Yesterday afternoon was the Open House of the new Women’s Care Center located at 3711 Orin Road right across the street from the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic. Bishop Morlino was there to bless the Center and its new chapel, where the Blessed Sacrament will be reserved–one of only a few such pregnancy centers in the country with that inestimable privilege. And wow, I was not the only one amazed how beautiful this place is. Lovely, welcoming, homey, classy, and the chapel is amazing, anything but an afterthought.
There were at least around 50 attendees (not all in the frame here).
Bishop Morlino said the Women’s Care Center is his pride and joy, the only thing he is more proud of, are his seminarians. He also commented that the sight of Planned Parenthood and the Women’s Care Center right beside each other was a remarkable illustration of a Gospel verse: “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live.” (Deuteronomy 13:19)
Bishop Morlino and his Master of Ceremonies Fr Greg Ihm walk by the exhibits table, after the bishop, Fr Greg, Fr Rick Heilman, and Msgr Charles Schluter (the latter two are on the WCC’s board of directors) blessed the little chapel.
The photo above shows how close the Women’s Care Center (with the pink awning) is to Planned Parenthood (the building across the street, in the background); beyond that but not really visible is the Truax campus of Madison Area Technical College. The Women’s Care Center used to be a disused and run-down industrial type building (check out the “before” photos!). One day, someone keeping prayer vigil outside Planned Parenthood noticed a For Sale sign. Generous donors stepped forward and the property was purchased and totally transformed. Women’s Care Center has locations in several states in the Midwest and was able to move in with a proven program model, originally designed by Dr Janet Smith, all ready to go. You may be interested in downloading MP3 audio of Dr Smith’s Contraception: Why Not?
Reception area. Everything is very home like, upscale home like.
A well appointed counseling room. On the right on the lower shelf of the TV stand there is a lovely set of models of a baby developing in a womb.
The ultrasound image was of a 10 week old baby (you can click the image to see it bigger), you could easily see the heart beating. We were told of a very young woman the WCC has served here already, who had been unsure about committing to parenthood, and did not think others would be supportive of her pregnancy. She was urged to tell someone, and she chose to tell her boyfriend, who came back with her to her ultrasound appointment. Both broke out in big smiles when they saw the ultrasound of their baby. The young woman’s mom strongly did not want her to have the baby, she wound up moving in with her boyfriend and his parents. But the baby lived.
Participants in the WCC program can earn coupons by attending parenting classes, etc, redeemable at the WCC “Crib Club” store full of nice baby things. They said clients’ faces light up when they see all the cute things they can get for their little one.
The Chapel. You can click to see it bigger. I was moved to see what a worthy and dignified place they had made for the celebration of Mass and for the Blessed Sacrament. The painting is by a priest, whose name I cannot remember.
Doors open, with angels, and a monstrance!, and the vessels for Mass! Again, you can click to see it bigger. Yes, people will adore the Blessed Sacrament, Jesus Who is Life, right across the street from the Planned Parenthood abortion facility. Mass will be ad orientem in the tiny chapel.
Fr Rick Heilman, founder of the Knights of Divine Mercy, led the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. He also announced that Fr Isaac Mary Relyea will be leading weekly Rosary Rally for Life, Family and the Conversion of the World, on the State Street steps of the Capitol, 7pm Thursday evenings beginning in June.
A really pleasant event with a lot of faithful people. It was a warm day so the shade tent was a good idea. The refreshments were provided by the Ganser Company, which is owned by very committed Catholics, I am thinking they probably did a lot of the work on the building. In the background on the left under the blue tent you can see some young musicians.
The view from the parking lot, so you can see the whole building.
Looks great! However, no center like this is complete without brochures or counseling about adoption. The absolute best for any child is a stable home with a married mother AND father for the child’s proper physical, psychological and spiritual development. We should not be encouraging single motherhood which more often than not leads to poverty (Catholics try to stamp out poverty) but encourage all to live up to the potential God meant for them. Live rightly and in the proper order: education, holy marriage, then children. We should say “Praise God and thank you for choosing to have your baby. Now let’s talk about what’s best for all concerned”. We need to pass on this knowledge. In discussing true charity Pope Benedict states in “Caritas in Veritate” that “the individual who is animated by true charity labours skillfully to discover the causes of misery, to find the means to combat it, to overcome it resolutely”.
Or to put it another way, wonderful Centers like this should not only hand out band aids to to cover up the disease of poverty (baby clothes, diapers, cribs) but also work to be part of the cure (education, adoption resources, moral instruction, God, Christ, Church). We can’t just do half the job.
Perhaps this Center already does this. If so, I am truly grateful.Permalink