By Lisa Kochanowski
SOUTH BEND — Dick Dornbos reports that two abortions take place in St. Joseph County every day, and this is a statistic he could not accept. The Knights of Columbus Father Stephen T. Badin Council 4263 order member felt something needed to be done to save innocent babies and decided to enlist members of his group on a mission to purchase a new ultrasound machine for the Women’s Care Center facility on Ironwood Road in South Bend.
“The Holy Spirit tells me what to do,” said Dornbos, of what brought him to this decision. “I believe we’ve got to do something about this.”
According to Knights of Columbus field agent of the Supreme Council Bob Baloun, the individual council can choose a project to fund and the Father Stephen T. Badin group chose an ultrasound machine for the Women’s Care Center. Through fundraising efforts like pancake breakfasts, fish fries and other projects the Granger council raised over $16,000 in nine months, which was matched by the Supreme Council, allowing enough money to purchase the machine for the center.
“If it saves at least one life it’s worth it,” said Baloun of the project.
Members of the Women’s Care Center were delighted with the generosity of the Knights of Columbus.
Another Knights-funded ultrasound machine is in Wabash.
“This was so generous of them,” noted Women’s Care Center president Ann Manion. “We are blessed that over 95 percent of abortion-minded young women who receive counseling and an ultrasound at the center choose life for their babies.”
“The ultrasound machine is one of the most vital components,” said the Women’s Care Center Foundation director Bobby Williams, who noted the group is 100 percent privately funded and totally reliant on the friends and families that help the center. “It’s the first time a mother can see her baby, hear her baby and bond with her baby.”
Williams said that over 5000 ultrasounds were given this year. “This is a tremendous gift.”
On Sunday, Sept. 18, over 150 men, women, children and clergy came out to the Women’s Care Center to witness a Rite of Thanksgiving and Blessing Ceremony by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades.
“I am so grateful to the Women’s Care Center and to my brother Knights for all their generosity,” said Bishop Rhoades to the crowd. “We are criticized about how we care only about the babies, but that is false. We also care about the mothers’ well being both physical and mental. We love the babies and we love the mothers.”
Bishop Rhoades spoke about how Catholics love their neighbors and it is those neighbors that could be an unwed mother searching for help and answers. He encouraged everyone who attended the ceremony to pray for all members of society wrestling with these tough choices and to help them choose life.
“We pray for an end to abortion; that our society will be transformed,” said Bishop Rhoades. “We pray for the protection of life; for all the unborn.”
After the prayer service, the crowd processed around the complex area reciting the rosary and praying for those unborn children who will hopefully be helped by the generous donation of the Knights of Columbus.
The Women’s Care Center was founded in 1984 by Dr. Janet Smith, a young professor from the University of Notre Dame. According to its mission, the center offers unconditional positive regard to every young woman who comes through the door. In 2010, this included 16,731 women who made 67,820 visits to 17 neighborhood sites. The center performs 1,000 pregnancy tests every month and serves nearly 300 women every day. Center programs are designed to help young women find the support they need to choose life for their babies.
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Bishop Kevin Kevin C. Rhoades along with members from the community attended a Rite of Thanksgiving and Blessing Ceremony at the Women’s Care Center on Sunday.
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Following the blessing, everyone followed the decorated Knights of Columbus and Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades in a process around the Women’s Care Center complex that included praying the rosary.
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Following the blessing, everyone followed the decorated Knights of Columbus and Bishop Kevin Rhoades in a march around the Women’s Care Center complex that included praying the rosary.
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