ELKTON — Local and international Knights of Columbus chapters came together to purchase a new ultrasound machine for Cecil Pregnancy and Family Resource Center.
“As followers of Christ we are called to defend life,” said Vicki Karschner, executive director of the center at 126 East High St. in Elkton. “We feel privileged to save life where they had taken many lives.”
(Before CPFRC, the building was rented by a New Jersey doctor who was performing illegal abortions there.)
The $36,000 ultrasound was dedicated into service in a ceremony held Monday at the center, attended by elected officials, Knights of Columbus members and The Most Rev. William Koenig, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.
“They say a picture is worth a thousand words,” Koenig said. “But this is worth so much more to convince them to keep the life they are carrying.”
Vincent Grauso, State Deputy of the Maryland Knights of Columbus, said this equipment will provide that evidence.
“This will help women with a pregnancy crisis to make them realize it’s a life,” Grauso said. Citing the American credo of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, he added, “This is life. You’re doing God’s work and this is what we’re about here on earth.”
Rev. Stephen Hokuf, pastor of First Baptist Church of North East, noted that an event such as this brings together Christians of every denomination.
“This is one thing we work together on here. This is a worldwide holocaust,” Hokuf said. “This place was about death and now it’s life. It’s such a privilege to be apart.”
Also, The Rev. Tim Beardsley, pastor of Cherry Hill and St. John’s (Lewisville) United Methodist churches was happy to be part of the celebration. His churches, like Hokuf’s, support the center.
“We don’t do enough I confess but we do more every day,” he said. “We’re all here together and I’m excited. The Lord is up to something good.”
Grauso said this donation in Elkton was the 8th made possible by KOC through its Ultrasound Initiative. The Maryland chapters contributed $18,000 including the Bishop Becker Council and Maryland State Council.
“The other $18,000 came from the Supreme Council,” Grauso said of the headquarters of the organization. To get the equipment CPFRC had to have a sonographer on staff, which it does.
Father Gerald Dunne, associate pastor at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Elkton, and chaplain of the pregnancy center, was excited to be part of the center and its work.
“I am so proud of the work you do in the Lord’s name and it makes me feel extraordinary to be close to these people,” Dunne said.
“This is an amazing place, one of the biggest I’ve seen,” Grauso said of the East High Street location. “There’s so many resources here.”
Along with women’s health care and pregnancy services the center also provides parenting classes, material needs to name a few.
“More important than the technology is the human connection,” Koenig said. “You give them that support of human compassion. You’re on the side of the child but also the mother.”