My family . . . the blessings of my life!

My family . . . the blessings of my life!
Sean, Mackenzie, Pat (hubby), me, Jeneah

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hospital decided it could not meet the Catholic standard | Catholic Sentinel

I found myself experiencing two opposite emotions with this article 1) very sad that this hospital decided it could not alter its present practices to the degree required for continued identification as “Catholic” and 2) hopeful that this is only the beginning of our bishops taking the difficult road of challenging questionable 'Catholic' institutions to either meet the degree required to be TRULY CATHOLIC or not... Our Bishops are our shepherds, and I applaude Bishop Vasa for this challenging position he has taken!

Remember our bishops do need our prayers, so please keep each and every one of them in prayer.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE

Hospital decided it could not meet the Catholic standard

In the course of the past several weeks I have focused on what it means for individuals and institutions to be Catholic. I have done this, in part, because of a concern about Catholic colleges and hospitals in general but also, in part, because of very specific discussions I have been having with the administration of St. Charles Medical Center, a Catholic health care institution, in Bend. Over the course of the past several years I have struggled with the difficulty of trying to reconcile some practices ongoing at the medical center with clear Church teaching. In January I wrote: “It is not uncommon for faithful Catholics to question the Catholicity of these public institutions especially when they seem to be expressing and holding public views which are, or strongly appear to be, contrary to the clear teachings of the Church. At what point are these institutions no longer ‘in the communion of the Catholic Church on this earth?’” I have come to the very difficult conclusion, after much discussion and discernment, that it is time to acknowledge that which has become very clear to me, namely, that St. Charles is a community hospital and should no longer be identified as a Catholic institution.

A little history: In the 1970s St. Charles became a community nonprofit organization with the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Tipton, Indiana as the Catholic Sponsors. In 1992 an Association of the Christian Faithful was established with the specific goal of “preserving the unique Catholic character of St. Charles.” This was done because the Sisters determined that they could no longer provide Catholic Sponsorship. Most notable among the Sisters was Sister Kathryn Hellmann, who personally oversaw the progress of St. Charles for many years. In 1992, the Sisters transferred control of the hospital to the board of directors and the Sisters were instrumental in helping establish the Association of the Christian Faithful as the vehicle by which the hospital’s Catholic sponsorship could be maintained.

A specific part of the role of the Association of the Christian Faithful was to assure that there was a clear adherence to both Catholic principles and approved Catholic practices at St. Charles. These specific practices, as well as a summary of the principles, are contained in a document published by the Catholic Bishops of the United Sates titled: “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services” (ERDs). The adopted statutes of the Association of the Christian Faithful, however, did not allow sufficient control over the implementation of the directives at St. Charles and thus the association had no real means of insisting upon adherence to the ERDs. Consequently, the ERDs were viewed as “guidelines” or “suggestions” and compliance with them was understood by the board as both voluntary and optional.

In 2007 the diocese was presented with a report on the level of compliance with the ERDs and that report indicated that there were a couple of areas of grave concern. While the commitment to adhering to Catholic principles was clearly present the same could not be said about adherence to or avoidance of certain immoral medical practices.

I have noted elsewhere that while adherence to the principles in a general way is commendable, that alone does not identify an Institution as Catholic. There must also be an adherence to those practices which are also a part of what it means to be a Catholic institution. Sadly, after having functioned in a particular way for a large number of years the board did not see how it could now align the medical practices of the hospital with the ERDs to a degree that would justify an ongoing sponsorship relationship between the Diocese of Baker and St. Charles.

As bishop, I am responsible for attesting to the full Catholicity of the hospitals in my diocese, a responsibility I take very seriously, and I have reached the conclusion that I can no longer attest to the Catholicity of St. Charles. The board is responsible for the operation of the medical center and for its compliance with the ethical guidelines it deems suitable for St. Charles. The question the board faced was whether it could alter its present practices to the degree required for continued identification as “Catholic.” It was the board’s determination that it could not meet that standard.

