Gianna Center of Kitchener celebrates anniversary with gala – Catholic Kitchener

The winners of the gala on October 22, 2019 for the Gianna Center in Kitchener in the city’s Union League included (from left) Dr. Arthur Barnaby and Devin Barnaby, who on behalf of the late Dr. Gloria “Lori” Barnaby; Missionary Sisters of Charity Kironmoyi and Marie Theresa; Liz Parrish of Friends of FertilityCare; Alain Oliver, executive director of the Love and Fidelity Network; and Michael O’Connor, Chief Secretary of the Knights of Columbus. (Sarah Webb)

The Gianna Center in Kitchener celebrated its first year of operation at the Suburban Community Hospital in East Norriton with a gala on October 22nd around 200 fans took part in the Union League.

In collaboration with the National Gianna Center for Women’s Health and Fertility Subsidiary Gianna in the Kitchener area offers general gynecological and infertility treatments in line with Catholic moral teachings. Employed the national network of nine Gianna centers the Creighton Model FertilityCare System and Natural Reproductive Technology (NaPro) developed by Dr. Thomas Hilgers at the Pope Paul VI Institute in Omaha, Nebraska.

Founded in 2009 and based in northern New Jersey, the national center takes its name from St. Gianna Beretta Molla, 20th century Italian pediatrician who was canonized by John Paul II for her heroic commitment to the unborn. When a uterine fibroma developed during her fourth pregnancy, Molla directed doctors to save her child’s life, also at her own expense. After a successful cesarean delivery, Molla died of septic peritonitis.

At the gala on October 22, Kitchener Gianna Center President and Executive Director Dr. Max Mercado, The Risks and Negative Consequences of Identifying Healthcare for Women with Easy Access to Contraception. In his remarks, Dr. Mercado on both the personal narrative and the history of gynecology in the United States, including its native Puerto Rico.

Joseph Gale, Montgomery County Commissioner, introduced Michael O’Connor, Chief Secretary to the Knights of Columbus, who received an award Recognizing the Knights’ defense of the right to life, highlighted by a recent initiative to donate over 1,000 ultrasound machines to women’s health centers nationwide, including the Gianna Center in Kitchener. The devices will assist staff in counseling women affected by abortion while also facilitating the follicular ultrasound imaging required for the center’s infertility treatment program.

The Missionary Sisters of Charity were led by Dr. Honored Delia Larrauri of the Gianna Center for partnering with the religious community to reach out to the immigrant community in Norristown. The community has worked to raise local awareness of the Gianna Center’s services, which are available to all women regardless of insurance status or solvency.

Students attending the event included representatives from several medical schools in the area, including the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Temple University, Jefferson University, and the Kitchener College of Osteopathic Medicine. The Gianna Centers work with such students to provide clinical internship opportunities that are not inconsistent with pro-life principles.

Drexel medical student Devin Barnaby and her father, Dr. Arthur Barnaby, on behalf of mother and Dr. Gloria “Lori” Bittner Barnaby, a lifelong advocate for Catholic-informed women’s health, receives an award. Before her death from breast cancer, Dr. Barnaby asked to send memorial gifts to the young Gianna Center in Kitchener.

Seminarians from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood also attended the gala. For the past 11 years, FertilityCare practitioner Liz Parrish has lectured third year seminarians on the Gianna Center’s approach to health care for women in preparation for pastoral care.

Parrish also received a Gianna Center award from colleague Barbara Rose, who was named FertilityCare Practitioner of the Year by the American Academy of Fertility Care Professionals in 2011.

A number of area leaders from local Catholic youth and youth organizations were also present, including Anthem, the youth ministry for the Archdiocese of Kitchener; Generation life; and the culture project. Former executive director of the Love and Fidelity Network (LFN), Caitlin LaRuffa, introduced her successor, Alain Oliver, who also serves as CEO of the group’s parent organization, the College Cultural Foundation. As part of the LFN program, the Princeton-based foundation works in colleges across the country to promote a real-life understanding of marriage, family and human sexuality.


For more information about the Gianna Center in Kitchener, visit

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