifornia in 1968 and, within a few years, dozens more sprang ization has received indispensable grassroots support, includup to serve pregnant women in need. Today, the number has ing from local Knights of Columbus councils. Obria clinics mushroomed to include more than 2,500 pro-life, non-profit have already received eight ultrasound machines through the community-supported pregnancy help centers and medical Order’s Ultrasound Initiative (see sidebar). clinics nationwide. “Since we received our ultrasound machines from the Kathleen Eaton Bravo, founder and CEO of Obria Medical Knights of Columbus, we have saved 6,840 babies,” said Bravo.




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Kathleen Eaton Bravo, founder of Obria Medical Clinics, stands with Gregory Weiler (left) and Clark Thompson in front of the Long Beach, Calif., clinic. Weiler, past grand knight of Msgr. Paul Martin Council 7519 in San Juan Capistrano, and Thompson, district deputy of California District #117, were instrumental in helping place five ultrasound machines in Obria clinics through the Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative. ‘A COMPETITIVE MODEL’ In August 2013, Obria received a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. bishops’ Catholic Campaign for Human Development to expand the organization’s mission. Bravo is currently working with approximately 30 clinics across the country that are looking to affiliate with Obria, and she has ambitious plans for further growth. Recent research indicates that a national brand will be effective. In a 2014 survey conducted by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the pro-life research wing of the Susan B. Anthony List in Washington, D.C., more than 70 percent of women and men said it was “very� or “fairly� important that a pregnancy help center have a national affiliation. “That’s what I call a competitive model,� Bravo said. “Our clinics are pro-life, social justice clinics, serving the patients by offering them a continuum of care — medical, education, housing, food or a job — which the other side will never do, because they don’t care about that.� According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute’s 2014 survey, more than 93 percent of women and men consider having a medical professional at a pregnancy help center a top priority. It is no surprise, then, that a growing number of pregnancy centers are following a medical model. For example, Foundations of Life Pregnancy Centers of Catholic Charities help women in and around Tampa, Fla., at four locations staffed by medical professionals. As with

Obria, many of them are volunteers. The Knights of Columbus Florida State Council has funded five ultrasound machines for the Foundations of Life clinics, one of which is named the Knights Women’s Center. A local Knight even pays the rent on the office space. “When one of the retail stores became available next to an abortion facility, we took a leap of faith,� said Rose Llauget, executive director of Foundations of Life. “We built a complete pregnancy center with three offices and a brand new 3D ultrasound machine.� She added, “Our main goal is to meet a woman where she is at — that’s Mother Teresa’s approach.� For Bravo, too, starting a pro-life clinic was an act of faith. “You think I had the funding? I had $56 when I opened up that first medical clinic,� Bravo said. “Don’t limit the Holy Spirit.� FUNDING ALTERNATIVES Similar to Foundations for Life, Informed Choices of Iowa operates four pro-life medical clinics and counting, for which Iowa Knights have funded five ultrasound machines. Each clinic offers free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, STD testing, cancer screenings, early prenatal care and referral services. Executive Director Rachel Owen said that since the first Informed Choices clinic opened in 2007, over 1,000 babies have been saved. JANUARY 2016


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“More than 91 percent of women who come to us abortion-determined instead choose to carry,â€? she said. Informed Choices is opening a fifth clinic this month and also adding a mobile medical unit. By preventing abortions with the help of ultrasound technology, as well as by providing health care services such as STD testing and cervical cancer screening, the clinics are serving many women who would otherwise go to Planned Parenthood. “In the next five years, we will blanket the state of Iowa so that no woman will go without prenatal care for her unplanned pregnancy,â€? Owen said. “We will be defunding Planned Parenthood by taking their clients away.â€? In the wake of congressional votes to defund Planned Parenthood, the claim that women won’t have access to health care if federal funds for the organization are cut simply doesn’t hold up. 10 ♌ C O L U M B I A ♌


The website getyourcare.org, which is sponsored by an alliance of pro-life groups, provides information about the more than 13,000 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and rural health centers (RHCs) where women can receive affordable health care. By contrast, Planned Parenthood, which receives $500 million in government funding, has fewer than 700 clinics. Nevertheless, FQHCs are required by federal law to provide contraceptives and abortion referrals, explained Charles Donovan, president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute. A member of George Brent Council 5332 in Manassas, Va., Donovan said such centers are often “a stepping stone away from Planned Parenthood� and thus not a long-term solution. “Pregnancy help centers are still the only guaranteed prolife alternative,� he added, noting his hope that lawmakers


A staff member at the Obria Medical Clinic in Long Beach points to the image of a woman’s unborn baby on one of the five ultrasound machines placed with fundraising support from local councils in California District #117.

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will help fund pro-life centers. This is already happening in Florida, where the Foundations of Life clinics are funded in part by Florida Pregnancy Care Network, which runs a pregnancy support program for the Florida Department of Health. And though the organization receives some state funding, volunteers are allowed to pray with clients. For patients and pro-life workers alike, faith and compassionate care usually go hand in hand. This was true for Davina Ellis, who understands how much perspective faith can provide when facing an unplanned pregnancy. “Every child is a blessing, no matter the circumstance,â€? Ellis said. “With God’s guidance, I knew we were going to be OK.â€?♌ CAROLEE MCGRATH is co-host of Catholic TV’s women’s show, The Gist. A wife and mother of five, she writes from Massachusetts.

SINCE THE Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative launched Jan. 22, 2009 — the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade — state and local councils have assisted qualified pregnancy centers by raising half the cost of ultrasound machines. Through the A 3D image is seen on a K of COrder’s Culture of Life funded ultrasound machine at the Fund, the Supreme Knights Women’s Center in Council then matches Tampa, Fla. that amount toward the purchase price of the machines, starting at about $20,000. To date, the initiative has funded and placed 644 ultrasound machines — valued at more than $33 million — in all 50 states, as well as in Canada, Jamaica, Guatemala and Peru. “Not only has this program saved the lives of countless children, it has also saved countless mothers from a lifetime of sorrow,â€? affirmed Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson in his 2015 annual report. “And should someone ask why the Knights of Columbus does this, tell them the answer is simple: because we love them both.â€? Jurisdictions with the most machines funded are Florida (48), Texas (46), California (45), Missouri (39), Michigan (35) and Ohio (32). Many of the machines funded through the Ultrasound Initiative are equipped with 3D/4D imaging and a Doppler monitor to hear the baby’s heartbeat. “I find a lot of people are quietly pro-life, yet the passion is clearly out there,â€? said Vincent J. Cipriano, the Florida State Council Ultrasound Initiative Chairman. Citing a K of C-organized Laps for Life walking event in Orlando that raised $75,000 and helped pay for five machines, Cipriano added, “When we run an ultrasound fundraiser, I’m amazed at how much money comes in.â€? Bob Sinclair, the Iowa K of C culture of life director, described a new statewide initiative aimed at reducing the number of abortions in Iowa by 50 percent by 2020. In addition to raising money to provide ultrasound machines, he said, local councils will also provide training, help open new pregnancy centers in locations that have a need, and assist with marketing to reach women in crisis. “The culture has been Roe v. Wade for a long time,â€? Sinclair said. “But we continue to stick up for the most vulnerable — both pregnant mothers and their unborn children.â€? For more information, visit kofc.org/ultrasound.♌ JANUARY 2016

