Celebrating Gianna Philadelphia

On October 22, the feast of St. John Paul II, two hundred guests gathered in the Union League’s magnificent Lincoln Hall to express their ardent support for the Gianna Center of Philadelphia and and its distinguished honorees, all of whom are dedicated to advancing Philadelphia’s culture of life. The event also gave all of those assembled the chance to celebrate Gianna of Philadelphia’s first year of operation at Suburban Community Hospital in East Norriton, where they provide vital pro-life medical services to women and families.

In cooperation with National Gianna, the Gianna Center of Philadelphia provides general gynecologic care, infertility treatment, and education in the Creighton Model FertilityCare System and Natural Procreative Technology pioneered by Dr. Thomas Hilgers at the Pope Paul VI Institute in Omaha, Nebraska.

Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale introduced Knights of Columbus Supreme Secretary, Michael O’Connor, whom Gianna honored in recognition of the Knights’ stalwart defense of the right to life, as well as their recent initiative to donate over 1,000 ultrasound machines to women’s health centers nationwide, including the Gianna Center of Philadelphia. This gift enables the medical staff of Gianna not only to counsel abortion-vulnerable women but to facilitate the ultrasounds necessary for the natural, holistic treatment of infertility offered by the Gianna Center.

The Missionary Sisters of Charity were recognized by the Gianna Center’s Dr. Delia Larrauri, who has worked side by side the Sisters in their outreach to the vulnerable immigrant community of Norristown. The Sisters have been instrumental in ensuring that the natural, ethical and restorative healthcare offered by Gianna is made available to all women regardless of insured status or ability to pay.

Drexel Medical student Devin Barnaby was called up with her father, Dr. Arthur Barnaby, for a special award in honor of their wife and mother, Dr. Gloria “Lori” Bittner Barnaby, who was lost this year to breast cancer. In her illness, Dr. Barnaby, a life-long advocate for authentically Catholic women’s healthcare, asked for memorial gifts to be made to the fledgling Gianna Center of Philadelphia. Your generous donations will be deeply appreciated by the women and families served by Gianna.

Philadelphia’s seminarians also came out in force to support the mission of the Gianna Center. For the past 11 years, FertilityCare practitioner Liz Parrish has taken the good news of Gianna’s authentically Catholic healthcare to third-year seminarians at St. Charles Borromeo who, in turn, share the message of Gianna with their future flocks. Mrs. Parrish received her Gianna Center award from her friend and colleague, the Gianna Center’s own Barbara Rose, who was named FertilityCare Practitioner of the Year by the American Academy of Fertility Care Professionals in 2011.

Congratulations to the Gianna Center of Philadelphia for a successful and inspiring event, and for their blessed first year of service to women and families in the Philadelphia area. We applaud all of their good work!