Business Owners: Save Money. Support Life. (page 2) Miracle Babies from Russia & Within (page 3) Introducing Donor Spotlight! (page 3)
LIFE CENTER Spring 2012
Building a Culture of Life
Yes, she really is alive!
The gym at St. Michael’s Catholic Academy was packed with 600 students and 200 parents at Texas’ first Catholic Edition of Silver Ring Thing co-sponsored by the Diocese and The JPII Life Center.
Texas’ First Catholic Edition of Silver Ring Thing brings 600 teens special thanks to the Catholic Diocese of Austin and St. Michael’s Catholic Academy for cosponsoring the event; Co-Chairs Amanda Truelove and Aaron Barta; Committee members Marie Seale, Briana Feiler, Amelia Erickson and Debbie Reynolds; Fr. Brian Eilers, Fr. Jim Evans, Fr. Adrian Chishimba and Fr. Jonathan Raia for presenting and offering reconciliation. Judy and Dick Ames, Ron Parks Photography, Casa Chapala, Knights of Columbus and our many volunteers.
Six hundred youth and 200 parents attended Central Texas’ first Catholic Silver Ring Thing (SRT) on Friday at St. Michael’s Catholic Academy. For a first event, we were told to expect 300 students. God certainly had something much, much better in store! SRT is an international program that incorporates humor, rock-concert special effects, music, moving stories and teen testimonies to help youth remain faithful and chaste. “To have a program of this caliber offered free to the teens of Central Texas is a beautiful gift,” said parent DeeDee Stone. Many other parents, such as Karen Torres, agreed saying it opened dialogue between them and their teens. Nearly half the teens purchased silver rings to remind them to strive for chastity daily. Parents also purchased rings to remind them to pray for their children and their future spouses. The JPII Life Center would like to extend
In early March, Naomi* was inside one of Austin’s larger abortion facilities. She and her boyfriend already had a very young child and didn’t think they could afford another. They kept telling themselves: “ it’s not alive yet.” Naomi’s boyfriend was outside talking with a sidewalk counselor who told him they could literally see that their baby was alive - if only they would follow him to The JPII Life Center. Within hours of see “Alive” on page 2
Hunger Games rings true with today’s culture This spring we have been struck by the enormous popularity of The Hunger Games. Since our two teenage sons both read the trilogy and were anticipating the movie, we decided to read the book also. For those who are not familiar with the story, it is set in a dystopia where human
sacrifice for the entertainment of some and the control of others is played out every year in an event called, “The Hunger Games.” Think of some futuristic, elaborate gladiatorial games. Intertwined with the brutality, there are continual examples of love and see “Hunger Games” on page 3
JPII Life Center Welcomes First Executive Director After consulting with The JPII Life Center for several months, I was humbled, honored and, I must admit, a little scared when Board President Tim Von Dohlen offered me the position as the center’s first executive director. The JPII Life Center’s three-fold mission focuses on Catholic medical care, sonograms for crisis pregnancies, and education. As a woman who struggled with infertility for 15 years, I know the value of having a Catholic Ob/ Kimberly Guidry Gyn Clinic. As an adoptive mother, I see daily the Speirs, JPII Life beauty of life and the heroism of birth parents. And, Center Executive as a former adjunct college professor, I appreciate the Director organization’s dedication to education. I started working in January. In my first two weeks, four women facing unexpected pregnancies walked through our doors. They were all struggling with their situations and two were staunchly determined to have abortions. Talk about “baptism by fire!” Since then, we’ve saved several babies and young mothers from abortion. We’ve held our first educational event (The Silver Ring Thing). And, our Vitae Clinic is nearly at 800 patients. None of this would be possible without your support or our board’s mission. What an honor it is to work with each of you and alongside prolife champions Pat and Tim Von Dohlen, Sheri and Chris Danze, Dr. Jeremy Kalamarides and his wife Heather, and Nancy and John Carrano. The JPII Life Center has made tremendous strides in such a short time. I’m sincerely excited to see what God has in store for the rest of 2012. As Blessed Teresa of Calcutta said: “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin!”
