On Wednesday, December 6, the Mother of Mercy Free Clinic in Manassas will be officially open for business. With this clinic, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington (CCDA) will serve the estimated 4,500 people living in low-income households without insurance in Manassas and Manassas Park. The clinic is located at 9380 Forestwood Lane, Suite B in Manssass, Virginia.
The medical clinic, which has a waiting room, four exam rooms and other offices, will be open four hours a week with volunteer doctors, nurses and personnel. It will primarily serve adults since children of low-income families can often receive medical insurance (i.e. Medicaid). During the non-clinical hours, CCDA will use the facility to provide a broader array of assistance related to immigration issues, mental health counseling, and referrals to other services.
The clinic will be supported by healthcare contributions from Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William Medical Center. The free medical clinic will also use a local lab for additional patient services. In addition, CCDA is receiving consultative services offered by the Bon Secours Richmond Health System, a Catholic healthcare institution, to set up an ethics committee for the clinic. Catholic Charities is also cooperating with Tepeyac Clinic of Divine Mercy Care to provide mutual support for clients.
How the clinic came to be
A group of parishioners from All Saints Catholic Church in Manassas and Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Gainesville participated in a pro-life ministry in which they would reach out to mothers and couples who approached a Manassas abortion clinic. This group also reached out to the staff at the abortion clinic in the hopes of fostering productive and respectful dialogue.
After the owner of the clinic passed away, the owner’s wife, who assumed ownership and control of the clinic’s operation, agreed to shut the clinic down and sell to a group of investors called the BVM Foundation (for Blessed Virgin Mary). The BVM Foundation approached CCDA about how the former abortion clinic could be changed to serve a noble and redemptive purpose. CCDA agreed to open a free clinic to serve the uninsured in the Manassas area and has embarked on this mission to prolong life and to promote the dignity of the human person.
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In a statement issued earlier this month, Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Arlington, said, “Each day, God calls us to help our brothers and sisters in need and to be instruments of His mercy and healing love. This clinic is in response to that call and will open new opportunities for Catholic Charities and dedicated volunteers to help those who otherwise may have been unable to receive such compassionate care.”