October 18, 2020 Bulletin: My Dear Parishioners,
My article last week has caused some confusion. Basically, this is what I wanted to say: It is best to have prepared a Power of Attorney for Medical Care before you go to the hospital or in general. With that form, you simply designate someone whom you trust to make end-of-life decisions for you on your behalf when you can no longer advocate for yourselves. This is a difficult topic but necessary. A lawyer could help you with such a form for a minimal fee. If you don’t have a lawyer, I could find you one by looking around at neighboring parishes’ bulletins!
The Advance Directive form could also be helpful, but please allow me to offer some suggestions.
The POST form should not be used at all for it entrusts your end-of-life care decisions into the hands of strangers who might not respect your wishes.
November is the month of All Souls. Like last year, you could send me the names of your deceased loved ones. Please make sure to send them to my attention. I will place those names on the altar for the entire month and remember to pray for them at Mass. You might include a stipend with the list of names. I will not keep the stipends for myself, but will use them instead to help struggling people and families.
I tested for COVID on Oct 8 and the result is negative! Thanks be to God!
October 11 Bulletin: My Dear Parishioners,
We have entered into our annual Fall 40 Days for Life prayer campaign. The nomination of a new Supreme Court justice brings to mind the preeminent issue of the Right to Life for unborn children. Without this most basic right, there can be no other rights. But we must also remember the Right to Life of the elderly, the handicapped, and others who cannot fend for themselves in their struggles to be alive.
Today I want to focus on the need for each of us, especially our seasoned parishioners, to have a Power of Attorney for Medical Decision prepared. The new Advance Directive is not a good way to protect you at the end of life concerning critical health care decisions. The other form that hospitals and doctors want you to sign, The Oregon Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST), is especially concerning since it leaves your life in the hand of the medical personnel who often don’t know you (in particular, the so-called hospitalists who are supposed to look after you once you have been admitted to the hospital).
The best way to go is to have someone close to you (a family member or a friend) to hold the Power of Attorney for Medical Decision to decide your life-sustaining treatment on your behalf. This way, you can be most assured your wish shall be respected. The Advance Directive is very inflexible and can lock you into undesirable situations. Again, the Power of Attorney for Medical Decision is best when it comes to end-of-life treatment. Remember this Power of Attorney for Medical Decision is separate from the general Power of Attorney. Speak to your lawyer about this! Ask me a question and I will try to help you on this issue!
October 4 Bulletin: My Dear Parishioners,
October is here - month of the Holy Rosary! Please consider taking up the Rosary to pray for our country in these challenging times! Here is the next part of Cardinal Sara's letter on returning to Mass:
". . .Aware the God never abandons the humanity He has created, and that even the hardest trials can bear fruits of grace, we have accepted our distance from the Lord’s altar as a time of Eucharistic fasting, useful for us to rediscover its vital importance, beauty and immeasurable preciousness. As soon as is possible, however, we must return to the Eucharist with a purified heart, with a renewed amazement, with an increased desire to meet the Lord, to be with him, to receive him and to bring him to our brothers and sisters with the witness of a life full of faith, love, and hope.
This time of deprivation gives us the grace to understand the heart of our brothers and sisters, the martyrs of Abitinae (beginning of the 4th century), who answered their judges with serene determination, despite a sure death sentence: “Sine Dominico non possumus.” The absolute verb non possumus (we cannot) and the significance of the neuter non Dominicum (this which is the Lord’s) cannot be translated with a single word. A very brief expression sums up a great wealth of nuances and meanings that are offered to our mediation today:
--- We cannot live, be Christians, fully realizing our humanity and the desires for good and happiness that dwell in our hearts without the Word of the Lord, which in the celebration of the liturgy takes shape and becomes a living word, spoken by God for those who today open their hearts to listen;
--- We cannot live as Christians without participating in the Sacrifice of the Cross in which the Lord Jesus gives himself unreservedly to save, by his death, humanity which had died because of sin; the Redeemer associates humanity with himself and leads it back to the Father; in the embrace of the Crucified One all human suffering finds light and comfort;
---We cannot be without the banquet of the Eucharist, the table of the Lord to which we are invited as sons and daughters, brothers and sisters to receive the Risen Christ himself, present in body, blood, soul and divinity in that Bread of heaven which sustains us in the joys and labours of this earthly pilgrimage;
---We cannot be without the Christian community, the family of the Lord: we need to meet our brothers and sisters who share the sonship of God, the fraternity of Christ, the vocation and the search for holiness and the salvation of their souls in the rich diversity of ages, personal histories, charisms and vocations;
---We cannot be without the house of the Lord, which is our home, without the holy places where we were born to faith, where we discovered the provident presence of the Lord and discovered the merciful embrace that lifts up those who have fallen, where we consecrated our vocation to marriage or religious life, where we prayed and gave thanks, rejoiced and wept, where we entrusted to the Father our loved ones who had completed their earthly pilgrimage;
---We cannot be without the Lord’s Day, without Sunday which gives light and meaning to the successions of days of work and to family and social responsibilities."
September 27 Bulletin: My Dear Parishioners,
Please read the following story I came across online.
"A few months before he died, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen was interviewed on national television: “Bishop Sheen, thousands of people around the world are inspired by you. Who were you inspired by? Maybe to some pope?" The bishop replied that his greatest source of inspiration was not a pope, a cardinal or another bishop, and not even a priest or nun, but an 11-year-old Chinese girl.
He explained that when the communists took power in China, they arrested a priest in his rectory near the church. The priest watched the communists frightened as they invaded the sacred building and headed for the sanctuary. Filled with hatred, they profaned the Tabernacle and took the ciborium [the sacred vessel holding the Consecrated Hosts] by throwing it on the ground, scattering Consecrated Hosts everywhere. It was a period of persecution, and the priest knew exactly how many hosts were in the chalice: thirty-two. When the Communists retired to their camp, perhaps they had not seen or paid attention to a little girl who, praying in the back of the church, had witnessed everything. In the evening the little girl returned and, eluding the guard placed in the rectory, entered the church. There she made a holy hour of prayer, an act of love to repair the act of hatred. After her holy hour, she entered the sanctuary, knelt down and, leaning forward, with her tongue received Jesus in Holy Communion (at the time lay people were not allowed to touch the Eucharist with their hands).
The little girl continued to return every evening, making the holy hour and receiving the Eucharistic Jesus on the tongue. The thirtieth night, after consuming the host, by chance it made a noise and attracted the attention of the guard, who ran after her, grabbed her and hit her until she killed her with the back of her weapon. The priest witnessed this act of heroic martyrdom, who, disconsolate, looked from the window of his room transformed into a prison cell.
When Bishop Sheen heard that story, he was so inspired that he promised God that he would perform a holy hour of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament every day for the rest of his life. If that child had given a testimony with her own life of the real presence of her Savior in the Blessed Sacrament, the bishop was obliged to do the same. His only desire would have been to draw the world to the ardent Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The little girl taught the bishop the true value and zeal that must be nourished for the Eucharist; how faith can overlap any fear and how true love for Jesus in the Eucharist must transcend one's life."