Money Saving Opportunity for Business Owners If you’re a business owner who wants to save money on credit card transactions and support The JPII Life Center, “Not only has Oak Hill Eye we have an Care saved a significant opportunity for you amount in credit card to consider. transaction fees, but now One of our 10% goes directly to JPII.” supporters, Austin ~ Dr. David Tybor Ophthalmologist David Tybor, introduced us to the concept: “Not only has Oak Hill Eye Care saved a significant amount in credit card transaction fees, but now 10 percent goes directly to The John Paul II Life Center. This is truly a win-win situation.” Businesses that accept credit cards for payment may be eligible. First Data is a world leader in payment processing services for businesses of all sizes. Because your processing would be direct with First Data, not a middleman bank or other organization, you could save money while also building a Culture of Life by helping The John Paul II Life Center. For more information, contact Alisa McElhenny at 512-257-8997 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alive continued from page 1
that conversation, they’d received a sonogram and, as the consultant said they would, saw the precious life of their second baby. When they walked out of the sonogram room, Naomi’s eyes were misty and full of joy. Jose exclaimed: “God is good!” Yes, we agree. God is very good! God saved Naomi, Jose, and their second baby from the horror of abortion thanks to Dr. Jeremy Kalamarides, the sidewalk consultant, the Gabriel Project and those of you who support us. Thank you. Save a Soul and a Life! $400 donation = 1 4D sonogram -----------------------------
Every dollar helps. Donate in the enclosed envelope or online at www.JP2LifeCenter.org
Visit our NEW Web sites & tell us what you think: JP2Life Center.org
Above: San Juan Diego honor students toured and support the Center. To schedule a tour, contact Info@JPIILifeCenter.org. Below: Fr. Brian Eilers blesses Silver Ring Thing rings in the rain.
Staying Open to God brings miracles from Russia and within
Becky and Chris Cook with new baby Abigail Grace at St. William Church.
Becky and Chris married in August 2002 with dreams of children. After not conceiving for a few years, they approached a physician for help. After three years of
clomid and/or progesterone, they felt God was calling them to adopt. In January, 2009 they welcomed a blondehaired, blue-eyed Russian daughter into their home. Adopting an 13-month-old brought many challenges, but Becky and Chris reveled in the joy Anastasia brought, and they continued to pray for more children. Since physicians said there was nothing more that could be done to achieve pregnancy, they began the adoption process again. In January, 2011, Becky was invited to participate in a tour being given to the Christ Child Society, an organization Becky supported that makes bereavement sets and layettes for mothers. The tour was at Vitae. “During the tour, I met ‘Dr. K’ who was so enthusiastic about the 3D/4D sonogram that he spent nearly an hour describing it to the group,” she said.
Hunger Games continued from page 1 self-sacrifice. As we read The Hunger Games, we couldn’t help but think about cultures throughout human history that destroyed lives for pleasure and power. The Aztecs and the Romans are notable because, like America, their societies were highly developed. Yet, they had little regard for the innate value of human life. In both cultures, it was Christ’s example of love and selfsacrifice that turned the tide. The John Paul II Life Center strives daily to turn the tide in our own culture - to turn from darkness toward
a Culture of Life. In the 18 months we’ve been open, the Vitae Clinic has grown to nearly 800 patients. Our Sonogram Center has provided numerous ultrasounds which helped young mothers choose life for their babies. And, the Silver Ring Thing attracted 600 students and 200 parents who learned how to live chaste, pure lives. We have much left to accomplish, but we are grateful to each of you who has joined us on the journey. ~ John & Nancy Carrano
Becky was touched by his sincerity and conviction. She made an appointment and saw him the next week. Over the next several weeks, Dr. Kalamarides reviewed her charts, conducted a hormone profile and scheduled surgery. The surgery confirmed endometriosis and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). She was released from the hospital on Good Friday and had another hormone profile. The new profile indicated elevated progesterone levels. She was told to call if she was late, but otherwise not to worry. “I called the Monday after Pentacost,” she recalls. “It’s weird that I remember the feast days like that!” She told the receptionist that she was late and not feeling well. “Dr. K picked up the phone himself and told me to come in that same day,” she giggled. The pregnancy test was positive. “I couldn’t believe
it,” she said. “I was shocked, worried, and very happy!” Baby Abigail Grace was born Feb. 18 at a healthy 6 pounds, 14 ounces. “It seemed to take forever before I could hold her,” Becky said. “But, once I saw her I gasped at how beautiful she was!” Becky and Chris are thankful that they weren’t able to conceive early in their marriage as they wouldn’t have Anastasia. And, they’re thankful they found Dr. Kalamarides and the Vitae Clinic so they were able to conceive despite all they’d been told. “The clinic looks at the woman holistically. If a woman’s body is healthy and works the way it’s supposed to, pregnancy can happen without being forced - naturally,” she said. “God sometimes has different things in mind for you. I’m glad we trusted in Him.”
