HARTFORD – Archbishop Leonard P. Blair is urging the faithful of the Archdiocese of Hartford to pray for peace in Iraq on Aug. 17.
In a posting on the archdiocesan website, the archbishop says that the date has been designated as a special day of prayer in our country for peace in Iraq.
“Parishes have undoubtedly been praying for this intention already, but I ask that every parish include this petition in the Prayer of the Faithful next Sunday, and I invite everyone to make this a daily intention.
BLOOMFIELD – Consecrated life, and specifically, milestone years spent by women in consecrated life, were celebrated Oct. 11 at the Archdiocesan Center at St. Thomas Seminary.
The event was billed as the archdiocesan Mass for the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life. The Year of Consecrated Life, announced by Pope Francis, begins Nov. 29.
People recite a decade of the rosary during the 25th anniversary celebration of the Diocesan Rosary Rally on Oct. 12 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford.
Archbishop Leonard P. Blair spoke. “The Importance of Prayer and the Power of the Rosary” was his topic.
The event also included adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. (Photo by Aaron Joseph)
From left, Evan Zimnoch, Ryan Purdy and Josh Neff, all students at St. Bridget School in Cheshire, get a feel for Apple iPads that were issued to all middle school students there at a ceremony on Oct. 8 at the school.
The iPad purchase was made possible by a $50,000 grant in July from a foundation that requested anonymity.
WETHERSFIELD – The congregation of the close-knit, but far-flung, Korean Catholic Community of Connecticut (KCCC) “goes the distance” to share faith, culture and fellowship. Members travel from 35 locales across Connecticut and the Springfield, Mass., area to attend Korean-language Mass in Sacred Heart Church.
For nearly 40 years, the group has moved from church to church and town to town to meet its growth needs or those of a host parish. The only such group in Connecticut, and one of few in the New York-Boston area, the KCCC began with a handful of families at St. Mary’s in New Haven in 1978, relocated in the mid-’80s to St. Lawrence in West Haven and moved in 2001 to Wethersfield.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In official reports of the closed-door talks at the Synod of Bishops on the family, an emerging theme has been the call for a new kind of language more appropriate for pastoral care today.
"Language appeared many, many times," Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, the briefer for English-speaking journalists, told reporters Oct.7, the assembly's second working day. "There's a great desire that our language has to change in order to meet the very complex situations" the church faces.
HARTFORD – Malta House of Care will sponsor a new fund-raising event at a new venue in October. “A Little Night Music Under the Stars” will be held from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 28 at Infinity Music Hall and Bistro, 32 Front St.
“We have created and successfully grown a signature fund-raiser, ‘Celebrating Wonder Women,’ but we wanted to bring the message of our mission before broader audiences and more men,” said Barbara “Bobbie” Bartucca, executive director of the Malta House of Care Foundation Inc. “We believe that ‘A Little Night Music’ will do that.”
TOTOWA, N.J. (CNS) -- Father Benedict J. Groeschel, who was a founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, a leading pro-life figure and popular author, retreat master and preacher, died Oct. 3 at St. Joseph's Home for the elderly in Totowa after a long illness. He was 81.
"We are deeply saddened by the death of Father Benedict. He was an example to us all," said Father John Paul Ouellette, who is also a Franciscan friar and the order's community servant.
"His fidelity and service to the church and commitment to our Franciscan way of life will have a tremendous impact for generations to come," he said in a statement released Oct. 4 by the order's community office in the Bronx, New York.
A wake was planned for Oct. 8 at St. Adalbert's Church in the Bronx, with a wake to be held Oct. 9, followed by an evening vigil, at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, New Jersey.
HARTFORD – New parish pro-life representatives gather near Archbishop Leonard P. Blair as he blesses candles as part of the annual Respect Life Mass celebrated Oct. 5 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph.
Archbishop Blair also commissioned the new parish pro-life representatives and presented the candles to the pro-life representatives from all parishes.
Christ's healing ministry directs the Christian's concern for the sick, particularly the vulnerable, and those who have little or no voice in decisions pertaining to their health care.
Cognizant that all of human-kind are created in the image of God, the human family must share in the healing ministry manifested by Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church, as the largest provider of nongovernmental health care and social services in this country, has responded to this Gospel imperative.
However, government has continually intruded in the exercise of this ministry through mandates that impact the free exercise of religion of those involved in this delivery of health care. Such intrusions have escalated, threatening the well-being of the most vulnerable, most recently by some of the provisions contained in the federal Health Care Reform proposal.
The issue is not whether all persons deserve access to affordable health care; the issue is who will decide, particularly for vulnerable populations, what health care is mandated, received, and publicly funded.
Intense negotiations to produce health care reform legislation have been taking place in Congress, most recently in the Senate Finance Committee and in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. With the August congressional recess upon us, constituents have the opportunity to express their concerns to their members of Congress before a final vote occurs in the fall.
The message to Congress is: "Please support amendments that exclude abortion mandates, prevent federal funding of abortion, uphold state laws that regulate abortion, protect the conscience rights of health care providers, and protect the elderly, the infirm, and persons with disabilities from rationing as well as mandates impacting their end-of-life care." For more information see: http://nchla.org/issues.asp?ID=51.
Abortion Mandate, Funding, Violations of Conscience:
Federal law has long excluded most abortions from federal employees' health benefits plans and places no requirement on private plans.
This could radically change. Current provisions stipulate that there is at least one plan in every region of the country that covers abortion. While public monies will not pay directly for abortion, health plans would receive federal subsidies to help pay enrollment premiums for low-income people, for plans that will cover abortion
Furthermore, provisions such as those requiring timely access to all benefits covered by qualified health plans could be used by courts to override state laws regulating abortion. Thus, it should be clear in the legislation that these state laws will not be preempted.
Also, federal laws protective of conscience rights of health care providers will be in jeopardy, particularly with this requirement of regional access to abortion. The conscience rights of parents regarding vaccination requirements could be impacted. There even are provisions for "increasing intervals between pregnancies" of those enrolled (See Sections 1711-1714). Congress should ensure that this legislation will maintain protections for conscience rights.
Rationing and Mandatory End-of-Life Care:
The proposal creates a government committee determining allowable benefits and treatments, and restricts enrollment in this plan of persons with special needs. The latter is an attempt to interface with health plans for those with special needs included under the Social Security Act, the outcome of which remains unclear. Hospitals will be penalized for government-deemed preventable readmissions. This constitutes rationing of care.
Eligible health care plans will be required to offer Medicare recipients the opportunity to engage in advanced care planning consultations every five years, or more often if there is a change in health status. This could result in actionable medical orders to exclude life-affirming and proportionately beneficial care, within an unforeseeable circumstance. Such orders will remain actionable across continuums of care and across all health care settings. Reasonable medical interventions, including certain medications, could be excluded from the plan of care. Persons could inadvertently agree to dehydrate or starve to death, when reasonable use of assisted nutrition and hydration would be beneficial. With the aforementioned rationing, decisions concerning end-of-life care could be taken away from patients and their families. (See Sections 122, 123, 203, 1151, 1176, 1177, 1233, 1751.)
Marie T. Hilliard, Ph.D., J.C.L., R.N., is director of bioethical and public policy for the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. Published courtesy of the National Catholic Bioethics Center (www.ncbcenter.org/details_news.asp?idOfEvent=442)