by Gordon Nary
Gordon: Please provide an overview of the services provided by Warrenton Pregnancy Center. Patrick: WPC is a relatively new pregnancy help center in Warrenton, Virginia. A group of concerned pro-lifers founded it three years ago after sensing a need. Local women needed a place to go for help if they found themselves with an unexpected pregnancy -- or if they just needed emotional or material support to care for themselves or their children. Everything we do here is free of charge to the client -- pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, counseling, or other types of advocacy. We also have an ample supply of free diapers, wipes, formula, baby food, maternity clothing, baby car seats, and that type of thing. We have incredibly generous people in the community who have a heart for helping women and their children. Gordon: What are your primary responsibilities as Executive Director at Warrenton Pregnancy Center? Patrick: A pregnancy center director has three main responsibilities -- marketing, fundraising, and staff supervision. They really come in that order, too. The most important task is to let the community know that we're here to help. If we've saturated the community with that message, fundraising takes care of itself. I really believe that our community is made up of thousands of incredibly generous men and women who want to save women and children from the violence of abortion. I think that applies to the vast majority of Americans as well. Everyone I've ever met who truly knows what abortion is has to admit that it's an ugly, barbaric practice that helps no one. Gordon: What are some of the primary complications of pregnancy that Warrenton Pregnancy Center addresses? Patrick: WPC is a medical center, providing ultrasound services free of charge. Our nurses are highly trained in performing these sonograms. They're able to confirm a pregnancy and show the mother her in eutero child. We don't diagnose complications, nor do we perform any services proper to an obstetrician or gynecologist. Gordon: What impact has Covid-19 had upon the services that you provide? Patrick: Very little. We screen visitors as they come in the door, which we didn't do before. Gordon: Miscarriage if a common complication of pregnancy. My mother has two miscarriages. What are some of the recommendations that women should take to reduce miscarriage? Patrick: Some miscarriages, unfortunately, are not preventable. However, good nutrition is essential. Prenatal vitamins are important, as is regular exercise. It's also important to reduce stress as much as possible. Gordon: You have a fascinating professional background. Please share with our readers some of the previous positions that you have held. Patrick: I started out my career as a journalist and editor with Catholic publications before branching into communications and marketing in the Church. I've worked for an archdiocese, a religious order, a Catholic law school, and several Catholic non-profits. A few years ago, I founded my own marketing/communications company specializing in the Catholic space (catholicpublicist.com). I'm also an accomplished public speaker, focusing on the pro-life movement and Pope St. John Paul II. Gordon: Please chare with our readers the details of your meeting with Pope John II. Patrick: I won a raffle back in the late 1990s -- a trip to Cancun. I traded it in for a trip to Rome. I was working for the Marian Fathers at the time in Stockbridge, Mass. They had a special relationship with the pope because they were founded by Polish and Lithuanian priests. So, when my boss found out I was going to Rome, he asked if I wanted to do some work there and in Eastern Europe. I was writing for their Marian Helper magazine at the time. He also asked if I wanted to meet the pope. Of course, I agreed and was thrilled. My first trip was successful, so they sent me back several times to gather stories from the Marian Fathers who lived behind the Iron Curtain during the Soviet era. I was able to meet the Holy Father on each of those trips. The last time I saw him was 11 days after my wedding. My wife and I went to Rome for our honeymoon and participated in John Paul II's famous sposi novelli blessing during his Wednesday audience in 2002. It was a beautiful moment, a great way to begin our married life together. Gordon: What prompted you to write 100 Ways John Paul II Changed the World? Patrick: Early last year it occurred to me that John Paul II would be 100 years old in May of 2020, and I had been pondering his legacy. I wanted to tell his story in a unique way, and I had already been doing so in the talks I give across the country on his legacy. The book started with the top 10 ways he influenced the world -- World Youth Day, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Luminous Mysteries, and the New Evangelization. I drew on that list for my book, and then grew it to well over 100 ways he changed the world. I actually had well over 120 ways, but had to pare it down to 100. I'm grateful to the folks at Our Sunday Visitor for publishing it. The kindle version is available now and the paperback version is released October 1
Gordon: Thank you for a great interview which I know will be helpful to many of our readers.