The PATHWAYS of PAUL Pilgrimage, Sept. 18-28, 2019 -- Information

 
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   St. Nicholas School, Kinsley, Advent Cantata, Dec. 7, 2008

 

   

 

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Can death be beautiful?


A response to Brittany Maynard

By MARY REZAC
Catholic News Agency

Brittany Maynard plans on ending her life on Nov. 1.
The 29 year-old has been diagnosed with an advanced brain tumor, and in April was given a prognosis of six months to live. Not long afterwards, after researching her options, Maynard and her family left their California home and moved to Oregon, where Maynard could opt for physician-assisted suicide via the Death With Dignity act.
She carries a prescription in her purse that will kill her if ingested. If she changes her mind, she won’t take the pills.
In an op-ed written for CNN, Maynard said: “I’ve had the medication for weeks. I am not suicidal. If I were, I would have consumed that medication long ago. I do not want to die. But I am dying. And I want to die on my own terms.”
A few states to the south and east, Kara Tippetts of Colorado is preparing for the end of her life.
She knows it will come sooner than later. Tippetts, like Maynard, knows great suffering. She has been battling an aggressive form of breast cancer for two years that has metastasized throughout her entire body. She was diagnosed at the age of 36, and has since been trying to make the most of her time with her four young children, and husband Jason.
After news broke of Maynard’s decision, Tippetts wrote Brittany an open letter from her heart, sharing her love and prayers, sympathizing with her extreme suffering and thanking her for sharing her story.
“I think the telling of your story is important,” she writes. “It’s a discussion that needs to be brought out of the quiet corners and brought brightly into the light. You sharing your story has done that. It matters, and it is unbelievably important. Thank you.”
Kara then gently pleads with Brittany to reconsider.
“Dear heart, we simply disagree. Suffering is not the absence of goodness, it is not the absence of beauty, but perhaps it can be the place where true beauty can be known.”
Dr. Julie Masters is also glad that Maynard’s story is out there. The chairman of the Department of Gerontology at the University of Nebraska, Masters teaches a class called “Death and Dying” for undergraduate students. The class covers everything from funeral planning to grief and loss, religious perspectives and near-death experiences.
It just so happened that the syllabus lined up with the news - her class’s discussion on physician assisted suicide and euthanasia was the same day Maynard went public with her decision.
“I really don’t believe in coincidences, I think we’re given information when we need to hear it,” Masters said. Her hope is that Maynard’s story will open up the desperately-needed conversations about end-of-life decisions in both families and larger communities.
Her fear is that many will now see Death with Dignity as the only way to go.
“That’s where I get concerned about responsible reporting,” she said. “That other people will read this and (may) say, ‘Well gosh, then I guess that’s what I need to do, that’s the way to go’, but that’s not the only option, and I hope folks understand that. That’s where the idea of hospice or palliative care comes into play.”
“When you see a headline like, ‘I have the right to make my decision’ … we forget that there’s a bigger picture in terms of our understanding of end of life wishes.”
Masters made it clear that she could not speak specifically to Maynard’s situation.
“We only know a snapshot, we don’t know the whole story, and so I’m not sure exactly why … she’s chosen that path,” she said. Something typically touted as a benefit of physician assisted suicide is that it cuts down the costs of hospice and palliative care, Masters said, though that’s rarely the reason people actually opt for it.
In Maynard’s op-ed, she mentions wanting to be in control of her own destiny, in having the power to choose when she dies. Masters said this idea of self-autonomy is often the reason people choose this option.
“It’s not about financial costs, it’s about being in control of my own destiny,” Masters said. “But you have to include a different perspective – what does it mean to be in control? Are you really in control? That’s something that you have to think about.”
Masters also hopes that in the wake of Maynard’s decision, end-of-life care can be viewed in a broader perspective that includes longer-term hospice and palliative care.
“If we would think about care in a broader range, meaning not just six months or less, but looking at it from a year, or two years, or three years out, that person’s going to have a better sense of care, and a better sense that they will be supported at the end of their life.”
Most insurance policies only let people receive hospice care if they are given a prognosis of six months or less to live. Broadening the perspective of what hospice or palliative care could change the conversation about end-of-life issues, Masters said, but even as it stands, statistics show most people don’t take full advantage of the care available to them.
“When you look at median length of stay and average length of stay, what we find is that people are not able to take advantage of hospice for as long as it’s really out there,” she said.
Why aren’t they taking advantage?
“I think part of it is we don’t want to talk about it, we’re afraid of it, we’re afraid of death.”
Clergy can be key in opening these conversations, Masters continued. A study done by the Nebraska Hospice and Palliative Care Association on the end-of-life planning of Nebraskans found that many people said they wished they had had more conversations with their clergy regarding death and dying.
Masters recalled how much comfort a priest brought when her own father, a devout Catholic, was dying.
“His faith is what really helped define who he was over the course of his life, and so to have his priest come by and anoint him, to have his priest come pray with him and give him Communion, was very important,” she said. “I can’t tell you how helpful it was to us, to know that we were doing things in accordance to the faith tradition.”
Masters said she often thinks what Mary and Joseph talked about as the foster-father of Christ neared the end of his life.
“Don’t you wonder if Mary had a conversation with Joseph about the end of life? We don’t hear much about the two of them but they had to have had a conversation, because I don’t think he died suddenly,” she said.
In the Catholic tradition, St. Joseph is referred to as the patron of a happy death, as it is believed that he died with Jesus and Mary by his side.
“Don’t you think at some point Mary said, ‘Ok Joseph, what do you want?’ I wonder about that and I think about her as a caregiver and where she was, and her intersection with death in so many different ways, with Joseph or with Jesus.”
Tippetts, too, said her faith is what gives her peace and comfort in her dying days, and she expresses her hope that Brittany will come to know the same love and the same understanding of beauty in suffering.
“Knowing Jesus, knowing that He understands my hard goodbye, He walks with me in my dying. My heart longs for you to know Him in your dying. Because in His dying, He protected my living. My living beyond this place,” Tippetts wrote. “ My heart longs for you to know this truth, this love, this forever living.”
Tippetts begged that Brittany at least seriously consider the person of Christ before making crucial end-of-life decisions.
“For everyone living knowing death is eminent- that we all will one day face this it – the question that is most important. Who is this Jesus, and what does He have to do with my dying? Please do not take that pill before you ask yourself that question.”
“It’s a question we all must ask, as we are all dying.”
Kara Tippetts recently wrote a book about her journey through life and towards her last breath called The Hardest Peace. She also blogs about her experience at http://mundanefaithfulness.com/. Read the full letter that she wrote to Brittany Maynard at dcdiocese.org/register.