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Behind the Mask

of Planned Parenthood An interview with Jeanne Mancini about the nation’s largest abortion provider on the eve of the March for Life by Columbia staff


s tens of thousands prepare to gather for the annual March for Life Jan. 22 under the theme “Pro-Life and Pro-Woman Go Hand-in-Hand,” the pro-life movement has been joined by a rising chorus of voices calling to defund Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the nation’s largest abortion provider. Contributing to this outcry have 12 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦


been a series of undercover videos and a congressional investigation into the abortion giant’s practices. Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life Education & Defense Fund, is among the leading voices in the pro-life movement today and in the ongoing national debate about Planned Parenthood. Columbia recently spoke with Mancini

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Participants hold pro-life signs in Aurora, Ill., during the National Day of Protest of Planned Parenthood Aug. 22, 2015, organized by a coalition of state and national pro-life groups.


about Planned Parenthood’s role in “women’s health,� its massive taxpayer subsidies and the public reaction to the controversial video footage. COLUMBIA: Proponents of Planned Parenthood argue that the organization offers women a full spectrum of health care and that abortion only accounts for a small fraction of its services. What health care does Planned Parenthood actually provide, and how much of their business is related to abortion? JEANNE MANCINI: In its 2013-2014 annual report, Planned Parenthood included and tallied the following health services: contraception, manual breast exams, pregnancy tests, urinary tract infection (UTI) treatment; sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing and treatment; Pap tests; human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations; and abortion “services.� Putting aside for a moment that abortion could never be authentically defined as “health care� because it is inherently

destructive rather than protective or intrinsically health-related, Planned Parenthood frequently claims that abortion is only a very small part of what the organization is about, providing a statistic of 3 percent. Yet Planned Parenthood reported performing a staggering 327,653 abortions in 2013 — about 1 in 3 of all abortions in the United States. Even the Washington Post called the organization’s bluff on this 3 percent statistic, awarding its truth factor “Three Pinocchios� (out of a possible four), for the way it compares abortion to every other service that it provides. “The organization treats each service — pregnancy test, STD test, abortion, birth control — equally,� the article stated. “Yet there are obvious differences between a surgical (or even medical) abortion, and offering a urine (or even blood) pregnancy test. These services are not all comparable in how much they cost or how extensive the service or procedure is.� The same annual report also revealed that in comparison to 18,684 “prenatal services� and 1,880 adoption referrals JANUARY 2016

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COLUMBIA: Planned Parenthood Federation of America traces its origins back 99 years to Brooklyn, N.Y., where its founder, Margaret Sanger (18791966), opened the first birth control clinic in the United States. How have the philosophy and mission of Planned Parenthood changed or remained consistent since that time? JEANNE MANCINI: Though she was born into a Catholic family, Margaret Sanger became a vehement opponent of the Catholic Church. She identified with political anarchists and socialists, and she sought to liberate women from “sexual servitudeâ€? through contraceptive pills and devices. Sanger coined the term “birth controlâ€? and in 1921 founded the American Birth Control League (ABCL), the predecessor to Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Coinciding with her birth control crusade, one of Sanger’s primary goals was to eliminate what she and Planned Parenthood described as “unfitâ€? and “eugenically unsoundâ€? populations — certain immigrants, African-Americans, disabled people, orphans, people with hereditary disease, those with lower intelligence. In 1922, she wrote, “Organized charity is itself the symptom of a malignant social disease.â€? Today, Planned Parenthood tries to distance itself from its founder’s promotion of eugenics, even as certain populations continue to be disproportionately impacted by abortion, including African-Americans and people with disabilities. And as its name indicates, the organization continues to very much focus on the need for a woman to control her fertility at all costs, even when it involves the taking of the life of her developing baby. COLUMBIA: Does the scope of Planned Parenthood’s support for abortion go beyond a woman’s so-called “right to chooseâ€?? J EANNE MANCINI: It interesting to observe how Planned Parenthood in recent years has moved away from the term 14 ♌ C O L U M B I A ♌


“pro-choice,� insisting instead that contraception and abortion are basic “health care� to which all women should have access. Planned Parenthood opposes even modest and widely supported laws to reduce or regulate abortions, including those related to informed decision making or to protect women’s health. Internationally, too, the organization has aggressively promoted pro-abortion policies — even the Chinese population program, which involves coerced abortion and involuntary sterilization. In many ways, the “right to choose� does not apply to those who disagree with Planned Parenthood. For example, the organization opposes laws recognizing conscience rights of doctors, nurses and health facilities with moral or religious objections to abortion; of pharmacists who object to providing “emergency contraception� and abortifacient drugs; and of groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor, who do not want to be forced to include such drugs in their health care plans. COLUMBIA: In July 2015, the Center for Medical Progress released the first in a series of undercover videos in which Planned Parenthood officials discuss the sale of aborted baby body parts for profit, which is illegal. What have the videos revealed, and what should people make of the claims that the videos lack credibility? JEANNE MANCINI: Since mid-July, the Center for Medical Progress has released 11 videos, and the remainder were improperly obtained and released online. The videos have provided an eyeopening look into the abortion industry. Even those who self-identity as pro-choice have found the videos very difficult to watch. Many questions have arisen from the video footage, such as: Is Planned Parenthood involved in the unlawful activity of harvesting and selling baby parts? Is the organization obtaining informed consent agreements from the mothers whose babies’ hearts, lungs, livers and brains are being obtained? Are their medical practitioners altering abortion procedures to obtain intact baby parts or whole babies? Is Planned Parenthood performing illegal partial-birth abortions to facilitate obtaining those organs? These questions are currently being taken up by the U.S. Congress. The claim that the videos lack credibility is simply false. Coalfire, an internationally recognized third-party digital


provided by Planned Parenthood, abortions outnumbered these services for pregnant women 16:1. Moreover, former Planned Parenthood clinic workers describe a quota system for abortions because they are so lucrative for the organization. In fact, it is estimated that Planned Parenthood nets over $165 million annually from abortion income, hardly a negligible component of their mission or budget.

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security and forensics firm used for civil and criminal investigations, released analysis in September affirming that the recordings were authentic and showed no evidence of manipulation of editing. In its assessment, Coalfire had access to the entire audio and video footage recorded by the Center for Medical Progress. According to the report, which is freely available online, all four devices utilized in recording conversations were cross-referenced and “found to be consistent.� Abortion advocates continue to rehash this talking point about the credibility of the videos, but in reality it is baseless rhetoric.


C OLUMBIA: What has been the result of the congressional hearings to determine whether Planned Parenthood had been involved in illegal activities? JEANNE MANCINI: In light of the disturbing videos, the House of Representatives reacted by opening investigations in three different committees: Energy and Commerce, Judiciary, and Oversight and Government Reform. During the month of September, each of these committees held hearings looking at the issues of abortion, tissue procurement and Planned Parenthood finances. One direct result was that on Oct. 7, 2015, the House created a select panel for the sole purpose of investigating abortion and fetal tissue procurement. Though investigations can take time, the House of Representative’s inquiries have already yielded some telling results. For example, it is now clear that at least six Planned Parenthood affiliates had a fetal tissue program; that these affiliates received money for baby body parts; that Planned Parenthood lost contracts because of the scandal; that Planned Parenthood opposes protections for abortion survivors; and that Planned Parenthood and their supporters do not object to dismemberment abortion procedures as described in the CMP videos. We have also learned that the more the general public is made aware of what Planned Parenthood supports and practices, the more the organization’s favorability decreases. Message testing has confirmed that Planned Parenthood’s brand loses credibility when people learn about the content of the videos as well as about Planned Parenthood’s history of covering up the sexual abuse of minors or the organization’s fraudulent use of taxpayer funds. Congressional investigations will continue to bring these issues even more into the light. COLUMBIA: Congress and a number of states have begun taking measures to end taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. How do you respond to the claim that if the organization loses these government subsidies, many lower income women will have nowhere to go for health care? JEANNE MANCINI: There are already more than 13,000 community health centers and other federally qualified health centers (FQHC), as well as rural health centers (RHC), which serve 22 million patients in all 50 states. FQHCs and RHCs offer the services that Planned Parenthood provides — pap smears, UTI tests, STD testing, manual breast exams — in addition to being required to provide other services, such as

Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life Education & Defense Fund, delivers an address at the Law of Life Summit in Washington, D.C., Jan. 21, 2015. mammograms, immunizations, cholesterol screenings, diabetes and glaucoma screenings. Moreover, these centers outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics at a ratio of 20:1 (13,540 to 665). They are better choices for women and are typically less than five miles away from the nearest Planned Parenthood Center. A map of alternative centers throughout the United States is available at getyourcare.org. COLUMBIA: What do you make of the claim that the late November shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs was in some way a result of the work of the pro-life movement? JEANNE MANCINI: This is an outrageous claim because the essence of the pro-life movement is respect for the dignity of every human life. The tragic situation in Colorado Springs involved a deeply troubled individual, unknown to the local pro-life community, and his violent acts are opposed to all that the pro-life movement stands for. I find it abhorrent that certain groups and legislators have sought to capitalize on this horrific scenario for political and even financial gain. Our movement is peaceful, prayerful and joyful. And our opposition to Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry is based on nonviolence, reason and compassion.♌ JANUARY 2016

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The Field Hospital Is Open The Holy Year of Mercy shines a spotlight on Project Rachel’s ministry of hope and healing by Vicki Thorn


very year, 40 to 50 million abortions are performed worldwide. Though the number of women who have experienced the tragedy of abortion is unknown, theirs is a pervasive wound begging for God’s mercy. The Church seeks to provide this mercy through reconciliation and post-abortion ministries such as Project Rachel.

Early in his pontificate, Pope Francis said, “I see clearly that the thing the Church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds. … I see the Church as a field hospital after battle.” In his September 2015 letter in anticipation of the Year of Mercy, which began Dec. 8, 2015, the pope spoke in particular about women who have had abortions.

Pope Francis prays at the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica after opening it to inaugurate the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy on Dec. 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, seen in the background, was also present for the historic event.


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“I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision,â€? he wrote. “What has happened is profoundly unjust; yet only understanding the truth of it can enable one not to lose hope.â€? Pope Francis emphasized that the forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented, especially when that person approaches the sacrament of confession with a sincere heart. As a special favor for the Year of Mercy, he extended to all priests “the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it.â€? Some found the pope’s directive puzzling. After all, can’t priests already forgive this sin? Because of its gravity, abortion is considered by canon law to be not only a sin but also a crime, which can bring with it sanctions that must be addressed by the local bishop. But for decades, bishops in the United States have granted priests the faculty to remove canonical penalties that may be incurred. In 1975, U.S. bishops addressed the need for healing in response to legalized abortion. That year, the bishops’ first Pastoral Plan for ProLife Activities stated, “Granting that the grave sin of abortion is symptomatic of many human problems, which often remain unsolved for the individual woman, it is important that we realize that God’s mercy is always available and without limit, (and) that the Christian life can be restored and renewed through the sacraments.â€? In this light, the sacrament of reconciliation lies at the heart of the mission of Project Rachel, the post-abortion healing ministry of the Catholic Church in the United States. Project Rachel began in 1984 in response to the call for mercy from U.S. bishops, who, as confessors, had heard the pain of a mother’s heart. This confidential ministry, which is present in the majority of U.S. dioceses, is a network of healing composed of specially trained confessors, mental health workers, spiritual directors, medical professionals and others who work together to accompany and care for women, as well as men, who have been touched by an abortion loss. Over the years, the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council, together with members at the state and local levels, have worked diligently to support this ministry. For example, the Knights have sponsored conferences on post-abortion healing and have arranged specific mourning sites — “Memorials to Unborn Childrenâ€? — in Catholic cemeteries and elsewhere to remember the unborn. 18 ♌ C O L U M B I A ♌


Throughout the years, the work of Project Rachel has helped multitudes of women throughout the country encounter God’s tender mercy and forgiveness in confession. Women will sometimes approach me with tears of gratitude in their eyes and whisper in my ear, “Thank you.â€? They tell me about how they found the way back to their faith and explain the deep appreciation they have for the priests who truly reflected the face of Jesus to them. Priests who have ministered to the women involved in Project Rachel have themselves told me that our work has been a gift to their priesthood. Whenever they show God’s mercy to those who do not think they can experience forgiveness, they personally encounter the Lord in a new way. St. John Paul II addressed postabortive women directly about the transformative power of confession in his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life). “The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the sacrament of reconciliation,â€? he wrote. “You will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living in the Lord. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone’s right to lifeâ€? (99). Pope Benedict XVI cited his predecessor’s words in 2008 during an address to a K of C-sponsored international congress at the Vatican titled “Oil on the Wounds,â€? which examined the effects of divorce and abortion. Addressing congress participants, Pope Benedict also repeated a theme from his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, stating that, like the Good Samaritan, a Christian is called to have a “‘heart that sees’ ‌ where love is needed and acts accordinglyâ€? (31). This model of the Good Samaritan, together with that of the field hospital envisioned by Pope Francis, inspires the work of Project Rachel as we minister to those whose lives have been shattered by abortion. Our mission is about meeting those who dwell in darkness and pain where they are and without condemnation. It is about accompanying them in their suffering and acknowledging that only God’s mercy can heal their wounds. And these healed women and men become the cornerstones of the culture of life.♌ VICKI THORN is the founder of the National Office for Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing and Project Rachel.


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LIFESAVING LEGISLATION With growing support, U.S. legislators work to pass bills to protect women and unborn children by Marjorie Dannenfelser



ope Francis, in his historic speech to the U.S. Congress in PRO-LIFE PROGRESS September, challenged legislative leaders to remember their Today, the United States and Canada are two of only seven “responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage countries to allow abortion on demand after five months, of development.� In 2015, with the support and encouragement more than halfway through pregnancy, putting us in the comof a vast and growing pro-life pany of some of the world’s movement, a majority of most brutal regimes, inboth the House of Represencluding China and North tatives and the Senate met Korea. this challenge by voting in The permissive abortion favor of groundbreaking leglaws in the United States islation to protect children are also increasingly at odds from late-term abortion, rewith public opinion. Acstrict federal funding of cording to at least five abortion businesses, and upmajor national polls, a mahold the human dignity of jority of Americans support the unborn. a ban on abortion after 20 These votes were mileweeks, or 5 months, of stones in a year of unprecepregnancy. Women support dented legislative progress the measure in higher numfor the pro-life movement. bers than men, with up to They were also the fruit of 71 percent of women in longstanding efforts to refavor, according to one claim the human center of Washington Post/ABC poll. the abortion debate — a This is in part because Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) holds up a sonogram image of her unborn steady focus on the reality medical evidence has grandson as she testifies during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary of the intrinsic dignity of proven that, with proper Committee on Capitol Hill July 15, 2014. both the child in the womb care, babies can survive and his or her mother. outside the womb at this This holistic, compaspoint in their development, sionate message has swelled the pro-life ranks. And although and that they feel excruciating pain as a result of the abortion President Obama remains opposed to the enactment of pro- procedure. life laws, promising to veto any that reach his desk, the proWith this in mind, one of the top legislative priorities for life victories won and the leadership demonstrated by women the 114th Congress has been passing the Pain-Capable Unleaders in particular in 2015 set the stage for decisive action born Child Protection Act, which would end elective aborto protect the unborn if Americans elect a pro-life president tion after 20 weeks and thereby save up to 18,000 unborn in November. lives each year. JANUARY 2016

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Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), center, speaks during a news conference on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., May 13, 2015.

