Triumphant new beginnings for the pro-life movement in Northern Colorado

Just a quarter mile from the Planned Parenthood of Fort Collins, in a building owned by St. John XXIII Catholic Church, Marisol Health promises to bring life-saving support services to Northern Colorado.

The vision to bring the comprehensive and life-affirming clinic to Northern Colorado began prior to the overturning of Roe v. Wade last June, before Colorado became a hub for women in crisis pregnancies seeking abortions. It started almost two years ago, with a small group who devoted themselves to deep prayer and dedicated action for the women and unborn of the state’s region.

For the past seven years, Marisol Health of Catholic Charities Denver has provided a full range of women’s healthcare, including medical, counseling and family support services, to meet the growing need for loving, compassionate support for women and families in the state of Colorado.

“At Marisol Health and through all of Catholic Charities, our goal is to affirm life,” Sara Lugo, Program Director at Marisol Health, shared with the Denver Catholic earlier this year. “It’s a gift and a privilege to work in this space where we get to affirm life from conception to natural death,” Lugo continued, speaking of all the numerous physical and mental health services as well as other resources for expectant mothers and their families, as many pregnancy resource centers do. “We’ve really been able to meet that need by meeting women and their families in such a vulnerable time and really walking with them so that they can really thrive as parents, really providing that support is really crucial to the building the family.”

With their new location in Fort Collins, Marisol Health and Catholic Charities will continue these life-saving efforts for all persons across all of northern Colorado.

“Marisol Health provides life affirming medical care and social services, and we really want to be able to provide that network of support so these families can say ‘yes’ affirmatively,” Lugo concluded.

“We needed to figure out how to bring support to Northern Colorado in a loving way. On behalf of all of the advisory team members, we stand proud of where we are today. This mission has been on all of our hearts,” said Patrick Brady, a Fort Collins native who serves on the advisory committee for the project.

The original group has since grown, and their prayers and outreach have brought the vision to life. The clinic recently surpassed its campaign goal to start construction and is slated to open in the spring of 2024.

Fr. Joseph Lajoie, Pastor of St. John XXIII Parish in Fort Collins, celebrates Mass for those gathered to celebrate the official beginning of renovations of the new Marisol Health clinic in Northern Colorado. (Photo by André Escaleira, Jr.)

To commemorate the start of the renovations, an event was held on the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary at St. John XXIII Catholic Church in Fort Collins on Wednesday night. Mass was celebrated with a special intention to our Blessed Mother, that she might hold the unborn and all future clients of Marisol Health in her hands. Joining in her intercession were scores of Catholic faithful, including Catholic Charities Denver staff, supporters and friends, as well as the Knights of Columbus, thankful to see Catholic, life-affirming care coming to Northern Colorado.



Indeed, the day was a perfect one for the formal beginning of the process of opening the clinic, said Fr. Joseph Lajoie, the Pastor of St. John XXIII Parish, which also houses Ram Catholic, the area’s official college Catholic campus ministry to Colorado State University. “The feast of the visitation is especially the feast of hospitality in that Mary began focusing on someone else’s needs before her own honor, anticipating one another in showing honor,” he shared during his homily. It is that very hospitality that the courageous mothers who visit Marisol Health, as well as the clinic’s dedicated, compassionate staff embody in their loving reception of each soul that enters their care.

“It is so appropriate, more appropriate than I can think of, than on any other liturgical day of the year, to have us going in and passing on the keys to this event center to the very solid health that will in many ways contribute to the health of women and even the saving of the unborn,” Fr. Lajoie continued.

Fr. Joseph Lajoie, Pastor of St. John XXIII Parish, gathers with Darren Walsh, CEO and President of Catholic Charities Denver, Knights of Columbus, and members of the project’s advisory committee and the Catholic Charities Denver team. With the keys transferred, renovations begin on the clinic, set to open in spring 2024. (Photo by André Escaleira, Jr.)

A procession to the new space was led by Fr. Lajoie and the Knights of Columbus, followed by a brief ceremony in which he handed the keys of the former event center of the parish to Darren Walsh, President and CEO of Catholic Charities Denver, with dozens in attendance to join in prayer and celebration.

In stark contrast to Planned Parenthood’s focus on abortion and contraception, Marisol Health will continue to offer holistic options to thousands of women of all stages, leading to life-saving outcomes. Women deserve to get accurate information and support as they make important decisions about their reproductive health and pregnancies. Marisol Health will continue to bring the most compassionate, comprehensive support system to Northern Colorado.

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