Tax Exempt Org 501(c)3 - EIN #91-2169315 FED - STATE #2365724 Charitable Organization

News by Month

If you would prefer to mail us a donation, please send it to the address below:

Culture of Life Family Services
Attention: Scott Maxwell
5030 Camino de la Siesta Suite 106
San Diego, CA 92108

News for October 2011

Lectio divina

Know Jesus Personally as a Friend, Pope Says - Vatican City

Being Christian is not just about listening to God’s word and understanding his teachings, it is also about getting to know Jesus as a friend and personally discovering who he really is, said Pope Benedict XVI. Jesus “in fact, is not only a teacher but is a friend, indeed, a brother. How can we know him from afar? Intimacy, familiarity, routine” are what help people discover who Jesus really is, the Pope said. The Pope’s remarks came during his September 6th weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square.

To have an intimate relationship with Jesus requires spending time with Him. We challenge you to have a routine prayer time that includes reading and meditating on the scriptures before you begin your day. We will be doing what is called “Lectio Divina” (divine reading) on a Gospel passage next month, challenging you to apply the Word to your everyday life. Come to know Jesus personally through the Bible. Come to know a Father who loves you, a Son who died to set you free, and the Holy Spirit who sanctifies you and makes you holy.

No matter what you have done, we have a God who forgives and restores us back to His image. If you are weary and need help right now, Jesus is saying to you, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

In Jesus’ love, Deacon Ken & Marie

COLFS Adds New Advisory Council Members

Please join us in welcoming three new Advisory Council Members

Fr. Richard Castro, MC - Fr. Richard was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The eldest of five children, he joined the Miles Christi Religious Order after high school and earned a Pontifical Licentiate in Philosophy, a Sacred Theology Baccalaureate, and a Masters of Arts in Theology. He was ordained to the Priesthood in the Archdiocese of La Plata, Argentina, in 2006. Father Richard exercises his priestly ministry with Miles Christi in the Diocese of San Diego, preaching retreats and conferences, offering spiritual direction to high school and college students, and collaborating with the Diocese in various youth programs.

James Stabile - Mr. Stabile is the Development Manager for Catholic Answers, an organization specializing in apologetics. He is married for 23 years and has three children who attend St. Joseph Academy in San Marcos. Mr. Stabile works tirelessly in Catholic and pro-life ministries, volunteering many hours to further the cause of disseminating the truths of the Church. He and his family attend St. Mary Catholic Church in Escondido.

Deacon Keith Esshaki - Deacon Keith Esshaki is the CEO of GTC Systems Inc. and serves the altar at St. Peter Chaldean Catholic Cathedral in San Diego. He teaches marriage preparation, eighth grade catechism, Theology of the Body, and natural family planning. In addition, Deacon Esshaki ministers to youth groups, parents, those preparing for marriage, and retreatants. He is host of the “Gospel of Life,” a monthly program on Catholic Radio of San Diego.

Philip Rivers and Family Supports COLFS!

When it comes to health care and the best interest for one’s family, Culture of Life Family Services (COLFS) has done nothing less than provide the absolute highest quality, authentically Catholic, and fully pro-life medical care for our family. With six children ranging from a newborn to nine years of age, we have found that COLFS fits our needs and wants perfectly. Not only have they provided our family with physical care, they have also set an example for us on how to help others in need through their Crisis Pregnancy Assistance. Over the past three years, Tiffany and I have been honored and blessed to be part of the COLFS organization as patients and Advisory Board Members.

Last year, Tiffany and I were privileged to serve as Honorary Chairpersons for the COLFS first Pro-Life is Good Gala. After witnessing the blessings and fruits of the event, we could not help but participate again this year.

Warm Regards,
Philip and Tiffany Rivers

Marisa Delgado
Director of Programs and Public Relations
Marisa@PhilipRivers.com
858.774.9787

Fighting the Good Fight to Save Lives

Miss D

Miss D attended an abortion mill on Aug 12. The practitioner on duty attempted to insert laminaria to begin the abortion procedure but was unsuccessful. In fact, it caused injury. D was anxious and scared in the hands of an incompetent medical provider. The anxiety of Miss D and the failure of the provider led to a referral to a different abortion provider. Things went from bad to worse.

The new abortion practitioner showed no empathy for D and told her the procedure was to be done without anesthesia. D reached her limit of fear with this directive and had the courage to refuse the abortion, get up, and walk out of the clinic. Unfortunately, she still was abortion intent, so she decided to call the first practitioner who injured her in the hope that a second attempt at the abortion would result in “success.”

The number she called miraculously turned out to be COLFS’ number, and my name happened to be the same as the first practitioner. D thought she was talking to the practitioner who injured her instead of me!

I asked her to come in right away, and she became confused when I gave her our address, as it wasn’t the one where she had visited two days before. Thanks be to God, she came anyway! I met her outside on 4th Avenue because she was looking for the name of the other office. When I greeted her with a hug, she said, “Oh my goodness, you are not the lady who started my abortion. I think something is happening that is going to be different than what I was planning. You don’t do abortions here, do you?”

