The following is an archive of articles about St. John Paul Life Center Events and News:
Fourth Annual Benefit Gala – Today is the Day!
Nearly 700 supporters were entertained at the Hyatt Regency Downtown on November 7, 2014 at the St. John Paul II Life Center’s Fourth Annual Benefit Dinner. Popular Austin author/blogger Jennifer Fulwiler emceed the program which also featured keynote speaker Teresa Tomeo and Catholic singing duo Greg & Lizzy. This year’s Dignity in Life Award recipients were Tom & Ann Bierschenk and Msgr. Louis Pavlicek who have been pro-life leaders in the Diocese of Austin for many years. The invocation was offered by Fr. Danny Garcia, Vicar General of the Diocese of Austin, and the benediction was given by Fr. Mark Hamlet, pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
Winner Announced for Trip to Rome
Msgr. Don Sawyer’s name was drawn on Friday, January 31, 2014 as the winner of St. John Paul II Life Center’s trip for two to Rome to witness the canonization of St.Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII. Msgr. Sawyer is the pastor of Our Lady’s Maronite Catholic Church here in Austin. The canonization will take place on April 27, the Feast of Divine Mercy. We learned from Msgr. Sawyer, upon hearing that he had won the trip, that April 27 is also the 40th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood so it will be a very special trip for him.
Third Annual Benefit Gala
With a theme of “Joyful Voices,” singer Collin Raye, Catholic author Patrick Madrid, and Relevant Radio news director Sheila Liaugminas entertained a packed house at the AT&T Center on December 5, 2013. Their voices of joy, reason and truth were also joined by Msgr. Mike Sis, vicar general of the Diocese of Austin, who offered the invocation and Fr. Basil Aguzie, pastor of Holy Cross Catholic Church, who gave the benediction. This year’s Dignity in Life Award recipient was Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Gov. Perry received the award in recognition of his consistent support of legislation that restricts abortion and ensures the safety of women.
Priests’ Appreciation Dinner 2013
Priests from all over the Diocese of Austin enjoyed dinner and fellowship at The Headliners’ Club on August 22 at St. John Paul II Life Center’s Third Annual Priests’ Appreciation Dinner. The keynote speaker for the evening was Fr. David Konderla, pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Center in College Station, who spoke on The Pastoral Art of Marriage, Family and FertilityCare™. We are thankful to Cook-Walden Funeral Homes and Cemeteries and its president Rodney Molitor (pictured with Fr. Bud Roland) for again co-sponsoring the event.
Artfully Yours! Date Night for NFP Week
Over 50 attendees joined St. John Paul II Life Center at Art on Fifth for our second annual wine and cheese date night. Denise and Brian Abele shared their NFP journey and guests enjoyed seeing artwork ranging from Dr. Seuss to Central Texas landmarks.
Jason Evert Encourages to Teens to Embrace Chastity
Nearly 1,000 teens attended Jason Evert’s talks on May 17 & 18, 2013 in Austin and Bryan. With humor and compassion, Jason encouraged the teens to embrace the beauty of chastity. He is the best-selling author of a dozen books including Theology of the Body for Teens and How to Find Your Soulmate without Losing Your Soul. The events were sponsored by St. John Paul II Life Center and the Diocese of Austin.
St. Gianna Enshrinement
St. John Paul II Life Center was honored on April 16 to have Bishop Joe Vásquez celebrate the enshrinement of a St. Gianna Molla relic in the lobby of the Vitae. Healthcare professionals came from as far as Temple and Bryan to participate and St. Gianna Guild President Thomas McKenna (pictured) shared stories and relics of St. Gianna. St. Gianna Molla is a patron saint for mothers, physicians, and unborn children.
Click here for video highlights of the enshrinement ceremony or click here to view the entire ceremony.
Make Straight the Pathway Catholic Healthcare Conference in Houston
Make Straight the Pathway Catholic Health Care Conference in Houston U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry was the keynote speaker at the Make Straight the Pathways Conference in Houston. According to one physician, “It was the best medical conference I’ve ever attended!” Healthcare professionals from 12 different states attended including physicians, priests, nuns, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, attorneys and interested individuals. The goal of this conference was to equip attendees with the skills to educate others on the need for public policy that actively protects and promotes religious freedom; develop Culture of Life Primary Care Medical Centers; and establish a National Catholic Health Plan. The conference was sponsored by St. John Paul II Life Center, the ChristusMedicus Foundation and the Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
Click here for a video overview of the Make Straight the Pathways Conference. You may also scroll down to Educational Presentations for video of our speakers’ presentations at the conference.
