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Crisis Pregnancy Services Growing .......... page 2 Joyful Voices Benefit Dinner (Calendar)..... page 3

LIFE CENTER Summer 2013

Embrace a Better Choice!

Issue 8

Graduate School and a Baby - Newfound Strength!

Growing up, Mary Ellen (Mariel) dreamed of a life of travel and work overseas. She was pursuing that dream. She’d already completed her undergraduate degree, had just returned from a summer in France, and was due to graduate with her Masters in French and Spanish. Not even the smallest part of her had ever wanted a child. Those dreams crashed hard last September when she visited us. Not only did the pregnancy test show positive, she saw a heartbeat on the sonogram. “I experienced sheer terror,” she says. “I wondered how I could pursue graduate school and be a mother,” she recalls. She didn’t know what she’d do. With the support of her parents, The JPII Life Center, and Vitae Clinic, Mariel grew to embrace her situation. Sofia was born May 10. And today, the love she has for her baby is contagious. “I’m stronger now than I ever thought I’d be,” she says. “I feel empowered. I know I can do whatever is thrown my way.” Mariel is on track to complete her Masters in the Spring of 2014. The average cost of a sonogram for a woman in crisis is $400. Should the mother become a Vitae Clinic patient, and if she doesn’t have insurance, the average cost for pre-natal care, visits and delivery is $5,000. If you are able to help defray some of these costs, please donate in the enclosed envelope. If you feel God may be calling you to become a pregnancy consultant, contact us as to learn about our Fall training.

Kara and Andy Miller were able to conceive Ruby and Ella using NaProTechnology.

God’s Plan is Better!

When Kara and Andy Miller started trying to get pregnant in 2009, they looked forward to having a big family. “I always knew that no matter what else happened in my life, career or otherwise, the most important thing to me was to be a mom,” says Kara. Both 27 at the time, infertility was the last thing on their minds. “It’s not something you anticipate when you’re young,” she says. But after a year of trying with no success, fear that she’d never conceive weighed on her. To make matters worse, Kara found her visits with her secular doctor cold and jarring. “It was just in and out,” see “God’s Plan” on page 2

This Mission Continues

when Mary Ellen visited us in September, she couldn’t believe she was pregnant and she didn’t know what she’d do. Motherhood was not part of her plan

Three years ago God gave us the opportunity to participate in His divine plan by becoming board members of The John Paul II Life Center and directing the Vitae Clinic. Since then, it’s become clear that His plan to provide authentic Catholic and Pro-Life OB/GYN care, although countercultural, is entirely possible. By caring for over 1,600 women and working see “Mission” on page 2

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Summer 2013

At left, our newest class of pregnancy consultants. At right, volunteer sonographers Zohreh Nozad, Sue Cornelius, Regina Swearington.

Thankful for 10 volunteer pregnancy consultants and 3 volunteer sonographers!

The JPII Life Center now has ten pregnancy consultants representing Hispanic, African American and White communities. About a third of our consultants are fluent in Spanish. When we get a call, we assess if the woman is happy about the pregnancy or in crisis. If she is happy, we refer her

to the Vitae Clinic and the pregnancy center nearest her. If she is in crisis, we provide pregnancy tests, consultation, and a sonogram. Until recently, Dr. Jeremy Kalamarides was our sole sonographer. Thankfully, we were blessed to train three new volunteer sonographers this March.

God’s Plan continued from page 1

she says. The doctor did discover uterine polyps but seemed unconcerned about doing anything about them. But, in November 2010, Kara heard of the Vitae Clinic and its use of NaProTechnology (a medical science that identifies the causes of infertility and treats it naturally) and made an appointment. “It was a totally different experience. Dr. Kalamarides was compassionate and willing to investigate my fertility.” At his urging, Kara and Andy learned the Creighton Model FertilityCare System and were soon able to identify that she had endometriosis and low progesterone levels. “It’s amazing that charting tells you everything you need to know,” says Kara. Over the next year, Kara had two minor surgeries to remove the endometriosis and polyps and began progesterone shots. In May 2012, Kara and Andy were overjoyed to discover they were pregnant. Their joy doubled a month later when during a sonogram Dr. Kalamarides said, “There are two heartbeats!” Kara says the Vitae Clinic gave her a renewed sense of hope. “God had a plan and it was so much better than ours. It was as though He was saying, ‘Just wait, things are about to get crazy.’” Ruby and Ella, now 5 months old, are already showing their personalities — Ruby is talkative and Ella is introspective, says Kara. As for plans to further expand their family? “Eventually,” Kara says, “But we have our hands pretty full for now.” ~ Written by Hannah Hepfer For more about NaProTechnology, visit

All pregnancy consultants and sonographers are required to undergo training. Our trainings include Dr. Kalamarides, the Diocese of Austin, Coalition for Life, Abby Johnson, CareNet, and Mass. Planning is underway for our Fall Training. For more, email