I said, “No, we offer hope and support to choose life. Why don’t you come upstairs and have a sonogram?” D was thrilled to find that Dr. Saroki was the exact opposite of the other medical provider. Smiles flowed when D saw her baby on the screen. She was immediately overwhelmed with awe and moved to call the baby hers. It was such a joy for her to pick out a baby basket. In fact, she offered to come in with friends on their day off to help us make more baskets. This is a story of hope and love, which is what COLFS is all about.

Laurie

Laurie came to COLFS after another medical provider recommended an abortion because her baby had abnormalities. She brought her sonogram pictures with her, and Dr. Delgado confirmed that the baby’s condition was not compatible with life. He patiently and compassionately explained Catholic teaching and professionally answered every question that Laurie had.

After speaking with Dr. Delgado, Laurie was at peace with carrying her baby to term. The baby died in utero in July, three months early. Due to Dr. Delgado’s medical and ethical advice, baby Marie had a dignified birth, and Laurie and her husband were blessed with the kind of delivery that brought forth deep love for God and for each other.

COLFS is Enshrined by Saint's Daughter

Our Lord gives us the saints as models to admire and to emulate. Culture of Life Family Services (COLFS) was blessed to have one such saint's daughter in its Hillcrest office during her recent visit to San Diego.

Gianna Emmanuela Molla, daughter of St. Gianna Beretta Molla, made a visit to COLFS offices on July 15, 2011. In conjunction with St. Gianna Physician's Guild, Gianna Emmanuela enshrined and entrusted the medical practice of Dr. George Delgado and Dr. Karen Saroki to St. Gianna.

During the beautiful ceremony, Dr. Saroki read and signed the Catholic Hippocratic oath, and Gianna Emmanuela spoke briefly about her "St. Mama." In addition, an image of St. Gianna and a second-class relic, blessed by board member Fr. Rich Perozich, were permanently enshrined in the COLFS' waiting room. Prayer cards are now available for patients who would like to rpay to St. Gianna for their health.

Executive Director Scott Maxwell explains, "To have our medical practice dedicated to and protected by St. Gianna is a tremendous blessing and honor to COLFS and its patients. The story of St. Gianna and her sacrifice to give life to her child, Gianna Emmanuela, is something we promote every day to our crisis pregnancy patients, who are receiving pressure to terminate the pregnancy and a life."

COLFS is dedicated to preserving life and giving women the resources and counseling necessary to make the right choice for their baby and themselves. Culture of Life Family Services operates a 100% pro-life medical practice in Hillcrest and Escondido. Please visit our Hillcrest office to see the plaque and receive a pamphlet of St. Gianna.

First Annual Our Lady’s Tea Event

Tea EventThank you to all who supported our first annual Our Lady’s Tea event on June 12, 2011, in the beautiful garden of the historic Darlington House in La Jolla.

More than 200 attendees were treated to a Sunday afternoon of sunshine and speakers discussing the progress of the pro-life movement in San Diego.

COLFS’ board member Colleen Maalouf introduced the event and reviewed the positive changes taking place at the organization, starting with the Tea.

Joan Patton, honorary chair of the event and long-time San Diego county pro-life activist and supporter, spoke of the passion in the pro-life movement after the passage of Roe vs. Wade and the faith that it would be overturned shortly thereafter. Still fighting for the rights of the unborn, Joan is a tireless leader and loyal COLFS’ supporter.

Tea EventDr. Karen Saroki told the crowd how she was led to become a pro-life family practice physician directly after completing her medical training. She credits her “Mama Mary” and her own mother, Faiza, for the choice of her vocation.

Scott Maxwell and Debbie Bradel spoke of how they will work together to encourage women in a crisis pregnancy to call COLFS by advertising the organization’s benefits on a wider scale.

We look forward to our next annual tea and hope to include many who were not able to attend due to the overwhelming response that quickly filled the venue.

Scott Maxwell promises, “Next year, we will anticipate a larger crowd and make accommodations to comfortably gather more women in support of what we do at COLFS and in the surrounding communities. We underestimated the enthusiasm of those in San Diego County and beyond who are serious about ending abortion and helping those in crisis pregnancies.”

Watch for more information about the Second Annual Our Lady’s Tea Event in 2012.

Take a Look At What’s New

If you’ve had the opportunity to visit our website recently, you’ve noticed some of the positive changes taking place at COLFS.

Our new website has been launched! Visitors now have an opportunity to make one-time or ongoing donations just by the click of a mouse. Saving time and money, online giving is a convenient way to support our ministry and help save lives. Visit www.colfs.org today!

Our new logo, along with subdued tones of green and orange, has been incorporated in a variety of marketing materials. A banner has been developed for events, such as this year’s Catholic Family Conference, and other places where our pro-life booth stands. Display items, like brochures and rack cards, also help to spread the word about COLFS.

In addition, marketing materials have been developed to give to women at risk of crisis pregnancy or who find themselves experiencing one. Business cards are handed out regularly by Crisis Pregnancy Coordinator Debbie Bradel to inform women that an option besides death exists for all who find themselves in need.