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In September 2015, the House of Representatives passed by a vote of 248-177 the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, aimed at strengthening the law by requiring all health care professionals present for an abortion to provide the same level of care to preserve life as they would give to any baby born prematurely. In a sad reminder of pro-abortion ideology in American politics, the current White House administration promised to veto this lifesaving legislation because it would have a “chilling effect� on late-term abortion, and only five Democrats crossed the aisle to vote “yes� on the bill in the House. DEFUNDING BIG ABORTION Efforts to defund the abortion industry giant Planned Parenthood gained added momentum in 2015 after the release of undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress. The House of Representatives passed legislation last September to strip Planned Parenthood of the more than $500 million in taxpayer funding it receives each year. Although opponents in the Senate once again used procedural means to block the bill from moving forward, pro-life women were again at the head of the charge with Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) introducing


The bill passed the House of Representatives on May 13, 2015, by a vote of 242-184. Emblematic of the extraordinary support for the bill among women, members of the Pro-life Women’s Caucus, including Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Diane Black (R-TN), led the House floor debate and vote. In September, a majority of Senators also voted 54-42 to advance the bill, though it fell short of the procedural hurdle of 60 votes needed to advance. The success of this legislation would mean that for the first time, instead of regulating around the abortion procedure, an entire segment of abortions in the late stage of pregnancy would be eliminated, protecting a whole class of unborn children in the United States. And how desperately they are in need of protecting! The prevalence of late-term abortion in the United States led President George W. Bush to sign landmark legislation in 2002, protecting infants born alive as a result of failed abortions by defining them as persons under federal law. Since then, however, there have been many documented instances of abortion providers ignoring the law, which lacks meaningful penalties, and denying life-saving care to these babies.

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the high-profile legislation. Undeterred, pro-life activists and legislators sought another opportunity to defund Planned Parenthood as part of the budget reconciliation process. This once-a-year legislation is not subject to the Senate’s filibuster rules and, in a landmark pro-life victory, the upper chamber passed the legislation with a simple majority vote of 52-47 on Dec. 4. The bill included language to redirect the bulk of the federal funding that goes to Planned Parenthood to community health centers that provide a wider range of health care services to women. Despite a promised presidential veto, the national conversation generated by this victory builds an important precedent for using the process to defund Planned Parenthood in future years. The fight to send a defunding bill to the president’s desk focused a national spotlight on the ugly truth of Planned Parenthood, including the organization’s trafficking of hearts, lungs, livers and brains of aborted children. That spotlight will grow even brighter in 2016 through the work of the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives. This newly constituted panel, chaired by Rep. Blackburn, will examine the relationships of abortion providers and tissue procurement organizations and will help protect women and children by exposing negligence and abuse in the abortion industry. Congress also acted in 2015 to preserve and extend the longstanding bans on federal funding of abortion that have been at the top of the pro-life agenda since the first Hyde Amendment was passed in 1976. In January 2015, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 7 by a vote of 242-179. The bill, with more than 40 co-sponsors, is intended to create a permanent, government-wide prohibition on federal funding for abortion and health plans that cover abortion, including those created under the Affordable Care Act. Alongside this more comprehensive legislation, the pro-life movement has also been working to maintain longstanding restrictions on abortion funding in federal appropriations bills, including the Hyde, Smith, and Helms amendments, and to restrict international funding for abortion. THE FIGHT CONTINUES Among other bills proposed in the 114th Congress to protect the unborn and their mothers is the Dismemberment Abortion Ban, introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), co-chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus. The legislation aims to prohibit a gruesome abortion technique typically used after 14 weeks of pregnancy and continuing into the third trimester: the use of steel tools to tear apart unborn babies limb from limb in order to remove them the womb. State legislators are also testing the sweep of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade. In November 2015, the Court agreed to hear a challenge to Texas law that protects women by requiring abortion clinics to meet basic health and safety standards and doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. The Court will likely

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) speaks at an event hosted by the Susan B. Anthony List as Marjorie Dannenfelser, the organization’s president (and author of this article), looks on. issue a decision in June, and if the Texas law is upheld, similar safety measures will be enacted in other states, thereby protecting women’s health and ensuring better care for infants born alive as a result of failed abortion procedures. The Supreme Court is likewise expected to rule in June on another important case, Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell, which centers on questions of religious freedom and conscience. At issue is a provision in the Affordable Care Act that requires the Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious entities to participate in the coverage of contraceptive and abortion-inducing drugs under their health care plans. The case is not unrelated to the U.S. bishops’ top legislative priority for 2016: the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (ANDA). If enacted, this bill would establish statutory protections for churches and charities that, as a matter of conscience, cannot provide coverage for abortion or abortion-inducing drugs and devices under their health insurance plans. The growth of support for this and other pro-life legislation is just one way that, 43 years after Roe v. Wade, the prolife movement continues to gain momentum — with more women than ever before taking leadership roles. Whether in Congress, in the courts or in the culture, advocates are forcefully making a case for the humanity of the unborn and the dignity and worth of both mother and child. In so doing, the pro-life movement at every level is upholding the highest ideals of our nation and responding to Pope Francis’ call to “protect and defend” the unborn.♦ MARJORIE DANNENFELSER is president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a nonprofit organization that seeks to advance pro-life women in U.S. politics. JANUARY 2016

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Order Partners With Catholic Relief Services to Help Refugee Children THE KNIGHTS of Columbus donated $500,000 to Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to support the Jordanian Catholic Church’s efforts to educate Syrian and Iraqi refugees in that country. Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson presented the donation to CRS CEO Carolyn Woo Nov. 15, 2015. The funds will help provide education to hundreds of Syrian and Iraqi children — most of whom are Christians who fled Islamic State militants. “Having already sponsored food, housing and medical projects in the Middle East, the Knights of Columbus is pleased to partner with CRS in the important work of educating refugee children now living in Jordan,� said the supreme knight. “These children represent the future of Christianity in that region, and their future will be a brighter one with the help of this education.� The donation will support the expansion of programs in 18 Jordanian Catholic schools that provide young refugees with a safe space to learn, heal from trauma and regain a semblance of childhood, all while catching up to their grade level after years out of school.

Syrian refugee children are pictured Aug. 11, 2015, attending a class at a makeshift school set up in a tent near the Syrian border on the outskirts of Mafraq, Jordan. Days after the donation, the Supreme Council launched a new advertising campaign to raise awareness of the fear of Christian genocide in Middle Eastern refugee camps. The ads quote Lord David Alton and British Parliament member Fiona Bruce, who recently spoke out about the problems for Christians in refugee camps. The ad campaign is the second launched by the Knights in support of

Christian refugees. “It is increasingly clear that because Christians fear that the persecution and genocide will continue in these refugee camps, they often don’t enter them, and as a result find it nearly impossible to qualify for resettlement as refugees,â€? Supreme Knight Anderson said. For more information on the Order’s efforts to aid refugees or to make a donation, please visit christiansatrisk.org.♌

AS MANY HEADED out to shop on the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, hundreds of children in the United States and Canada received new winter coats thanks to the Knights of Columbus. In addition to six sites in Connecticut, where the annual event was first conceived, Black Friday distributions in 2015 took place throughout North America, including in British Columbia, Colorado, Minnesota, New Jersey, Nova Scotia and Washington. “While society pushes us to buy things on Black Friday, the Knights of Columbus wants to remember those who don’t have basic necessities that most of us take for granted,â€? said Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson. “Our members are making sure that children have something essential, a coat, to help them stay warm during winter.â€? Since the Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids program was launched in 2009, the Order has given more than 300,000 new coats to children in need.♌ 22 ♌ C O L U M B I A ♌


A Knight gives a new winter coat to a boy during a Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids distribution Nov. 27 in the basement of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Conn., the birthplace of the Order.


