John Paul II Life Center Center Hosts Second Annual Priest Appreciation Dinner

Austin, Texas, September 25, 2012 – What’s possibly more enjoyable than dinner with a friend who is a priest? Dinner with a roomful of priests!


Some newly-ordained, others pillars of the Austin Diocese pro-life movement for decades, 30 priests gathered at The Headliners Club in downtown Austin at a dinner on August 28 hosted by the John Paul II Life Center and Cook Walden Funeral Homes.


Some priests traveled as far away as College Station, Copperas Cove, Caldwell and Kingsland to attend the 2nd annual gathering honoring the Austin Diocese priests.


Dr. Jeremy Kalamarides, medical director of the Vitae Clinic, which provides obstetric and gynecological services to patients at the John Paul II Life Center, presented “Charting the Future: Stories of Hope.” He told of the spiritual and physical benefits and successes he’s witnessed through sharing the NaPro TECHNOLOGY method of natural family planning with women and couples.


JPII Life Center Co-Founders Tim and Pat Von Dohlen personally thanked the priests and toasted them for their commitment to sharing the benefits of natural family planning and promoting a culture of life.


“The priests of our Diocese give of themselves so generously in the service of Jesus Christ and their parishioners,” Mr. Von Dohlen said. “The JPII Life Center is pleased to give them a night to relax and have fellowship among themselves – it is the least we can do.”


Names were drawn for door prizes that included: a weekend of fishing; $500 cash for returning priests who brought a new attendee; $300 for priests attending for the first time; and UT football tickets.


Competition was fierce for a “History of the Diocese” game, created by Msgr. Michael Sis, Vicar General of the Austin Diocese, who also led the Benediction that evening. Priests had to match 20 parish names with the years they were founded.


Priests were given the book, “Physician Healed,” with the stories of 15 doctors who no longer prescribe contraceptives to their patients. The priests were asked to read it and share it with at least one doctor. They also received CDs featuring Cardinals, Bishops, Priests and Deacons from across the nation who have preached about the beauty of Natural Family Planning.


“All of us at Cook-Walden Funeral Homes and Cemeteries were so proud to assist the John Paul II Life Center in honoring and appreciating the Godly priests of the Austin Diocese,” said John Onstott, president of Cook-Walden Funeral Home. “It was enjoyable spending the evening with priests, who are on the front lines of preserving God’s creations and are to be honored and thanked for their calling as humble servants of our Lord.”

About the John Paul II Life Center


The John Paul II Life Center’s mission is to build a Culture of Life in Central Texas. Inspired by Blessed John Paul II’s teaching on the sanctity of life, the center serves women and families of all faiths and backgrounds.


Their three-fold mission is:

  • operate an OB/GYN medical practice, the Vitae Clinic, offering reproductive health care that is consistent with Cathoilc teachings.
  • promote life by offering 3D/4D sonograms to mothers and babies in crisis pregnancies
  • provide education about chastity, ferity care, and religious freedom.


To learn more about the John Paul II Life Center, visit

12 Replies to “John Paul II Life Center Center Hosts Second Annual Priest Appreciation Dinner”

  1. Martina,

    Thank you for helping the JP2 Life Center laud our priests. They sorely need our appreciation instead of our criticism. May God continue to bless them!

  2. Love kickboxing the devil–send him where he belongs–back to hell–I sprinkle the whole house with holy water all over the house and on my husband and dog first thing in the morning. Also, “Put on the full Armor of God,” (Ephesians 6:10-to the end)–DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT!!!

    Saw your article on Spirit Daily. Love the name of your site and comments. Keep up God’s Good Work in You

  3. Martina, Are you aware of the Assisi Meeting 1986 by John Paul II who not only changed the missionary spirit of the Catholic Church but denies the need for conversion to Holy Mother the Church? Actually, so does the Vatican II documents, but John Paul II broadened it to be universal salvation whether one believes or accepts it. All are saved from birth!

