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Knights Supporting Life

Knights Supporting Life

Catholic and Protestant Collaboration Brings a 3-D Ultrasound to Local Pro-life Ministry

At a small gathering on Aug. 26, Bishop Thomas Daly, several Knights of Columbus members, and the staff of the mostly Protestant Life Services Center gathered for a special occasion, the dedication of a new 3-D ultrasound. Glendie Loranger, the executive director of Life Services, celebrated the occasion, saying here are “Catholics and Protestants working together for life, bridging a gap.”

Life Services is a ministry that opened in 1991 to serve women in crisis pregnancies. The ministry has grown from a small program offering pregnancy advocacy and post-abortion support to a multifaceted, non-denominational ministry. Life Services, through My Choice Clinics, provides medical care, housing, clothing, and counseling for women with at-risk pregnancies. Life Services also recently initiated a father’s support program with its own dedicated facility. Life Services and My Choice Clinic also provide healing groups for those impacted by abortion and by sexual trauma through a partnership with SRT (Sexually Related Trauma) Services in Spokane (www.srtservices.org).

On the day of the dedication, Loranger said, “Eighty-three percent of abortive women said they would have chosen life if they had someone to stand by them. Life Services tries to be that person.”

The crisis pregnancy service, named MyChoice, remains an essential work of the ministry of Life Services. It is a place where women can arrive and find real choices. Loranger said, “many women have no choice but abortion; My Choice wants them to have a real choice.”

The nursing director, Janine Moore, said when women first come to the clinic, they want to hear what their fears are, what they are running from and hopefully give them the space they need to focus on their situation. MyChoice staff encourages the women to get an ultrasound so they have more knowledge about their pregnancy and their baby.

For MyChoice staff, their day begins in prayer; for more than an hour they pray, engage in Bible study, and focus on any training needed for their ministry. Moore stressed that STD testing was also part of their ministry of healing, and sometimes helping women leaving abusive situations is part of their work. The work of MyChoice and Life Services is holistic in approach. “It’s not just about saving the baby,” Moore said. “It’s changing the trajectory of a woman’s life.”

A small change

For many years, Life Services’ statement of faith prevented many Catholics from volunteering there, as the statement included language that was specifically Protestant in nature. In 2019, Life Services revised its faith statement to be amenable to both Catholics and Protestants, while retaining its essential focus on acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This change has allowed for Catholics to volunteer with Life Services’ programs.

Knights of Columbus’ involvement

In the summer of 2020, Dr. Craig Smentek began to work with Life Services. His work began with a Knights of Columbus program called Faith in Action. This program, among other things, works to assist in funding the purchase of ultrasound machines for crisis pregnancy centers.

Smentek knew that Life Services used an ultrasound, and found out they needed to replace their existing unit. He and the St. Mary Council 4196 of the Knights of Columbus began to explore the process to organize the funding of an ultrasound purchase. First, he reached out to the diocese to seek the support and permission of Bishop Thomas Daly. With that blessing in hand, the next step was to work through the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council (or national office). After reviewing the local plans, the Supreme Council approved funding for half of the approximately $33,000 purchase of a 3-D ultrasound. Smentek said another organization, 4US, which fundraises to purchase ultrasounds for crisis pregnancy centers across the country and assists in the purchase of delivery of the machines, was able to contribute more funding. Lastly, Smentek said the local council at St. Mary was involved in the heavy lifting of local fundraising for the remaining $11,000 needed for the new machine.

Fundraisers and a withdrawal from the local council’s endowment fund allowed the Council 4196 to deliver the remaining needed money in May 2021. In July, the machine was delivered to MyChoice in north Spokane.

The blessing of the machine in August was, for Life Services, an opportunity for increased cooperation between Catholics and Protestants for the cause of life in Spokane. It is in that spirit of cooperation and openness that is clear in the work of Life Services is a blessing to those in need. So often women who arrive at MyChoice “feel manipulated and abused,” Loranger said, but “Life Services seeks to treat people with respect, does not manipulate, and they respect their client’s choices.” It is through education, compassion, and support both before and after the child is born that Life Services empowers women to choose life.


To learn more about the work of Life Services, visit lifeservices.org/