Bishop Burbidge blesses new Tepeyac medical center

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Nearly 500 years ago, the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Juan Diego and asked him to build a chapel on Tepeyac Hill in Mexico. Today in Fairfax, Tepeyac OB/GYN, a faith-based, pro-life medical practice, strives to be “a light on a hill, a beacon of hope and love and mercy,” said founder Dr. John Bruchalski during a celebration of the center’s new facility. 

Arlington Bishop Michael F. Burbidge blessed the space March 25, the feast of the Annunciation. On that day, the angel Gabriel told Mary, “Do not be afraid.” Every day, Tepeyac helps expectant mothers, a third of whom are experiencing crisis pregnancies, feel loved and supported. But today, said Bishop Burbidge, Gabriel's words are meant for the supporters of Tepeyac.

“In a world that doesn't always embrace what we witness, do not be afraid. Nothing is impossible with God,” the bishop said. “All those seeds that we plant, all those efforts that we give to God every day are not in vain.” 

Tepeyac began in 1994 in Bruchalski’s basement. Since then, the medical center has moved to several different offices around Fairfax. Its current location is on Fair Ridge Drive.

The new, larger facility has 12 exams rooms, two sonogram rooms, a separate waiting room for those who prefer privacy and a neighboring suite for Divine Mercy Care, the education and fundraising arm of Tepeyac. The lobby’s skylight and blue decor create a calm atmosphere. The chapel’s stained glass windows are based on the Cathedral of Dom Bosco in Brasilia, Brazil. The altar niche, painted like the night sky, mimics Our Lady of Guadalupe’s mantle.

Since the early years of the center, Tepeyac has worked closely with the shepherds of the diocese, said Bruchalski. In the early 1990s, Bishop John R. Keating asked Bruchalski to speak to the priests of the diocese about natural family planning and his mission of providing Christ-centered healthcare. 

Bishop Emeritus Paul S. Loverde regularly prayed outside abortion clinics and, as a child of a high-risk pregnancy, had great concern for the patients at Tepeyac, said Bruchalski. “He was always there for us.” 

Tepeyac staff hopes they can establish a similar relationship with Bishop Burbidge. “We want to put ourselves at your service to build up this community,” Bruchalski told the bishop, who sprinkled holy water throughout the facility and cut the red ribbon.

Dozens of Tepeyac supporters came to celebrate the opening, including Erin Welsh and her daughter, Elizabeth. Welsh serves as director of Holy Family Fertility Care and is a parishioner of St. James Church in Falls Church. She often refers her clients to Tepeyac, one of the few providers in the area she feels can offer holistic healthcare for women.

Tepeyac patients come from all over the diocese, and from outside the diocese, said Bruchalski, looking for healthcare that respects a woman’s fertility, cares for the needy and treats every pregnancy as a child of God. 

“It's about trying to return Jesus as the Divine Physician under the cloak of Our Lady,” he said. “We want to be excellent healthcare for all —  a real resource from adolescence all the way to menopause.” 

The next day, March 26, Bishop Burbidge visited and blessed the New Eve Maternity Home in Winchester.

More information

Call 703/273-9440 or go to tepeyacobgyn.com/.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017

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