Short life has long-term impact

Inspired by the story of baby Veyda Faith Lamoureux, who lived just 30 hours, Lakewood Knights of Columbus recently raised the funds needed to purchase an ultrasound machine for a pro-life pregnancy center.

Veyda, daughter of Hayley and Trevor Lamoureux, was diagnosed with life-threatening kidney disease halfway through their pregnancy last year.

“I don’t know what her life will be like. You might get an hour, you might get 10,” Hayley recalled the doctor telling them, in a past Denver Catholic story (“30 Hours,” Jan. 17-23). “But I can’t say that one hour won’t be the greatest hour of your life.”

“We went in there knowing whatever time we got, it would be a blessing,” she said, despite the fact that they were encouraged to abort by some doctors.

Hayley and Trevor were blessed with 30 hours with their daughter, who was born Dec. 10 and died in the arms the next day. It was 30 hours that not only changed their lives, but has the potential to change the lives of many expectant mothers.

After reading about Veyda and her parents, members of Knights of Columbus Council 9597 at Our Lady of Fatima Parish, contacted the Lamoureux family and asked if the council could have the honor of naming and placarding the first ultrasound machine they were able to place as “Veyda Faith.”

Hayley and Trevor Lamoureux , with Mike and Megan Daly, at a Knights of Columbus fundraising dinner April 11 at Our Lady of Family Parish in Lakewood.The couple accepted, and on April 11, they joined the Knights at their second annual beer-pairing dinner and auction at the parish to raise funds for the state ultrasound initiative that purchases and places ultrasound machines at medical clinics to make the technology more accessible.

“(Ultrasound machines) have been proven effective at influencing expecting parents’ decisions to choose life for their babies,” said Tom Martinez, council member.

The event raised $11,000, and when matched with an equal contribution from the Supreme Council, it was enough for the council’s first machine.

“The sophistication of today’s medical technology provides a ‘window on the womb,’” Supreme Knight Carl Anderson explained on the Supreme Council website. “Even from the early stages of pregnancy, a mother can see her developing child, hear the baby’s heartbeat, and recognize the miracle of the new life within her.”

The Lakewood council plans to purchase and place an ultrasound machine in an appropriate pregnancy center as soon as possible.

“That machine will bear the name of Veyda Faith,” Martinez said. “We are grateful to Hayley and Trevor for helping bring even more inspiration to our efforts.”

Combined with local and state councils, the Supreme Council has placed more than 540 ultrasound machines nationwide at a cost of more than $16 million.

COMING UP: Q&A: USCCB clarifies intent behind bishops’ Eucharist document

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Last week, the U.S. bishop concluded their annual Spring meeting, during which much about the Church in the U.S was discussed. In particular, the bishops voted to draft a document on the meaning of Eucharistic life in the Church, which was approved by an overwhelming majority.

Since then, speculation about the nature of the document has run rampant, the chief of which is that it was drafted specifically to instigate a policy aimed directly at Catholic politicians and public figures whose outward political expressions and policy enactment do not align with Church teaching.

The USCCB has issued a brief Q&A clarifying the intent of the document, and they have emphasized that “the question of whether or not to deny any individual or groups Holy Communion was not on the ballot.”

“The Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life,” the USCCB said. “The importance of nurturing an ever
deeper understanding of the beauty and mystery of the Eucharist in our lives is not a new topic for the bishops. The document being drafted is not meant to be disciplinary in nature, nor is it targeted at any one individual or class of persons. It will include a section on the Church’s teaching on the responsibility of every Catholic, including bishops, to live in accordance with the truth, goodness and beauty of the Eucharist we celebrate.”

Below are a few commonly asked questions about last week’s meeting and the document on the Eucharist.

Why are the bishops doing this now?

For some time now, a major concern of the bishops has been the declining belief and understanding of the Eucharist among the Catholic faithful. This was a deep enough concern that the theme of the bishops’ strategic plan for 2021-2024 is Created Anew by the Body and Blood of Christ: Source of Our Healing and Hope. This important document on the Eucharist will serve as a foundation for the multi-year Eucharistic Revival Project, a major national effort to reignite Eucharistic faith in our country. It was clear from the intensity and passion expressed in the individual interventions made by the bishops during last week’s meeting that each bishop deeply loves the Eucharist.

Did the bishops vote to ban politicians from receiving Holy Communion?

No, this was not up for vote or debate. The bishops made no decision about barring anyone from receiving Holy Communion. Each Catholic — regardless of whether they hold public office or not — is called to continual conversion, and the U.S. bishops have repeatedly emphasized the obligation of all Catholics to support human life and dignity and other fundamental principles of Catholic moral and social teaching.

Are the bishops going to issue a national policy on withholding Communion from politicians?

No. There will be no national policy on withholding Communion from politicians. The intent is to present a clear understanding of the Church’s teachings to bring heightened awareness among the faithful of how the Eucharist can transform our lives and bring us closer to our creator and the life he wants for us.

Did the Vatican tell the bishops not to move forward on drafting the document?

No. The Holy See did encourage the bishops to engage in dialogue and broad consultation. Last week’s meeting was the first part of that process. It is important to note that collaboration and consultation among the bishops will be key in the drafting of this document.

Featured photo by Eric Mok on Unsplash