    1. Jo,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment! I actually am familiarizing myself with all the “hubbub” of VII – I have heard statements such as yours over the years but have never found any documents to prove your assertion to date. If you have any sources, I’d love to look them over…however, I am reading up on books of Ralph Martin, who strives to set the record straight on points such as the one you made. He references the documents of Vatican II as Ad gentes divinitus: The Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity, Dei verbum: The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, Gaudium et spes: The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Lumen Gentium: The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church; Nostra aetate: The Declaration of the Church’s Relations with Non-Christian Religions; and Unitatis redintegratio: The Decree on Ecumenism.

      Without getting into too lengthy of a response, I will say that what I’ve read so far about the New Evangelization and VII is largely centered upon a huge misunderstanding by folks such as yourself. The idea that JPII changed the missionary spirit of the Church and denies the need for conversion to the Church is actually UNtrue! If anything, it calls all of us to a greater following of Christ and Church while understanding that there *are* people in this world who will never have an opportunity to hear the Gospel. It is this slim margin of people that VII addressed that God has a plan for them that extends outside of the sacramental graces that come along with conversion to the Church.

      Do you believe that people who never hear the Gospel {through no fault of their own} are not part of God’s plan? Do you not think that God prepares the ways of their hearts whether we have done our jobs as Christians to proclaim His Word to the ends of the earth? Proclaiming the Kerygma is our job, and if we fail and there are groups of people who have not heard His word, we trust that He will carve a path for them.

      I look forward to seeing your references regarding your position.


  4. Martina, The 1986 Assisi Meeting was unprecedented in Church history. Joint prayer services have been condemned by Pontiffs. The Assisi Meeting of 1986 is rooted in the ‘spirit’ of the Ecumenical Council of Vatican II 1962-1965 and beyond. Catholics were shocked. Fr. Johnannes Dörmann wrote the book “Pope John Paul II’s Theological Journey to the Prayer Meeting of Religions in Assisi”. Fr. Dörmann gives some references to what has been handed on by the Magisterium in regards to no salvation outside the Catholic Church and what are the marks of the Church Christ established. One document we must pay close attention to is, “Mortalium Animos” by Pius XI who teaches that there is only one way to Truth and Life: the way of conversion to the Catholic Church. Increased love and praying together is not the way to bring separated Christians together. There were 150 different faiths and practices at that Assisi meeting including those that worship animals, Gods and Goddesses, animists and pagans, voodooists, etc. The intention was not to convert, in fact a Buddha statue was placed over the Tabernacle.
    I know Ralph Martin. This I’ve learned the hard way. None should change course nor find confidence in spiritual direction from lay people’s teachings.
    The following is a very recent three hour presentation by Bishop Donald Sanborn who has never participated in the new religion of Vatican II.

    I can share more information, if you are interested.

    1. Jo,

      Thanks for getting back to me. I don’t see any links to prove your point – what I do see is that we are in agreement that there *is* one way to Truth and Life. However, you did not address my question of those who, through no fault of their own, do not hear the Gospel. Do you believe God can do anything He likes? However He likes?

      I think where you and I part ways are in very simple ways.

      1. You believe the gates of hell have prevailed and have called Christ a liar by referring to the post VII Church as “the new religion.”
      2. You believe that the laity have nothing of value to add, that our call to evangelize is not found by virtue of our baptism, but somehow in your mind only reserved for those who have the indelible mark of Holy Orders.
      3. You believe a meeting holds more power than Dogma and Doctrine and over 2000 years of our faith.

      I pray that your heart will be pierced by Christ’s love and that you will come to repent of these things that divide you from your brethren…by virtue of your baptism, you are called to evangelize. If people look at you and see Christ and want to come to know His true Church, then you have served God and man and done it well. I don’t find your comments to be that. I pray you find peace in your walk with Christ and find a way to bring others to know, love and serve Him.

