As we look back at this extraordinary year, it was only fitting that we at Culture of Life Family Services (COLFS) had an unusual, yet so incredible, first ever virtual Gala. Hosted this past Saturday, October 24, 2020 at John Paul the Great Catholic University, we were honored by the participation of David Bereit, Founder of 40 Days for Life, and The Most Reverend Auxiliary Bishop Ramon Bejerano.
Hosted by our Medical Director, Dr. George Delgado, we were able to successfully raise nearly $81,000 in one evening and are still looking to meet our $250,000 goal before Thanksgiving.
During this year’s live broadcast, we honored our Sue Lopez Pro-Life Persons of the Year, John and Randi McDonnell, alongside their closest family and friends. Thanking his family alongside his wife, John said that he is “so grateful that [Randi] shares his passion for saving lives and helping women so [they] could do this ministry together.” Randi adds, “we are a team,” and gives all glory to God and Mother Mary for all the gifts both she and John have received. “God is good, all the time,” said Randi.
In the conversation between Delgado and Bereit, we are reminded of Romans 13:12 to “let us… put on the amor of light.” With the world being what it is, we must continue our fight to protect the sanctity of life, and to honor children, mothers, and their families alike. Starting off with an opening prayer, His Excellency prays for the culture of life, and to cherish it so that we can all come together to build on it and to love one another especially during these difficult times.
Followed by a special message from Deacon Frank and Claudette Mercardante, Ms. Mercardante thanks our hardworking medical staff, as well as its volunteers, that come together to support our mission of ensuring that Christ-centered medical care and pregnancy clinic services are available to all women regardless of ability to pay. Deacon Frank proudly adds that never once during the pandemic that COLFS closed its doors, therefore maintaining our commitment to serving women and their families in need.
Furthermore, during the conversation between Delgado and Bereit, when asked how COLFS is going to make a difference in the pro-life cause, Bereit simply said, “it’s going to make a tremendous difference when you think about that mother and her pre-born baby… [how] they need somebody alongside them, not just for a moment… to meet all of their very real needs, and that’s what COLFS does.”
When asked how he found himself in the pro-life movement, Bereit shares his story as a lifelong Christian, but was reluctant to get involved in the cause. It was only when he attended Texas A&M University where he was able to understand the harsh reality “that children were dying through abortion and women were being wounded.” But even so, he remained idle. Of course, God had a different plan for him, and it was when he met his now-wife, Margaret of 28 years, he found himself fighting on the front lines of pro-life against Planned Parenthood.
From Bereit’s testimony, through the grace of God, he realized his greater role, and soon began to volunteer and serve with an organization protecting the unborn. It was not long after, following a conversation with his friend and wife, he was reminded that “to whom much is given, much is required.” So, he went forward and in 2004, he co-founded 40 Days for Life.
Join us next year at Loews Coronado Bay Resort on September 4, 2021 as we will be blessed by the presence of our keynote speaker, Sister Deirdre “Dede” Mary Byrne who is best known as a soldier, surgeon and sister that has served her country and God nearly her whole life.
In the meantime, please check out our website at friendsofcolfs.org for updated information on our exciting client and material support programs, as well as our donation page where all proceeds directly go towards helping women in need.