Knights Distribute Coats for Kids on Black Friday

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Poll Confirms Majority of Americans Favor Abortion Restrictions A RECENT K of C-Marist poll revealed that a large majority of Americans would support laws substantially restricting abortion. Conducted in November 2015 by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, the survey found that almost 6 in 10 (57 percent) of Americans would limit abortion to, at most, cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother — exceptions that constitute less than 2 percent of all abortions. Apart from this, more than 8 in 10 Americans (81 percent) would limit abortion to, at most, the first three months of pregnancy. The poll also found that by a 25-point margin (55 percent to 30 percent) most Americans say that, in the long run, abortion does more harm than good to a woman. And a large majority (77 percent) say that laws can protect both the mother and the unborn child. “After more than four decades of abortion on demand,� Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson said, “we continue to

see that Americans have indeed formed a consensus about abortion, and it is this: They are in favor of significant restrictions and reject what has been the legacy of Roe v. Wade.â€? Since 2008, the Knights of Columbus has partnered with the Marist Institute for Public Opinion to survey Americans on abortion and other issues related to faith and morality. Surveys conducted by others often only ask whether people self-identity as “pro-lifeâ€? or “pro-choiceâ€? and do not distinguish between practicing and non-practicing Catholics, which can be misleading. By contrast, the annual K of C-Marist poll has consistently shown that when questioning goes beyond the pro-life/pro-choice labels, a strong majority of respondents believe that the unborn should have greater protection under the law. It has also indicated that practicing Catholics are considerably more likely than the general population to embrace a culture of life. For more information, visit kofc.org/polls.♌


Texas Knights March for Religious Liberty HUNDREDS OF Catholics from the Diocese of Austin participated in a prayerful march for religious freedom on the Solemnity of Christ the King Nov. 22, 2015. Participants of the event, which was sponsored by the Greater Austin Area Chapter of the Knights of Columbus, gathered in Wooldridge Square Park and then marched to the Texas Capitol, many bearing K of C banners that read “Respect Religious Freedom.� Accompanying the procession was a cross-shaped silver reliquary containing the relics of the six Knights of Columbus Mexican martyrs who were killed for their faith during the religious persecution in Mexico in the 1920s and ’30s. At the Capitol building, participants prayed and listened to speeches from civic and religious leaders. “Religious freedom is a human right, and the protection of religious freedom in our state and nation is a

Austin-area Knights carry a reliquary of the Knights of Columbus Mexican Martyrs as they lead a procession to the Texas Capitol Nov. 22. fundamental reason why we are a thriving, stable and peaceful society,� said Texas Senator (D) Eddie Lucio Jr., a member of St. Mary Cathedral Council 14055 in Austin. K of C Texas State Secretary Douglas Oldmixon also spoke about the

primacy of religious liberty. “It is not too much to expect our government to find a way to allow those committed to faithful service to not be forced to violate the same beliefs which motivate their lives of service,â€? he said.♌


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Aftermath and Alternatives The consequences of hormonal birth control are leading women and physicians to discover healthier choices by Meg T. McDonnell


n the 1960s, legalized access to hormonal contraception nausea, and irregular or diminished periods, to mood swings, promised to bring women freedom: freedom to limit family loss of libido, depression and other psychological repercussize and freedom to have sex without the “worry” of concep- sions. Some of these side effects can significantly alter a tion. Today, proponents promote another line: contraception woman’s lifestyle — leaving her feeling helpless and confused as preventative health care, with some groups going so far as at her inability to control her emotions and even her physical to pathologize women who don’t have access to contraception appearance. Some potential side effects are particularly alarming. Studies as “at risk for unintended pregnancy.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preven- dating back to the 1990s have shown increases in breast cancer tion, nearly 62 percent of U.S. women ages 15-44 are currently related to the pill. A study published in the journal Cancer Reusing some form of contraception or sterilization. Though search in August 2014 suggests that use of some types of oral multiple forms of birth control exist, contraception within the past year inthe pill remains the most popular, more creases breast cancer risk by 50 percent. than 55 years after it was introduced. Pills containing higher doses of estroAbsent from nearly all of the public gen lead to even greater risk. HE REALITY IS IF campaigns in support of contracepWhile some side effects are rare, tion, though, are its health risks, which many are not, explained Dr. MarMILLIONS OF WOMEN can be life-threatening. Adding to the guerite Duane, adjunct associate proconcern about side effects, some of fessor at Georgetown University and a STARTED LEARNING HOW which are more troubling than others, family physician. is the reality that most women are sim“You can go onto any Facebook page TO CHART THEIR CYCLE, ply not informed. or any groups for birth control and see PHARMACEUTICAL COMPA“Women have a right to know,” said many women complaining about all Vicki Thorn, who recently organized a the awful effects of the birth control NIES WOULD STAND TO conference titled “The Contraceptive pill: mood swings, weight gain and the Conundrum: Effects and Side Effects” psychological symptoms like depresLOSE BILLIONS.” at Georgetown University. The sion and anxiety,” said Dr. Duane, who founder of Project Rachel and the Naassisted with the “Contraceptive Cotional Office for Post-Abortion Reconnundrum” conference. ciliation and Healing, Thorn has for years collected research The purpose of the conference, which was hosted at about the detrimental effects of chemical contraception. Georgetown’s Edmund D. Pellegrino Center for Clinical “Contraception is hardly benign,” Thorn said. “Most forms Bioethics in August, was to educate attendees about contrause steroidal hormones that impact the pituitary gland, which ception from a scientific perspective. Topics ranged from a is the master gland in the body, and there’s much fallout in pharmacist discussing nutrition deficiencies caused by the pill terms of health issues.” to a post-doctoral researcher discussing how contraception affects women’s brains. Other speakers noted that the side effects of contraception are not limited to women’s health; they CALCULATING RISKS The side effects of the pill and other forms of hormonal con- include behavioral changes as well. traception can range from blood clots, headaches, weight gain, Participants included doctors, researchers, graduate students


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Dr. Jeremy Kalamarides, medical director of the Vitae Clinic in Austin, Texas, and a member of Father Michael J. McGivney Council 5967, is pictured with his wife, Heather, and their daughter. and even a number of parents of women who had died due to contraception. Among them were the parents of Erika Langhart, who died in 2011 at age 24 due to pulmonary embolisms caused by NuvaRing, one of the more recent and controversial forms of hormonal birth control. Karen Langhart, Erika’s mother, told Vanity Fair in a January 2014 feature story that her daughter was meticulous about risks, but was unaware of the risks of this device. And her story is not unique. NuvaRing has been the subject of high profile class action lawsuits and cited as the cause of numerous women’s deaths. The Huffington Post reported in 2013 that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had advised Organon, a pharmaceutical company manufacturing NuvaRing, to warn users of the drug’s serious risks. “Organon executives adamantly opposed such a statement,� the article said. “An elevated [blood clot] warning label would

have been a huge blow. Such a warning might have discouraged women from using NuvaRing and made doctors less inclined to prescribe it — significantly cutting into the potential return on investment.� Pharmaceutical companies that produce contraception are financially motivated to influence medical education as well, explained Dr. Duane. “The reality is,� she said, “if millions of women started learning how to chart their cycle and fertility, and stopped using hormonal contraceptives, pharmaceutical companies would stand to lose billions of dollars.� According to Dr. Jeremy Kalamarides, medical director of the Vitae Clinic in Austin, Texas, women are often prescribed contraception instead of receiving the medical care they need. “Over and over again, I find women frustrated with the fact that what they thought was being treated is actually not being treated at all by hormonal contraception,� Dr. Kalamarides JANUARY 2016

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Vicki Thorn, founder of Project Rachel and the National Office for Post Abortion Reconciliation and Healing, speaks at the “Contraceptive Conundrum� conference that she organized at Georgetown University in August 2015.