I see before me two distressing options. I must either condone all that is being done at St. Charles and its affiliates by continuing a sponsorship relationship or I must recognize that those practices are absolutely contrary to the ERDs and distance myself from them. It would be misleading to the faithful for me to allow St. Charles to be acknowledged as Catholic in name while, at the same time, being morally certain that some significant tenets of the ERDs are no longer being observed there.

This is not a condemnation of St. Charles. It is a sadly acknowledged reality.

I believe the board has acted in good faith over the years because of its understanding that the ERDs were voluntary. The diocese has always presumed full compliance with a proper interpretation of the ERDs until the revelations of the 2007 report.

St. Charles has gradually moved away from adherence to the requirements of the Church without recognizing a major possible consequence of doing so. That consequence is a loss of Catholic sponsorship. Since I see no possibility of St. Charles returning to full compliance with the ERDs and since such full compliance with the ERDs is essential to “Catholic Status,” St. Charles will now be considered solely as a community nonprofit organization, not a Catholic one.

In practical terms there should be very little change in how St. Charles presently functions. One major shift will be the absence of the Blessed Sacrament at the hospital. The chapel will no longer be a Catholic chapel and Mass will no longer be celebrated there. In our secular culture most do not recognize the extreme grace of our Lord’s Real Presence but I suspect his absence from the chapel will be deeply felt.

THIRTY DAYS PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH (IN HONOR OF THE 30 YEARS HE SPENT WITH JESUS AND MARY)

St. Joseph's Site, Novenas and Prayers

(Note: This prayer was taken from a leaflet provided by the Josephites and may be said during any 30 days of the year.)

Ever blessed and glorious Joseph, kind and loving father, and helpful friend of all in sorrow! You are the good father and protector of orphans, the defender of the defenseless, the patron of those in need and sorrow.

Look kindly on my request. My sins have drawn down on me the just displeasure of my God, and so I am surrounded with unhappiness. To you, loving guardian of the Family of Nazareth, do I go for help and protection. Listen, then, I beg you, with fatherly concern, to my earnest prayers, and obtain for me the favors I ask.

I ask it by the infinite mercy of the eternal Son of God, which moved Him to take our nature and to be born into this world of sorrow.

I ask it by the weariness and suffering you endured when you found no shelter at the inn of Bethlehem for the Holy Virgin, nor a house where the Son of God could be born. Then, being everywhere refused, you had to allow the Queen of Heaven to give birth to the world's Redeemer in a cave.

I ask it by the loveliness and power of that sacred Name, Jesus, which you conferred on the adorable Infant.

I ask it by the painful torture you felt at the prophecy of holy Simeon, which declared the Child Jesus and His holy Mother future victims of our sins and of their great love for us.

I ask it through your sorrow and pain of soul when the angel declared to you that the life of the Child Jesus was sought by His enemies. From their evil plan, you had to flee with Him and His Blessed Mother to Egypt.

I ask it by all the suffering, weariness, and labors of that long and dangerous journey.

I ask it by all your care to protect the Sacred Child and His Immaculate Mother during your second journey, when you were ordered to return to your own country.

I ask it by your peaceful life in Nazareth where you met with so many joys and sorrows. I ask it by your great distress when the adorable Child was lost to you and His mother for three days.

I ask it by your joy at finding Him in the temple, and by the comfort you found at Nazareth, while living in the company of the Child Jesus.

I ask it by the wonderful submission He showed in His obedience to you.

I ask it by the perfect love and conformity you showed in accepting the Divine order to depart from this life, and from the company of Jesus and Mary.

I ask it by the joy which filled your soul, when the Redeemer of the world, triumphant over death and hell, entered into the possession of His kingdom and led you into it with special honors.

I ask it through Mary's glorious Assumption, and through that endless happiness you have with her in the presence of God. O good father! I beg you, by all your sufferings, sorrows, and joys, to hear me and obtain for me what I ask. (Here name your petitions or think of them.)

