The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


April 11, 2014

Readers' Forum 4-11 | Gabriel Project champions right to life

JOHNSTOWN — It is heartwarming to be thanked by a mother who had the courage to choose life for her baby rather than abortion because of support from the Gabriel Project.

Gabriel Project is a pro-life ministry headquartered at St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church in Johnstown. The Rev. Anthony Francis Spilka serves as spiritual leader. Stephanie Neighbors is our volunteer coordinator.

Like-minded churches have joined our network and have baby bassinets in their churches to gather much-needed donations. Many volunteers hold fundraisers and perform various duties to support any woman or girl in a crisis pregnancy.

Tangible emotional, spiritual and practical help is given to the pregnant mother. After the birth of the baby, help continues for an entire year. We pray with and for the young family. Neighbors counsels the parent or parents and encourages them to further their education or to seek employment. Needed supplies such as play yards, car seats, clothing, diapers and grooming products are regularly provided.  

The ministry is supported by donations and fundraisers. No government assistance is given or wanted. Nobody receives a salary. Volunteers run everything so that all monies received directly benefit the mothers and babies we serve.  

Because it is a pro-life ministry, the Gabriel Project has no dealings with Planned Parenthood, which is our nation’s largest abortion provider.

The church champions the right to life for unborn children and provides quality of life to those children. The Gabriel Project furthers that cause and is worthy of your support.

Gale Bala


Legalizing pot has several advantages

Did you know that cannabis can help against cancer? Cannabis should be legal for medical as well as recreational use.

According to Arjun Walia from, there are 20 medical studies that prove cannabis (marijuana) can cure or prevent cancer from spreading further.

A study by Harvard Medical School determined the effectiveness of cannabis for treatment of lung cancer. It is better to use cannabis for pain than narcotics. Alcohol is worse for you compared to cannabis. The same thing is true about cigarettes, yet both are still legal.

According to Dr. Jack Henningfield of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the withdrawal, tolerance, dependence and addiction potential in nicotine are two times higher than cannabis. Henningfield also states that alcohol’s withdrawal, tolerance, dependence, intoxication and addiction potential are almost three times higher than cannabis.

According to, cannabis also is helpful for treating the symptoms of a variety of medical conditions. It can help people with serious pain and suffering.

If pot was legalized, state and federal governments could have additional revenue from taxing it. This revenue could be put toward transportation, education and health care costs. For example, Colorado made $3.5 million in taxes and fees in the first month of medical and recreational cannabis sales. By the next fiscal year, Colorado will have made almost $1 billion in revenue from marijuana.

In the long run, legal cannabis sales will benefit our country’s debts as well as the medical field.

Cole Lafferty


Text Only | Photo Reprints

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads