A former abortionist has said he believes that Our Lady of Guadalupe enlightened him about the destructive nature of his work, adding that Jesus’ mercy has affected and forgiven him. Devotion to The Divine Mercy, he said, is an answer to the pessimism, skepticism, relativism and cynicism of the world.
Dr. John Bruchalski, who founded the pro-life Tepeyac Family Center in Virginia in 1994, performed abortions before his return to the Catholic faith.
He is a speaker at the upcoming North American Congress on Mercy and discussed his conversion in an interview published at the Congress’ website.
The doctor recounted that in 1987 he was a “typical gynecologist” who believed that contraceptives would liberate women. On a visit to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, he said, he “very distinctly” heard the words “Why are you hurting me?”
“It was an internal voice. It was a woman's voice — very loving, very non-threatening. It was very clear, but I didn't entirely understand it. I believe that voice was Our Lady of Guadalupe trying to make me see what I was doing. But it would be years before I fully understood the message.”
For his residency, Bruchalski worked at an in-vitro fertilization center that was also a contraceptive research and development center. His mother took him on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje in Yugoslavia, where he said the nature of his actions became very clear to him.
Even though he built contraceptive devices and performed abortions, he insisted that God “can save any one of us.”
“None of us are too far away. None of us are too lost,” he told the Mercy Congress organizers.
“Yes, Jesus' mercy affected me. Christ doesn't look back on my past. I have been forgiven. ‘Repent and believe.’ The Chaplet [of The Divine Mercy] is so important to me — I have to say it over and over again for me to believe it.”
Bruchalski said everyone can learn from mercy, from the Diary of St. Faustina, and from the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
“Remember: the Holy Spirit does the hard work. I know that if you take time and engage Christ, He will speak to you,” he commented.
The doctor said Divine Mercy should be emphasized because “society is in the slop.”
“Pessimism, skepticism, relativism, and cynicism are abundant everywhere you look.”
“Divine Mercy gives us hope. And when you're in the slop, you need hope,” he added.
Returning to the topic of his medical practice, Bruchalski explained that he named the Tepeyac Family Center to remind him why he was doing what he was doing.
Tepeyac is the site where St. Juan Diego had his vision of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The center treats the person “body, soul and spirit.” The doctor reported that he is “absolutely not hesitant” to speak about God when treating patients, who come from a wide variety of beliefs.
“What we try to do is to meet people where they are. What we do is we try to encourage people if they are not praying or meditating, they need to do that, to get them in touch with that higher power.
“You can't slam them over the head and talk to them in a language they don't understand. Over time, God does the hard work,” he explained, adding that all the center’s patients appreciate knowing they are being prayed for.
The doctor told the Mercy Congress that he saw four basic negative attitudes in his mainstream medical practice: fear, malformed conscience, arrogance towards human life, and the loss of a view of health that integrates religion.
There is fear of getting pregnant and the fear of overpopulation, both fears which treat the child as “a sexually transmitted disease.” There is also the fear of being sued, the fear of personal impoverishment, and the fear of not making enough money. Christian doctors also fear they will have no patients if they follow their faith.
“The answer to fear is ‘Jesus, I trust in You’,” Bruchalski commented.
He explained that in contemporary society people sometimes are viewed as objects.
“Michael Vick and dog fighting received more press time than the partial-birth abortion debate. Embryos are being pitched around in scientific experiments. They're being tested. They're being frozen. And yet, there's human life there.”
Tepeyac Family Center and its companion organization Divine Mercy Care are efforts to correct those attitudes, Bruchalski said.
“What happens in medicine is that science and technology bring progress; they don't bring redemption. The only person who brings redemption is Christ. So if you can't tie the two together, you're lost,” he told the Mercy Congress.
The North American Congress on Mercy will take place Nov. 14-15 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. The Congress says its focus will be the mercy of God as a source of hope, healing and renewal for people of all creeds.
Its website is at http://mercycongress.org.