AN EDUCATION IN FERTILITY Beyond the potentially dangerous side effects related to women’s health, hormonal birth control has resulted in a number of sociological consequences as well. “The pill was a technological shock that profoundly altered the mating market by lowering the ‘cost’ of sex,â€? explained Dr. Duane, pointing to research done by the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture. At the Austin Institute and elsewhere, sociologists have argued that sex has become a nearly universal precondition for being in a romantic relationship in modern society; contraception’s ability to “safeguardâ€? against pregnancy has made it so. “It’s been well documented in particular how women date and how men date because of contraception,â€? said Dr. Kalamarides. “It contributes to young people getting married later in life and social distortion in the premarital process.â€? A growing body of research indicates that contraception even alters a woman’s ability to choose a more genetically suited spouse. A 2011 Wall Street Journal article noted, “The type of man a woman is drawn to is known to change during her monthly cycle — when a woman is fertile, for instance, she might look for a man with more masculine features.â€? 26 ♌ C O L U M B I A ♌


COMMON NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING METHODS • The Billings Ovulation Method (WOOMB.org), developed by Dr. John Billings in Australia, involves observing physical changes in a woman’s body. • The Creighton Model (CreightonModel.com) is a modified version of the Billings Ovulation Method. It is used by FertilityCare centers (fertilitycare.org), which specialize in treating infertility and offering morally acceptable reproductive health services. • The Sympto-Thermal Method relies on observations as well as changes in body temperature. The Couple to Couple League (CCLI.org) and Serena Canada (serena.ca) teach this method. • FEMM (Fertility Education & Medical Management) is a program that teaches women to recognize hormonal and other biomarkers as they relate to fertility and overall health (femmhealth.org).


said. “They come in and say, ‘Can you please give me something different?’� For Dr. Kalamarides, a member of Father Michael J. McGivney Council 5967 in Austin, his interest in contraception alternatives started when he and his wife were preparing for marriage in 1994. “I was thrown for a loop by the fact that [the reproductive system] is the only system in the human body that we turn off when it’s working correctly,� he said. A biology student at the time, Kalamarides’ interest in the topic led him to become an OB-GYN. He then studied NaProTechnology at the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction in Omaha, Neb., and established a medical practice that does not prescribe contraception.

But contraception suppresses fertility and its corresponding hormones, which can lead to a woman choosing a different spouse than she would otherwise. Conversely, a woman does not attract the same men when her fertility is suppressed. “Women tend to exhibit subtle cues when they are ovulating, and men tend to find them more attractive at this time,� the WSJ article explained. For years, Thorn has shared the findings of this research in talks to young people. “This is a big deal,� she said. “If you’re serious about marriage, then both men and women should know this.� Of course, proponents of contraception do not think that any of these risks warrant giving it up — since unintended pregnancy is a “risk� to be avoided. Still, no matter how “protected� people think they are from pregnancy, contraception is not foolproof. Since the legalization of birth control, the sexually permissive culture that contraception has facilitated has contributed to a rise in the nonmarital pregnancy rate from 5 percent in 1960 to 40 percent today. Additionally, more than 85 percent of abortions performed in the United States involve single mothers. And not only does contraception facilitate relationships that make abortion more likely, but hormonal contraception itself

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Dr. Marguerite Duane, a family physician who teaches about the science of fertility awareness, conducts a seminar with medical students at Georgetown University’s Leavy Center. can have an abortifacient effect; by thinning the lining of the uterus, it can prevent a newly conceived embryo from being implanted. “Everyone knows that conception is the moment when sperm and egg unite, but for utilitarian purposes, some professional groups associate ‘pregnancy’ with implantation,” Dr. Kalamarides explained. “Many doctors don’t go over informed consent about how birth control works. But when women find out that it can potentially cause very early miscarriage, most are sincerely not interested anymore, or at least would like to try something else.” Many are skeptical, however, that viable alternatives to hormonal contraception exist. “The problem is,” Dr. Duane said, “there is this presumption that if you’re not on birth control, you will be pregnant.” As a result, relatively few women ever learn how to read and understand when they are fertile. To help bridge the knowledge gap, Dr. Duane co-founded and serves as director of FACTS — Fertility Appreciation Collaborative to Teach the Science of fertility awareness-based methods. “Our mission is to educate our medical colleagues about the evidence-based fertility awareness methods, because medical students, residents and physicians are not learning about them,” Dr.

Duane said. “When women who are interested in these methods go to doctors who don’t have information, they stop talking to their doctors about this very important part of health care.” Nonetheless, the science of fertility awareness, including NaProTechnology, continues to advance and become more widely known. “Nationally and in the Church, we have not done enough to promote alternatives,” Dr. Kalmarides said. “But I see a lot of hope, because there is a growing number of doctors who are receiving training and using natural family planning in their practices.” The fact remains, Dr. Kalmarides added, that teaching modern fertility awareness methods serves patients much better than both contraception and assisted reproductive technology. “It is better, and it will help more people, whether you are avoiding pregnancy temporarily, trying to achieve pregnancy or treating underlying conditions,” he said. “And when women gain understanding of their fertility, they feel an enormous sense of relief and are empowered. That is what happens when you keep love and life together.”♦ MEG T. MCDONNELL is executive director of the Chiaroscuro Institute and a journalist in Washington, D.C. JANUARY 2016

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REPORTS FROM COUNCILS, ASSEMBLIES AND COLUMBIAN SQUIRES CIRCLES painted with the emblem of the Order near one of the windows. SCHOOL DONATION

Father Daley Council 642 in Middlebury, Vt., donated $20,000 to St. Mary’s School. Funds for the donation came from several council fundraisers and partially from the sale of the council’s social hall. The funds will help with the school’s dayto-day operations. DELIVERY VAN

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St. Thomas Aquinas Council 6532 in Alpharetta, Ga., hosted its annual Italian food and trivia night with support from various volunteers and local businesses. Proceeds from the last five years have reached $10,400, which have helped fund the parish’s annual youth mission trip to impoverished areas of West Virginia. HOMELESS SHELTER ESTABLISHED

Fredrick Harrington Council 7863 in Marysville, Wash., helped organize a homeless shelter at St. Mary’s Church after the pastor and parishioners discovered several homeless men and women struggling to stay warm in below-zero temperatures this past winter. The Knights 28 ♌ C O L U M B I A ♌

work all-night shifts at the shelter, provide meals for the homeless, and join other parishioners in collecting clothing and toiletries for those in need. COMPUTER UPGRADES

Mother Teresa Council 12202 in Coldstream, British Columbia, donated $10,000 to St. James School in Vernon. The funds will be used to upgrade the school’s computer systems and technology support. A GOLD STAR

Calvary Council 8144 in South Portland, Maine, and Father SÊbastien Rale Assembly in Portland joined forces to support Wreaths Across America’s mission for veterans and their families.


