The BVM FoundationA Local Community’s Story of Redemption
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth.
1 Corinthians 13:6
For many years, the Amethyst Health Center offered the false compassion of abortion to desperate women in our community. These women felt they could no longer manage pressures grown beyond their control.
1,200 women walked through the Center’s doors each year. They made the most painful decision imaginable for a mother; the decision to end her child’s life.
Countless members of our community confronted this pain and evil with years of vigils and rosaries, witnessing on the sidewalks in front of the clinic, hosting Life Chains, gathering in silent prayer, and offering sidewalk counseling.
This powerful witness, including the pro-life warriors next door at AAA Women for Choice, contributed immeasurably to this story.
A Major Breakthrough
A major breakthrough in the fight to end the abortions came through a pair of local men. They understood what Fr. Paul Scalia refers to as the power of ‘Truth with Charity.’
Rather than hatefully attacking the owner of this Center, they loved her. In spite of her work, they reached out to her as a child of God.
The relationship they developed with her opened the door to a possible buyout of the clinic’s assets and real estate—under the condition that the abortion clinic close first.
This relationship between two courageous men and the owner of the clinic spurred a small group of Catholic entrepreneurs from several parishes in and around Manassas to form a charitable Trust called the BVM Foundation. It formed quickly to raise the money for the purchase.
On September 29, 2015, Feast of St. Michael and the Archangels, the purchase was completed. The Holy Spirit certainly has a great sense of timing.
Behold, I make all things new.
The members of BVM Foundation want to do more than simply remove the false compassion of abortion from our community. We want to create a culture of Life.
Even with the clinic gone, women are still in crisis, families still in need.
We deeply believe that we have an opportunity—a happy obligation—to try and serve that need.
By transforming this clinic, once the sight of so much sorrow, into a place of serving God’s people in their need, BVM can complete this redemption story. In some small but real way, we can participate in Christ’s ongoing, salvific work: turning an evil to good.
Support from Catholic Charities
Despite our deep conviction and the unique opportunity, the new foundation lacked the expertise to bring it to reality. BVM turned to Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington (CCDA) to open the Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinic.
With enthusiastic support from Bishop Michael F. Burbidge and the Episcopal Vicar for Charitable Works, former All Saints Pastor Fr. Robert Cilinski, Catholic Charities has signed a lease for the property with the BVM Foundation with wide reaching plans to open the new Clinic in early December 2017.
Catholic Charities is uniquely positioned to partner with the BVM Foundation for the continuation of this redemptive story.
More than Health Needs
People who need a free clinic often have more than a health condition. Frequently they are poor, either physically or spiritually, and need to be served in the totality of their human frailty.
The vision for this clinic is more than a mere health clinic.
Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinic serves as a portal into the many other services offered by Catholic Charities, including adoption services, food, emergency shelter, mental health counseling, and immigration and refugee services.
The harvest is plentiful, but the workers…
The work of the BVM Foundation is not complete, and this task is not a task for the few.
This story of redemption that started as a local story is still a local story. The need is still a local need.
The BVM Foundation’s sole purpose and new mission is to enable the local and surrounding communities to take up the challenge of serving that need in the form of the Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinic.
It is our goal to muster a thousand individual members who can provide for the needs of the clinic on an on-going basis.