Grateful Knights gather for blessing with Bishop

Barb Arland-Fye
Bishop Thomas Zinkula blesses a new 4D ultrasound machine at Women’s Choice Center in Bettendorf as Paul Lee, Iowa Knights of Columbus State Deputy, looks on.ul

By Barb Arland-Fye
The Catholic Messenger

Gratitude mingled with holy water as Knights of Columbus participated in a blessing and prayer service for the arrival of a new ultrasound machine at the Women’s Choice Center in Bettendorf.

Bishop Thomas Zinkula presided at the March 16 prayer service and thanked God for “showing your own power and goodness in the inventions of the human race. Grant that all who will use this ultrasound machine to serve their sisters and brothers may recognize that you are wonderful in your works …”

Rick Willows, Grand Knight of Loras Council 532 in Davenport, thanked God for the generosity of the council and all who donated toward purchase of the 4D-ultrasound machine. He thanked God for his pastor, Father Jake Greiner, of Our Lady of Victory Parish in Davenport, for allowing the council to raise funds in the midst of a pandemic and a capital campaign.


Linda Rubey, executive director of the Women’s Choice Center, gave thanks “from my heart” for the Knights’ gift to the center. “In whatever way people contributed — prayers, donation or time  — it matters to God and all of us … especially to those women who find themselves in a situation where the world says it’s OK to have an abortion.”

Paul Lee, Iowa Knights of Columbus State Deputy, who traveled from Cedar Falls with his 6-year-old daughter to attend the celebration, thanked God for the ultrasound machine’s ability to help foster the miracle of life.

He and his wife Amanda lost a son, Stephen, at birth eight years ago. Their KofC community, St. Stephen the Witness Council 14987 at the University of Northern Iowa, shared its moral support by raising money to purchase an ultrasound machine for pro-life efforts in Cedar Falls. The council named the ultrasound machine “Stephen,” in memory of the couple’s son. When the ultrasound machine arrived, Amanda was pregnant with their third child, Josephine. Her ultrasound image was the first taken with the new machine, Lee said.

“The power of bringing kids into life is personal to my wife and me. It’s important for our (KofC) order to be present for events like these and to show in a tangible way that we support life. We support life, and not just unborn life, but we support families, we support life through childrearing all the way through adulthood.”

The Loras Council presented a check for $28,000 to the Women’s Choice Center on Jan. 21, the day before the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in 1973 that legalized abortion. The check included matching funds from the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council, Willows said.
The Women’s Choice Center now has three ultrasound machines, one of which is inside the mobile unit “Grace.”

“We have saved over 1,400 babies since the beginning of our center’s existence,” Rubey said. “We know there are women with unplanned pregnancies we have not been able to reach. The addition of another ultrasound machine truly does open our capacity to capture the moment when a pregnant woman may be undecided, fearful and vulnerable. We want to be able to reach out to her.”

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