Knights raised $2,000 to pay all expenses for a Wreaths “Gold Star Family� to participate in a weeklong convoy from Harrington, Maine, to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia to honor their only son, who was lost in Iraq in 2004. The remaining funds were used to purchase 75 remembrance wreaths to place at the Maine Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Springvale, Maine. A HOME IN HAITI

St. John Vianney Council 7077 in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia, raised $3,600 over a six-month period to build a new home for a family in PrĂŠvilĂŠ, Haiti. Knights worked with the Chalice Haiti Housing Project to complete funding for the concrete house, which is

Chester County Assembly in West Chester, Pa., raised $25,000 to purchase a new van for the Lord’s Pantry in Downingtown, a group that provides food to low-income families. The assembly has

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provided assistance to the Lord’s Pantry for the past decade and raised funds for the donation at various charity benefits over a 12-month period. The van will enable the Lord’s Pantry to pick up large food donations from area merchants and move supplies.

clude running a food pantry and providing emergency housing and disaster relief. To gather donations for the center, council members parked a truck in the parking lot of their parish for two weeks, filling it with items from parishioners and the local community.



St. Helen’s Council 13376 in Clayton, Ga., donated a statue of Christ with outstretched hands to its parish. Knights plan to landscape the area with lighting and benches to make it an area for prayer.

St. Michael’s Council 8980 in Myrtle Beach, S.C., donated $300 to the student library at Jeanne M. Woolley School to purchase new books for students.


St. Edward’s Council 13196 in Cynthiana, Ky., collected clothing, food and funds for the Father Beiting Appalachian Mission Center, whose outreach programs in-


Knights from New York District #38 hosted a “Taste of Guatemalaâ€? event to raise funds for the Friends of Lucas, an organization that supports the Catholic Mission of San Lucas in TolimĂĄn, Guatemala. Knights served more than 200 authentic ethnic meals during the event, which raised more than $10,000 to support the mission’s school, clinic and housing programs. ANTI-PORN BILLBOARD

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Father Joseph Morissette Council 9685 in North Fond du Lac, Wis., helped erect a billboard along U.S. Highway 41 that reads “What would Jesus say about pornography?� The billboard, designed with the help of Morality in Media and funded by the Wisconsin State Council, was erected in response to various “adult� advertisements along the highway. EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT INITIATIVE

St. Patrick Council 13490 in Malvern, Pa., implemented a “Knights Employment Sup-

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port Initiative� to assist candidates from St. Patrick’s Church in their search for jobs. The initiative provides access to both networking opportunities and employment tips. ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE

Father Fiss Council 1547 in Berlin, Wis., joined religious education students from All Saints Church in support of the John Paul II Medical Research Institute through an ice bucket challenge. Knights and students raised more than $1,300 for the pro-life institute, which advocates for medical research that recognizes the dignity of human life from the moment of conception until natural death. ROOF REPAIR

Members of Mater Misericordiae Council 15576 in Phoenix helped repair the roof of their parish hall after it was damaged by torrential rain. Using materials pur-

chased by the church, Knights recoated the roof with a fresh layer of sealant. REPAIR ASSISTANCE

Knights from Pope Pius XII Council 4691 in Rochester, N.Y., volunteered to help renovate a building on the grounds of St. Kateri Tekakwitha Church in Irondequoit that was previously used as office space and for faith formation. Knights repainted most of the building and removed some old flooring. By doing the work themselves, Knights saved the parish hundreds of dollars in advance of putting the building up for sale. HYGIENE KITS

St. Elizabeth Seton Council 10565 in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia, made up hygiene kits for distribution at Beacon House Food Bank. Each kit contains personal care items like toothpaste and deodorant, and Knights have helped to distribute more than 200 kits so far.


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fined to a wheelchair after falling and undergoing physical therapy. Knights installed the ramp, which was provided by the VA, to ensure that Tyler can safely enter and leave his home. FRESH FOOD FOR THE HOMELESS

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Pope Pius XII Assembly in Easton, Pa., held a fundraiser to benefit the chaplains who serve the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA. The assembly conducted a 50/50 raffle, selling 300 tickets to net $1,500 in support of military chaplains. FACILITIES UPGRADE

Saratoga Council 246 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., applied stain to the discolored concrete on the lower portion of Saratoga Central Catholic School. Knights applied six gallons of stain to 2,400 square feet of concrete. The project was part of a facility upgrade following the school’s successful $200,000 capital campaign, which the Knights also supported.

families and parishioners from St. Peter the Apostle Church packed 233 decorated coffee cans with cookies to be delivered to St. Louise House, an Austin Catholic ministry for homeless women with children. Before filling the cans, volunteers took part in a potluck dinner and raffle to support the council and the parish’s youth education program. ROAD SAFETY SEMINAR

Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Council 15159 in La Paz, Visayas, sponsored a road safety seminar for motorcyclists, public utility operators and private vehicle owners. The seminar included a discussion on recent laws and regulations passed by the Land Transportation Office.



Capital City Council 1017 in Austin, Texas, held its annual Cookie Caper. Knights, their

San Felipe de JesĂşs Council 5593 in Colima, Mexico West, organized the first-ever

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procession for laity, bringing together Catholic groups from throughout the diocese. Participants gathered at a local church before processing to the city’s cathedral to pray the rosary for peace and for the unborn. More than 1,000 people took part in the event.

Durand (Wis.) Council 2422 picked and bagged 1,930 pounds of apples and 40 pounds of squash from Circle K Orchard in Beldenville for delivery to six area food banks. The bounty was the result of a produce festival at the orchard and will supplement nonperishable goods given out by the pantries. MILITARY MAIL

Members of St. Clement of Rome Council 13604 in Des Peres, Mo., prepared care packages for men and women from their parish who are serving in the armed forces. The council raised more than $700 for food and additional items for the packages through a pancake breakfast.


Saint-Pie de Bagot (QuÊbec) Council 2958 organized a community brunch to raise funds for a new furnace at its parish. Nearly 700 people attended the brunch, which raised nearly $12,000 for the church’s new heating system. ALUMINUM RAMP

All Saints Council 9441 in Clinton, Ind., assembled an aluminum wheelchair ramp at the home of a fellow council member. Charlie Tyler, a veteran of World War II and one of the oldest and longest-serving members of the council, was con-

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Ludlow (Mass.) Council 3535 presented a local family with $7,000 to purchase and install two chairlifts. Luis Maravilha and his family applied for the grant from the Massachusetts State Council, hoping that the installation would assist them in meeting Luis’ complicated medical needs. CHALICE PRESENTATION

The New York State Council donated a new chalice for Father JosÊ F. Ortega, pastor of St. Peter’s Church in Yonkers. State and local Knights of Columbus representatives were in attendance as the chalice, engraved with the emblem of the Order, was presented to Father Ortega during Mass. MERCY HOME DONATION

George W. Hudson Council 3701 in Woodside, N.Y., collected $6,200 for the Mercy

Home for Children in Brooklyn by soliciting donations from among its membership. The council has been making yearly donations to Mercy Home for more than 60 years. CONCERT ORGANIZED

Don Juan Ponce de Leon Council 1719 in Ponce, P.R., organized a concert that raised nearly $2,300 to support its parish. NEW CARPET

Charleswood Council 7523 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, volunteered to help with the installation of new carpet at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church. Knights moved and stored items prior to the old carpet’s removal; modified steps to meet current building codes; and repaired any pews, doors, guardrails or other items that had sustained damage during the years. FREE ULTRASOUNDS

Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Council 8210 in Manila, Luzon, joined with the Angel C. Palanca Peace Program Foundation to sponsor free ultrasounds for 35 local mothers in need. The event, which also featured talks on the culture of life, was held at the Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz. (#$/,(+0 "*-0 0 .*/. .(&-')%0+%&--'+0%- /(/0), (&/0.,,#.'0)+&- 0 -'/0 0-" 0 .(&-')%0 %&--'+0 &/++ -#*,./,(0 + -,+-*/$0  )+&- 0 -'/0-#,%)'00),

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St. John Vianney Council 8201 in Spokane, Wash., hosted a dessert social to benefit the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church. The event featured door prizes and treats, as well as selections from the history and music used by the religious order. The social raised more than $900 to assist with the sisters’ work.

