Bringing “hope and healing” to Poland

Lech Wojewodzic

When Lech Wojewodzic began his career in medicine, he never imagined that he would become an OB-GYN. “I made all the vocation training in Germany and Italy in orthopedics,” he said, “because it was for me — a man who can fix some fractures and so on.” But then in 2009, an article in the Catholic Polish newspaper Gość Niedzielny (“Sunday Guest”) made him reconsider. It was an interview with Pope Paul VI Institute Director Dr. Thomas W. Hilgers and the impact NaProTechnology was having in Poland. “I was riveted,” Lech said. “[Dr. Hilgers] invented all this stuff with NaProTechnology. I was like, ‘Wow, this is for me!’”

Lech was still unprepared for this career change. “I was praying for God to show me the way,” he said. “When I opened the Bible, there was Abraham … it was the place where God told him that his children will be as many as sand on the beach.” Still, he needed convincing. “So I opened at another place, and it was about Mary, mother of Jesus, who already conceived. It was about her giving birth to the Lord.” Moved by this sign of divine intervention, Lech went to his priest for one last confirmation. “He says to me, ‘If you have prayed, you can choose this other specialization.’”

Lech applied for residency as an OB-GYN, and there were only three available openings in his area. When he received the results back from his test, he placed third — only 0.3% higher than the next applicant.

Lech then bought the textbook, “The Medical & Surgical Practice of NaProTechnology,” learning new ways of treating infertility that were unheard of in Poland at the time. “I was someone who was already converted,” he said, telling his colleagues, “‘In America, they do this and this and this!’ They were laughing, ‘You will do surgery in all those complicated cases?’” After five years, however, Lech gained the respect of his colleagues. In 2016, he passed the Board State Exam for OB-GYNs in Poland with the second highest score in the country.

There is still an uphill battle in bringing these natural, procreative methods to Poland. “About 70% of the population are pro-IVF … They are Christian and they are Catholics, but they think in a different way.” Lech believes, however, that the results of the Creighton Model System will win them over. “It’s the time to show them, even if they don’t believe in God, even if they don’t believe in Natural Methods, they can see fruits of it, and maybe this will convince them about our work and our services.”

Meet the 2017 Summer Interns

The Pope Paul VI Institute has always been committed to the education of people on the truth about issues facing women’s reproductive healthcare. Educating young people and showing them the difference they can make is an important endeavor for the Institute. The spirit that young people have for this work creates synergy with our mission. Their enthusiasm is truly contagious and reminds us all of why we work to bring the culture of life to women’s healthcare.

Malori Mattson

Malori Mattson, Summer Research Intern

Over the summer of 2017, Malori Mattson, a Creighton University medical student from Minot, North Dakota, interned with the Institute and evaluated pregnancy rates in relation to the Creighton Model System, as well as factors that played a role in these rates, such as endometriosis and past surgeries.

Malori first learned about the Pope Paul VI Institute and the Creighton Model System from her teacher and mentor, Fr. Justin Waltz. Through her undergraduate and medical studies, she kept the Institute in her mind, and after a discussion with two previous Pope Paul VI Institute interns, she was certain she needed to apply for the internship. She is now considering becoming an OB-GYN.

“I know that one day I will be able to look back on my experience at the Pope Paul VI Institute and gather from it the encouragement and strength I will need to remain steadfast in my beliefs,” Malori said, “especially during times when those beliefs are challenged.”

J.P. Jensen

J.P. Jensen, Summer File Clerk

John Paul “J.P.” Jensen is a junior at Mount Michael Benedictine High School and a “NaPro Miracle” of FCCA Assistant Administrator, Gerianne Jensen.

J.P. worked over the summer filing research articles from various medical journals and says that working for the Institute over the summer may have changed his long-term goals. From reading an article titled “Potassium Chloride-Induced Fetal Demise,” he discovered how very broken mainstream medicine is. “I had remotely considered medicine before,” J.P. said, “but now I know there is a lot of work to be done and many people to help with good medicine.”