Mission continued from page 1

cooperatively with the Austin FertilityCare Center, we have been blessed to witness dozens of successes. These successes are due to the Divine Providence of God as well as your prayers and financial support. There is not a day since our arrival in Texas that we have not felt completely fulfilled by serving God in this work. It would be enough to have shown one mother a sonogram of her baby that was scheduled for abortion, to have helped a young woman feel empowered by understanding and managing her reproductive health cooperatively with her body, or to have given a couple the wonderful news that they are parents after waiting for what seems an eternity. We are on a very unique and difficult mission. Our work has only just begun. We must continue this mission to bring natural, holistic women’s healthcare, in every phase of life, to a nation that seems ever more deprived of truth and justice. As we approach the deadline to comply with the HHS mandate let us not forget the great many sacrifices made to ensure the success of The John Paul II Life Center and Vitae Clinic. Our work could be some of the most important in history. Let’s pray and continue to make sacrifices for the dignity of all women and men - born and unborn - seeking our assistance. We are forever grateful for you, ~ Dr. Jeremy & Heather Kalamarides Board Members

Summer 2013

Businesses for LIFE!

Debbie Reynolds, Events Manager

Leticia Adams, Crisis Pregnancy Manager

Diana Arteaga, Vitae Clinic Nurse Practitioner

The John Paul II Life Center and Vitae Clinic Welcome Three New Part-Time Employees

Ma Ca rk le Yo nd u ar r s!

A generous grant enabled The John Paul II Life Center to create two parttime positions: events manager and crisis pregnancy consultant manager. Debbie Reynolds, who has managed pro-life events for years, is our new event manager. Prior to moving to Austin, she worked in one of Houston’s largest pregnancy resource centers. Leticia Adams is our new crisis pregnancy manager. She is a Catholic convert, a blogger with Catholic Stand, and speaks Spanish and English.

Due to the growing number of patients (we now have more than 1,600), Vitae Clinic had a strong need to hire additional medical staff. Diana Arteaga, who is a Creighton Model FertilityCare practitioner and Nurse Practitioner, started seeing patients in February. Prior to joining Vitae, she worked as a family nurse practitioner for adults and children. Diana is fluent in both Spanish and English.

The JPII Life Center and First Data Independent Sales have come together to help businesses lower processing fees adn earn a tax-deduction. It doesn’t cost a thing - and it benefits The JPII Life Center! Join the growing list: • St. Michael’s Catholic Academy • Drs. Tybor, Payne & Smith of Oak Hill Eye Care • Northwest Imports • Roger Harden, MD, Allergist • Celie Harden, DDS • Intuitus Group • FluoroMed LP • Exfluor Research Corp. For information, contact Alisa at 512-257-8997 or

July 16 - Champagne & Strawberries For Circle of Life leadership members. Please RSVP to Judy or Dick at July 24 - Infertility Prayer Service (St. William Catholic Church) Ecumenical prayer service for couples striving to conceive. July 26 - Artfully Yours Wine & Cheese Date Night (7 pm @ Art on 5th) In recognition of Natural Family Planning Week. $10 tickets available by donating online and selecting “Artfully Yours” in the donation category. Aug. 22 - Priests’ Appreciation Dinner (6 pm @ Headliners Club) The Pastoral Art of Marriage, Family and Fertility Care with Rev. David Konderla. Co-Sponsored by Cook-Walden Funeral Homes. RSVP at Dec. 5 - Joyful Voices, Benefit Dinner See Patrick Madrid, host of EWTN’s “Right Here, Right Now” and author of 16 Catholic books selling 750,000 copies world-wide! Sheila Liaugminas, host of Relevant Radio’s “A Closer Look,” will Emcee the evening. Tickets on sale soon. Save the Date!

See EWTN Host and Author Patrick Madrid and Relevant Radio Host Sheila Liaugminas at our Dec. 5 benefit.

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Summer 2013

Make Straight Houston conference draws attendees from 12 states

St. Gianna Enshrinement: St. Gianna Physician Guild President Thomas McKenna (left) and Bishop Joe Vásquez (right) led the Enshrinement celebration of a St. Gianna Molla relic in April. Healthcare professionals from as far as Bryan, Temple and San Antonio attended the event. St. Gianna is the patron saint of physicians, difficult pregnancies, and pro-life causes. A relic resides in the Vitae lobby.

Of the 53 abortion-minded women who visited us in 2012, fifty chose LIFE! That’s about a baby a week! Not to mention, countless souls! Thank you!

Nearly 100 healthcare and religious leaders from 12 states attended the “Make Straight The Pathway” conference this March. Held on the campus of St. Thomas University in Houston, attendees learned about movement toward the development of a National Catholic Health Plan that is Christ-centered and consistent with Catholic Ethical and Religious Directives (ERDs). They also learned how to develop Culture of Life primary care centers, like The JPII Life Center. Presenters included David Barton of Wallbuilders, Richard Doerf linger of the USCCB, and more. To see the presentations, subscribe to “JP2LifeCenter” at For information about the conference, contact us at info@ or 512-407-2900, ext. 2.

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. 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 512-407-2900

Building a Culture of Life!

John Paul II Life Center News Summer 2013  

News and events from the John Paul II Life Center in Austin, Texas.

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