Jo-Dee Benson & Doug Oldmixon have supported The JPII Life Center since before our doors opened. They’ve particiapted in the 3D/4D sonogram purchase with the KCs, the Mission Video and are financial supporters.
Adding a little “muscle” to the JPII Life Center Volunteer program gain grant writing experience while helping an organization he believed in. “I volunteer because I want to cooperate with God in building a Culture of Life,” he said. “Also, because my wife and I believe in the mission of offering pro-life sonograms, authentically Catholic medicine, and NFP education.” The JPII Life Center needs volunteers to help with events, in the office and with crisis pregnancies. If you believe God is calling you to help, contact us at Volunteer@ JPIILifeCenter.org or 512-407-2900.
Ma Ca rk le Yo nd u ar r s!
When someone says “volunteer,” we typically think of blue-haired older ladies at the hospital, hippies from the 60s, or that ‘other’ orange football team out east. The JPII Life Center is proud to have volunteers that don’t necessarily fit those stereotypes. Matthew Anderson is such an example. Matthew learned we needed event volunteers through St. Louis Church and he helped with the Silver Ring Thing. When he received an eblast asking for office volunteers, he signed up. He was looking for full-time employment and figured he could
Matthew Anderson volunteers weekly at the office doing grant research and writing.
May 13 - Mother’s Day Honor a special Mom and we’ll send her a card letting her know a donation was made in her honor to assist mothers in need. Email us at info@JPIILifeCenter.org. June 2 - Texas Alliance for Life Walk for Life At the Quarries, San Gabriel Park, Dick Nichols District Park, Veterans Memorial Park. Visit TexasAllianceForLife.org for details. July 22 - Natural Family Planning (NFP) Awareness Week Natural alternatives to artificial contraception:512-474-2757 or email@example.com. Aug. 28 - Priests’ Appreciation Dinner Make sure your priest has this on his calendar! Co-sponsored by Cook-Walden Funeral Homes, it will be held at the Headliners Club overlooking Austin. Dec. 5 - Benefit Dinner with USCCB Pro-Life Chair Cardinal DiNardo With all that’s happening regarding “ life” issues and religious freedom, be sure to save the date for this dinner with USCCB Pro-Life Chair Cardinal DiNardo!
The John Paul II Life Center’s mission is to build a Culture of Life by: 1) providing cutting-edge Ob/Gyn medical care at our Vitae Clinic, 2) offering 3D/4D sonograms to women in crisis pregnancies, and 3) educating clergy, couples and youth about NFP advancements and chastity. JPII Board: Tim & Pat Von Dohlen - Chris & Sheri Danze Dr. & Mrs. Jeremy Kalamarides - John & Nancy Carrano 1600 W. 38th St., Suite 115 Austin, TX 78731 Info@JPIILifecenter.org 512-407-2900
Building a Culture of Life!
News and events from the John Paul II Life Center in Austin, Texas