  5. Jo:
    I’m going on the assumption, based on your comments that you are a sedevacantist. Which group do you belong to? Here are my thoughts on your comment:

    1. Fr. Johnannes Dörmann’s book Pope John Paul II’s Theological Journey to the Prayer Meeting of Religions in Assisi is highly praised by the VERY extreme and almost sedevacantist leaning Bishop Williamson of the SSPX. There is rumors that he will be soon leaving the SSPX because of his outspoken disdain towards Bishop Falley’s (the now head of the SSPX) talks with Rome. He will probably join the already broken away group now called the SSPX-SO (Society of Saint Pius X of the Strict Observance).

    2. “Bishop” Donald Sanborn is a sedevacantist and associated with the CMRI (Congregation of Maria Regina Immaculata, a group in Nebraska), he teaches at a seminary in FL and has been “bishop” for ten years now without Papal approval so in essence excommunicated himself by all his actions. He got started in the SSPX but got kicked out in 1983 by Bishop LeFebvre for his extreme stance on things. FYI, the SSPX/Bishop LeFebvre never was/were sedevacantist!

    So with all this information why should I listen to two men who are not even with the Church? I’m not a liberal Catholic and I do attend the Latin Mass EVERY WEEK. I don’t love the abuse within the Church but I’m also not going to attack the Pope nor trash talk the Church on a public forum like you have. I say pray for the Holy Mother Church.

    Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus!!!

  6. Jo,
    With all due respect, you swallow a camel and strain at a gnat. By nitpicking at the wording of documents, you miss the big picture that Jesus created the Church for our salvation and said Himself that the gates of hell would never prevail against it.

    Satan loves spiritual counterfeits. He loves to incite division and especially use people’s pride to make them think they are superior, even to the successor of Peter.

    It takes humility to obey the Church and her teachings. It takes humility to recognize that the failings of men within the Church don’t negate the Church herself.

    When we crtitcize the Church we are being critical of the Holy Spirit Himself. Be careful.

    There are flaws in what you call your church, namely, there is no apostolic succession. Therefore your sacraments aren’t valid. You are very concerned about those of us who are faithful to the Magisterium, but I beg you to take a look at your own soul and ask yourself why there is so much anger toward the Church? There is no Pre-Vatican II and Post-Vatican II church. There is only the Church that was borne of the Passion of Christ. Those who turn their back on her put their souls in peril.

    You are in my prayers.

  7. AnnMarie, I was in the conciliar Church for many years. I saw the loss of people from the pews; First communicants inappropriately prepared; witnessed many sacrileges; I spoke with priests who had turned against their Oath Against Modernism; I witnessed the silly ladies around the table and the female Eucharistic ministers dressed most inappropriately; the many young female servers and lay homilists, and attended the RCIA classes desiring to bring people in until I heard the errors of what was being taught…

    That is not the Catholic Church. Please, attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as promulgated by Pope Saint Pius V in Quo Primum and read the Baltimore Catechism.

  8. Jo,

    I have assisted at Latin Mass and I have also read the Baltimore Catechism.

    All of your objections were, once again, against errors of man within the Church.

    There have been problems like this within the Church from her inception. All anyone has to do is read the letters of St. Paul to see this. He also admonished people for not dressing modestly, for receiving communion unworthily, for not treating the Mass and Blessed Sacrament with reverence. Yet, no one said, “Because these people are behaving badly, these beliefs must not be valid, so we’re going to dissolve the Church.”

    No, the Church has survived for 2,000 years despite the problems brought forth by her followers. If that in itself isn’t evidence she is guided by the Holy Spirit, then I don’t know what is.

    I’m sorry that the people within the Church distract you from the Truths she teaches. How sad it would have been if the early Christians would have judged the Church on the actions of even the apostles themselves, namely Peter, our first Pope, when he denied Christ. If that was the case, Christianity wouldn’t even exist today.

    As for me and my house, we will serve the Church as instituted by Christ. God bless you, Jo. You are in my prayers.

Comments are closed.