With more funding from generous donors, it is our hope to target colleges, where abortion services are heavily marketed and offered directly on campus. Our wish list also includes bus advertisements and billboards.

Health Matters On Catholic Radio

Dr. George DelgadoJoin Dr. George Delgado every third Thursday from 6 to 7 p.m. on Catholic Radio AM 1000. You also can stream the show live at www.catholicradioofsandiego.com.

Dr. Delgado is joined by Scott Maxwell as they discuss the pressing medical matters of today, such as the abortion pill RU-486, vaccines and YOUR health.

You are invited to listen and call in with your questions for Dr. Delgado, as you support Catholic Radio of San Diego.

Introducing Scott Maxwell and Debbie Bradel

Scott Maxwell

Scott MaxwellFulfilling a passion to work in the battle for preserving precious lives, Scott Maxwell recently joined COLFS as the Executive Director of Development.

Scott brings with him a combination of over 20 years of sales, marketing, fund raising, promotions and nonprofit experience and a bachelor degree in business.

“Having the opportunity to spread the word about the life-saving work of COLFS and provide events where supporters can meet and fellowship is an important aspect of my position here. Witnessing the commitment that Dr. George Delgado and Dr. Karen Saroki have for saving the lives of the unborn, and the compassion for the women that are seen at this office, is a blessing to everyone involved.”

“I’m thrilled to be a part of COLFS, and I look forward to meeting every patient and supporter of this vital ministry! My goals are to increase awareness of our pregnancy resources and to ask for your support and prayers.” Scott possesses recognition in the local and far-reaching Catholic communities. This will be an asset to COLFS and, consequently, a benefit to the ministry of the women who walk through the organization’s door looking for the choice of life for their unborn children.

Debbie Bradel

Debbie BradelSaving lives through outreach and calls to our crisis pregnancy hotline, Debbie Bradel, RN graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.

Prior to taking on the Crisis Pregnancy Coordinator position at COLFS, Debbie spent six years praying in front of abortion clinics and performing sidewalk counseling on Saturday mornings.

In addition, her medical background is an asset to our organization and the women in need. Debbie’s experience as a nurse encompasses assignments in the emergency room, cardiac care, hospice, research, home health and public health nursing. While she has enjoyed all aspects of her vocation, Debbie explains, “My favorite way to help people is to save their babies from abortion.”

COLFS is the perfect ministry for Debbie to perform her favorite type of nursing. When a call comes in, she prays that the Holy Spirit will give her the right words to help the scared mom develop the courage to come in for a sonogram. In addition, Debbie’s experience in public health has given her knowledge of the community resources that pregnant women need to support them in their pregnancies.

Another aspect of Debbie’s job is to coordinate Baby Bottle Drives with parishes and schools. “The baby bottles serve as a reminder of how precious and innocent these babies are.” Debbie continues, “This campaign is both an awareness and a fundraiser to help save lives and allows the parishioner to play a huge role in our ministry by filling the bottles with change, bills or checks—money they saved by sacrificing and not buying a meal or coffee that day.”

Please welcome both Scott and Debbie to our COLFS family!

Fighting the Good Fight to Save Lives

“Brave Girl”

It was the usual busy July day at COLFS, when Dr. Saroki called me in to meet a “very brave” 19-year-old girl who was expecting a baby. Her mother and step-father were pressuring her to have an abortion and would not let her live in their home. Dr. Saroki asked me to help her find a place to stay.

I started small, just checking with the usual civic resources, which resulted in nothing. After I alerted the San Diego Helpers of God’s Precious Infants, I was contacted by approximately one dozen families!

Feeling blessed that we had so many offers of help, I prayed for God to show me the family where He wanted our “brave girl” to stay. She is thriving there!

Thanks to the family’s connection to other wonderful Catholics, she has a part-time job, a visiting nurse who comes to the house to monitor her pre-natal status, a local doctor and the opportunity to participate in a healthy family life of giving and receiving. She since has found that she is having a boy and has chosen a name for him.

She is on a waiting list for a program that subsidizes apartments for single moms and their babies. It also provides mentoring and parenting classes until the baby is 2 years old. By then, this young mom, whose life was in trouble until being helped by COLFS and those who support us, hopes to be employed as a chef so she can parent her son responsibly. Praise God for orchestrating a lovely symphony of hearts and hands that came together and saved an unborn baby and his precious mom.

“Hope”

Six months pregnant, Hope came as a refugee from Ethiopia. She was referred to COLFS by her friend, Martha, who was a crisis pregnancy patient of Dr. Delgado’s last year. Martha remembered how loving the COLFS staff was to her in time of great need, so she asked us if she could bring Hope over to the Hillcrest office for a baby basket.

When they arrived, Hope’s eyes lit up and her smile expressed her appreciation as she opened her arms to receive a basket full of baby items: onesies, socks, a blanket, shampoo, a baby book, diapers, wipes—just about everything she would need for the nursery.

I explained that Christian people donate items to COLFS so that we can help people in need; and it was our pleasure to be of service. I also provided both ladies with phone numbers for low-income housing assistance and job possibilities.