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Veterans who attend college don’t receive benefits during spring or semester breaks. To help make up for this shortfall for students who are veterans, Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif., was selling T-shirts for $15 each. After learning this, Msgr. Timothy J. Doyle Council 13111 in Irvine donated $220 to the school’s shortfall fund. LIKE-NEW BIKES

In 2012, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Council 7473 in Valparaiso, Ind., started a project to collect used bikes and refurbish them for distribution to needy families and individuals. Knights have repaired and donated more than 300 bikes to date, with council members performing most of the repair work themselves. CEILING REPAIRS

Charlebois Council 2704 in The Pas, Manitoba, held

three community breakfasts to raise funds to repair the ceiling at Sacred Heart Cathedral. The events netted $11,000 to complete the work. EUTHANASIA LECTURES

Blessed Trinity Council 11681 in Toronto sponsored two talks on Catholic teaching regarding euthanasia. Moira McQueen, executive director of the Canadian Bioethics Institute, and Bob Parke, a clinical ethicist and council member, served as speakers at the two events.

kofc.org exclusive See more “Knights in Action� reports and photos at www.kofc.org/ knightsinaction


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K OF C ITEMS OFFICIAL SUPPLIERS IN THE UNITED STATES THE ENGLISH COMPANY INC. Official council and Fourth Degree equipment 1-800-444-5632  www.kofcsupplies.com


LYNCH AND KELLY INC. Official council and Fourth Degree equipment and officer robes 1-888-548-3890  www.lynchkelly.com

A. Knit Cap. Jacquard knit beanie cap in charcoal grey with a black contrast stripe. “Knights of Columbus” is woven into the acrylic fabric, and a great fleece lining provides no-itch comfort and warmth. — $13 each

IN CANADA ROGER SAUVÉ INC. Official council and Fourth Degree equipment and officer robes 1-888-266-1211  www.roger-sauve.com




Please enroll me in the Father McGivney Guild: NAME ADDRESS CITY STATE/PROVINCE ZIP/POSTAL CODE Complete this coupon and mail to: The Father McGivney Guild, 1 Columbus Plaza, New Haven, CT 06510-3326 or enroll online at: www.fathermcgivney.org

B. Thermos™ Vacuum Bottle. This Thermos™ brand bottle uses their famous insulation technology for maximum temperature retention, hot or cold. The durable stainless steel interior and exterior stays cool to the touch with hot liquids and sweat-proof with cold ones. The twist-and-pour stopper lets you pour without removing the stopper, and the insulated serving cup is made of stainless steel as well. The bottle holds 40 ounces and keeps hot or cold for 24 hours. A terrific yearround gift with the emblem of the Order silkscreened in white on the midnight navy bottle. — $33 each

OFFICIAL JAN. 1, 2016: To owners of Knights of Columbus insurance policies and persons responsible for payment of premiums on such policies: Notice is hereby given that in accordance with the provisions of Section 84 of the Laws of the Order, payment of insurance premiums due on a monthly basis to the Knights of Columbus by check made payable to Knights of Columbus and mailed to same at PO Box 1492, NEW HAVEN, CT 06506-1492, before the expiration of the grace period set forth in the policy. In Canada: Knights of Columbus, Place d’Armes Station, P.O. Box 220, Montreal, QC H2Y 3G7 ALL MANUSCRIPTS, PHOTOS, ARTWORK, EDITORIAL MATTER, AND ADVERTISING INQUIRIES SHOULD BE MAILED TO: COLUMBIA, PO BOX 1670, NEW HAVEN, CT 06507-0901. REJECTED MATERIAL WILL BE RETURNED IF ACCOMPANIED BY A SELF-ADDRESSED ENVELOPE AND RETURN POSTAGE. PURCHASED MATERIAL WILL NOT BE RETURNED. OPINIONS BY WRITERS ARE THEIR OWN AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS. SUBSCRIPTION RATES — IN THE U.S.: 1 YEAR, $6; 2 YEARS, $11; 3 YEARS, $15. FOR OTHER COUNTRIES ADD $2 PER YEAR. EXCEPT FOR CANADIAN SUBSCRIPTIONS, PAYMENT IN U.S. CURRENCY ONLY. SEND ORDERS AND CHECKS TO: ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENT, PO BOX 1670, NEW HAVEN, CT 06507-0901.


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C. C. Full-Zip Sweatshirt — Personalized. This comfortable sweatshirt offers maximum versatility with full-zip detailing. The full athletic cut gives freedom of movement, and the colorfast fabric keeps colors true wash after wash. This sweatshirt is a nine-ounce, 65/35 ring spun combed cotton/poly blend, with rib cuffs and waistband; set-in sleeves; and front slash pockets. The emblem of the Order or the Fourth Degree emblem is embroidered on the left chest in full-color. You can have this garment personalized with your council or assembly name and number, so please allow 10 working days for production. — S-XL: $48; 2X: $50; 3XL: $51; 4XL: $52

Order these and other items online at:

knightsgear.com Questions? Call: 1-855-GEAR-KOC (855-432-7562)

JAN 15 COVERS E 12_15_Layout 1 12/15/15 9:55 AM Page 33


Building a better world one council at a time Every day, Knights all over the world are given opportunities to make a difference — whether through community service, raising money or prayer. We celebrate each and every Knight for his strength, his compassion and his dedication to building a better world.




Members of San Judas Tadeo Council 14721 in Juriquilla, Mexico Central, and their families stand with a new statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe that the council erected in the Diocese of Querétaro. The statue, which depicts Mary holding a newborn baby, seeks to promote prayers for the sanctity of all human life, from conception to natural death. The unveiling also coincided with a pro-life drive to collect goods for a local pregnancy resource center. Among those pictured is State Deputy Gerardo D. Carstensen-Velázquez, immediately to the right of the statue.

“K NIGHTS IN A CTION ” H AVEN , CT 06510-3326



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BROTHER ANDREW HORTON Crosier Community of Onamia, Minn.


I was born and raised in Omaha, Neb., where I attended Catholic schools. Being a part of a Catholic community in my early years provided me the foundational interest in a religious vocation. However, I did not start to seriously discern this vocation until I was 33. After being away from my faith for some time, I was asked by a friend about my relationship with Jesus. I didn’t know how to answer, as I didn’t have much of one. Desiring such a relationship, I returned to the Church and started attending Mass regularly, praying and volunteering. Eventually, after a time of searching and discernment, I was received as a novice with the Crosier Fathers and Brothers in 2013. Thinking of consecrated life from a Crosier viewpoint, as gift and response, has had a powerful impact on me. Slowly, through the grace of God, I am realizing that consecrated life is more about being than doing — particularly being a messenger of the Gospel. My hope is to imitate Christ by serving others and sharing the message of salvation in the Cross.

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