Second Annual Benefit Dinner
With the theme of “Let Freedom Ring,” St. John Paul II Life Center’s Second Annual Benefit Dinner attracted nearly 600 supporters to the AT&T Conference Center on December 5, 2012. The evening was highlighted by our keynote speaker, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, USCCB Pro-Life Chair. Cardinal DiNardo was introduced by Gov. Rick Perry and the invocation was offered by Bishop Joe Vasquez of the Diocese of Austin. Dr. Tom and Sue Hilgers were honored with the Dignity in Life Award for Dr. Hilgers’ work developing the women’s health science of NaProTECHNOLOGY.
Ethics CME for Healthcare Professionals
Forty-five healthcare professionals and guests attended Dr. Thomas Hilgers‘ presentation of “NaPro and Women’s Health” at Seton Medical Center on December 6, 2012. Dr. Hilgers is internationally recognized for his outstanding achievements in the field of natural fertility regulation and reproductive medicine. He developed the Creighton Model FertilityCare™ System and the new women’s health science of NaProTECHNOLOGY.
“Restless Heart” Movie Showing
We sold more than 900 tickets and generated enough funds to cover 12 sonograms for mothers in crisis pregnancies! On behalf of the mothers and babies who will receive these services, thank you! We extend a very special thank you to the “Restless Heart Team,” a group of regular Catholics who just wanted to see the film and help The St. JPII Life Center. These individuals sacrificed significant time and treasure to bring this film to you and to benefit us. Thank you very much!
Priests’ Appreciation Dinner
Thirty priests attended The St. JPII Life Center’s second annual “Priests’ Appreciation Dinner” on Aug. 28, 2012 at the Headliners Club in Austin. The evening was co-sponsored by Cook-Walden Funeral Homes and Cemeteries. In addition to dinner, the priests enjoyed camaraderie with their brother priests, listened to Dr. Jeremy Kalamarides talk about his work at Vitae and received a champagne toast in honor of their service to Christ and his Church. The evening ended with each priest receiving copies of the CD, “NFP: A Preachable Message” and the book, “Physicians Healed” which offers inspiring stories of physicians who choose not prescribe contraception.
Future Full of Hope Prayer Service
Representatives from St. John Paul II Life Center’s Vitae Clinic participated in the Diocese of Austin’s “Future Full of Hope Prayer Service” on July 25, 2012. Couples who are struggling to conceive prayed together and were given the opportunity to visit with several organizations about treatments for infertility through NaProTECHNOLOGY, Natural Family Planning, and adoption options.
Wine Tasting Date Night
Toasting Life and Love, Naturally. Fifty people attended The St. JPII Life Center’s first “Wine Tasting Date Night” on July 28, 2012 at Water 2 Wine in recognition of Natural Family Planning (NFP) Week. Fr. Brian Eilers opened the evening in prayer, Austin therapist Christopher Sperling gave a brief introduction to Theology of the Body and the three diocesan NFP methods (Billings, Couple to Couple League and Creighton). According to one couple, they enjoyed the evening because it was a “time for fellowship with other couples with strong values and to hear their stories of how NFP has positively impacted their lives.” Check out photos from the event on our Facebook page by clicking here.
Your Call to Greatness
St. John Paul II Life Center hosted “Your Call to Greatness” on July 11 in the Vitae lobby. The two-hour introduction to Theology of the Body was facilitated by Becky and Tony Saucedo. More than 20 guests attended. We are planning to offer the complete eight-part series later this fall.
The Silver Ring Thing
Far exceeding everyone’s expectations, 600 youth and 200 parents attended Central Texas’ first Catholic Edition of the Silver Ring Thing. The event, co-sponsored with the Diocese of Austin, was held at St. Michael’s Catholic Academy on February 17, 2012. For a first event, we were told to expect 300 students. God certainly had something much, much better in store!
The Silver Ring Thing is a national program started in 1995, which promotes abstinence until marriage centered on a Christ-focused relationship. Since then, nearly 200,000 teenagers have committed themselves to strive for chastity after attending this program.
Inaugural Benefit Dinner
St. John Paul II Life Center Inaugural Benefit Dinner sold out with 350 guests at the elegant Four Seasons Hotel on November 1, 2011. Highlights of the banquet included a powerful speech by broadcast news analyst and author Fr. Father Jonathan Morris. Hear it on Catholic New Media and the presentation of the “Dignity in Life Award” to Texas Alliance for Life Executive Director Dr. Joe Pojman and his wife, Bea, for their tireless efforts on behalf of the Pro-Life movement.
Priests’ Appreciation Dinner
Bishop Joe Vásquez and 40 priests from the Diocese of Austin came together on September 13, 2011 for fellowship and to hear Dr. Jeremy Kalamarides from Vitae and Dr. Tim Field of Bryan/College Station speak on their journey to becoming Pro-Life physicians The two also spoke on the latest medical advances in NaProTECHNOLOGY and Natural Family Planning.