Obtain for all those who have asked my prayers everything that is useful to them in the plan of God. Finally, my dear patron and father, be with me and all who are dear to me in our last moments, that we may eternally sing the praises of:

JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH

"A blameless life,

St. Joseph,

may we lead,

by your kind patronage

from danger freed."

Sacramento bishop urges easing up on tech devices for Lent - Sacramento News - Local and Breaking Sacramento News | Sacramento Bee

Sacramento bishop urges easing up on tech devices for Lent - Sacramento News - Local and Breaking Sacramento News | Sacramento Bee

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sacbee.com

This story is taken from Sacbee / Our Region


Sacramento bishop urges easing up on tech devices for Lent


Published Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010


Bishop Jaime Soto is the first leader of the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento to use a laptop, browse the Internet on his cell phone and read a book on Kindle. He regularly e-mails his priests and reads religious blogs.

But starting today, the first day of Lent, Soto will begin a 40-day, virtual "fast." The bishop is calling on the area's 900,000 Catholics to join him in cutting back on their online connections.

"The computer, or the iPhone or Facebook, have become addictions for many people," Soto said. "During Lent we should look at everything we do and think: How can we exercise moderation?"

Lent is the season of reflection, repentance and spiritual discipline for Christians. The observance begins today, Ash Wednesday, and ends Easter Sunday.

This year, in addition to reminding Catholics to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays during Lent, Soto is asking followers to fast from "needless television, video games, Internet use and social entertainment," according to the 2010 Lenten Regulations and Admonitions. He is not seeking a ban – just restraint.

The rules were posted on the diocese's Web site last week.

The Catholic Church has embraced new technologies in recent years, with Pope Benedict XVI welcoming them as "a gift." Last month, the pope urged priests to use digital communication to preach the Gospel. The Vatican has a YouTube channel and a Facebook account. Several bishops blog.

In his two years as the spiritual leader of the diocese, Soto has urged the faithful to use technology. Most parishes have Web sites. Men training for the priesthood in the diocese now blog about their experiences at Santissimo Sacramento – "The Most Holy Sacrament."

"It demystifies the whole seminary process. … Some people are surprised that we blog; they think we live in a cave or something," said Brian Soliven, 29, a seminarian interning at St. Rose of Lima Church in Roseville. "The blog gives people a peek into our lives."

He said technology will play a vital role in his ministry. Nowadays, he said, the first impression most people have of a parish is not when they walk into a church. "Their first impression is the church's Web site."

While encouraging followers to use media to communicate their message, church leaders also have become increasingly aware that technology can be misused. The pope has warned against "obsessive" virtual socializing. For some, it has taken the place of human interaction, said Bishop Soto.

"People should become less plugged into their iPod and more plugged into the people around you," Soto said.

As she walked out of noon Mass at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Gloria Hernandez said she was glad to hear the bishop asking for moderation during Lent.

As the mother of three teenagers who are constantly texting their friends, she said she is not sure how they will react to the bishop's call. "Giving up meat for them is not a problem. It's probably easier than giving up their cell phones."

Soto, who carries a bag full of his latest technological gadgets with him when he travels, understands.

He calls his PDA "indispensable," and he signs onto his computer first thing every morning. But cutting back during Lent will give him time to reflect on how he is using technology to further his ministry and communicate God's message, he said.

"I want to have more time in prayer and not be distracted by what's in my inbox."

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Dedication to Jesus
Lord Jesus Christ, take away my freedom, my memory, my understanding, and my will. All that I have and cherish you have given me. I surrender it all to be guided by your will. Your love and your grace are wealth enough for me. Give me these, Lord Jesus, and I ask for nothing more. Amen.
St. Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)

St. Teresa of Avila
“For mental prayer…is nothing more than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us. The important thing is not to think much but to love much…Love is not great delight but desire to please God in everything.”

St. Thérèse of Lisieux
"...So I sought in holy Scripture some idea of what this life I wanted would be, and I read these words: 'Whosoever is a little one, come to me.' It is your arms, Jesus, that are the lift to carry me to heaven. And so there is no need for me to grow up; I must stay little and become less and less."

Magnificat
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.