The Loreta House in Denton received the 100th Ultrasound machine donated by the Texas Knights of Columbus. Ironically, the Loreta House received the very first Ultrasound machine in Texas in 2009.
On Saturday, February 12, 2022, State Deputy Alfredo Vela and his wife Rosa, Randy Bolling, the executive director of Loreto House, and his wife Laurie, along with Fort Worth Diocesan Deputy Bill Tillotson, State Program Director Pat Henz, Chapter President Craig Modrzynski, Grand Knight of the Ralph Cerny Council 12553 Sam Simon, and several other council members were all part of the check presentation. Tours of the center were also provided.
Since 2008 Loreto House has been a beacon of hope for women dealing with an unexpected pregnancy. This Catholic pregnancy center is unique as it is an official Apostolate of the Diocese of Fort Worth and serves women in accord with the teachings of the Catholic faith. Loreto House provides alternatives to abortion that enhance the dignity of women and the unborn child. Their “case management” model allows each guest to spend many hours in counseling with a loving and compassionate Catholic advocate. Loreto House serves women of any, or no faith and there is no pressure to convert to the Catholic faith.
Past State Deputy Leo Hanus and his wife Lorraine were instrumental in getting the very first Ultrasound machine for Texas. When Supreme announced the Ultrasound program stating they would match half the cost of a machine if the council(s) raised the other half, Leo and Lorraine Hanus along with the councils in Denton started raising money. In no time, they were able to secure the funds and the first Ultrasound machine was purchased for Texas and delivered to the Loreto House. That machine is still used today as a backup.
Loreto House has experienced tremendous growth in size and number of women served over the last 13 years. In 2021 alone, Loreto House provided close to 7,500 individual sessions with women and men. Over 16,000 diapers are distributed each month as well as formula, clothing, furniture, and much more. Many babies were saved, and thousands of women have had their pregnancy and parenting situation improved by the extensive curricula of parenting classes. The mission advocates always try to emulate our Blessed Mother and serve with the “heart of Mary.” They often ask themselves, “What would Mary do?” Their focus is on loving every woman who comes in, and try to lift the spirit of a woman who may be dealing with a multitude of issues
Commenting on the difference from the first machine compared to this new machine, Randy said the images are much clearer and a heartbeat can be detected much earlier. This now plays a big role with the Texas Heartbeat Act. With this new machine, a heartbeat can be detected sooner which has a better chance at saving a baby. “It is an amazing sound when you walk the halls in Loreto House and hear the sound of a heartbeat coming from one of the exam rooms,” Randy said. “At that point, the mother and child really bond.” Randy is very grateful of the Knights and the local council 12553 in Argyle for making this 100th ultrasound machine possible.
In 2014 Loreto House received their second machine, a portable version, that has been used in a converted van and taken to Parishes, Universities, and anywhere the need calls for pregnancy tests, sonograms and of course loving advice. This machine was sponsored by the council in Denton and Pilot Point.
Loreto House is growing and is building a second center in Flower Mound. They anticipate opening the facility in October of 2022. To learn more about Loreto House, go to Loretohousebenefactors.org
Texas Knights have not stopped at just 100 machines. Knights all across Texas continue to raise funds for Ultrasound machines and saving babies every day. Approved pregnancy centers in every diocese in Texas has received an ultrasound machine through this program. Andrew Clark, Texas State Pregnancy Resource Chairman, has been very instrumental in helping councils with all the required forms and answering any questions. Keeping the Ultrasound machines up to date is very important because the technology continues to improve.
The Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative have placed 1500 ultrasound machine nationwide. California and Florida are the only other states that have reached the 100th Ultrasound machine donation.