Past Issues

Dec. 23, 2018

Dec. 9, 2018

Nov. 25, 2018

Nov. 11, 2018

Oct. 28, 2018

Oct. 14, 2018

Sept. 16, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: 2018 Golf Classic; student athletes; physically challenged; Leonard Stegman; Lesson in forgiveness; Sending us on a mission

Sept. 2, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Priest crisis; Scandal; Opioid addictions; Seeds of Suicide; Leightons; St. Anne; Vincke; seminarians; Dominican Sisters; Stewardship Conference; Dead Sea Scrolls; PSR programs; Roe V. Wade

 

August 12, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Prayer and Action; Totus Tuus; Janee Bernal; Diana Ramirez; Heidy Ramirez; Bishop Gilmore honored for 20 years ministry; suicide; contraception and abortion; Dead Sea Scrolls; Humanae Vitae; certification in youth ministry; Chuck Weber; Cathedral rectory chapel; Sister Viola Heichelbech; Adam Urban

July 15, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Immigration Protest/Rally; Faith and Light Fiesta; Seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls; Corpus Christi procession; Prayers for priests; Sisters turn 100; Michael Brungardt; Gerald Vincke; Massacre in San Salvador; Action for Alex 

 

June 3, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Parish Pray for Priestly Vocations; Appeal reaches $10 million; Gangs; Seminarians; Pam Willis; Why I like being a priest; Happy Father's Day; Patricia Lujan; Tyler and Rachel Bennett; Adoption Protection Act.

May 20, 2018
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation

May 6, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Archbishop Romero; Seeing, Touching, Tasting; Exhortation; Father Patrick Conroy; Happy Mother's Day; A child on your doorstep; Vibrant Ministries Grant; From the heart of a young father; Love Gives Life; Roman Holiday; Smartphone; retirement
Fossil Hunting

 

April 15, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Easter Vigil; Angelica Village; Colorado woman; The art of anger; Cimarron Couple; Staats; Adoption; 

Father Ultan Murphy anniversary; Coughlan; Spiritual Advisor to Hoodlums; Woman of Courage; Oration contest; Darcy Feist  

 

April 1, 2018

 

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Defending Adoption; Led by the Spirit; Knights; ABC Pregnancy Center;
Memorial of Mary; Homeless; Relics; Down syndrome abortion; Chrism Mass

 

March 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: SKYAC; Aleksandr Men; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; Uganda; School for deaf; Rannah Evetts; Oberle; Rachel and Doug Trombley; Oscar Romero; Paul VI; DACA

 

 

March 4, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Fasting for priestly vocations; Father Juan; Fasting and prayer;
Quest Weekend 2018; DACA; With God, anything is possible; Homelessness in our communities; Rhubarb, Kansas;
What's the point of fasting; Rite of Election; same-sex couples

 

Feb. 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Catholic Schools Week; Rachel Doll; Ellinwood; Great Bend; Garden City; Ness City; Dodge City; Sister Rita Schwarzenberger; Nigeria; Bishop Hermes; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; World Day for Consecrated Life; 50th Anniversary St. Dominic School; What will life be like in 50 years?

 

 

Feb. 4, 2018

 

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: March for Life; Tracy and Ross Smith; Adoption; Vibrant Ministries; Faith and Light;
Pro-Life; Mortal sin to discard elderly; DACA; Abortion; Dreamers; Human Trafficking

 

Jan. 21, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Louise Korbe; Anne Frank; Miep Gies; Home Heat; Father Solanus

 

Jan. 7, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Good news and kingdom living; dreamers; Sister Teresa Orozco; Infant Adoption; Elderly; a moral conundrum; seminarian; feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

 

Dec. 17, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Celebrate Christmas 'unplugged'; Msgr. Matthew Smith; Klan; Catholic Charities Annual Appeal; Fr. Larry Rosebaugh; A Guadalupe Encounter; Laci and Joe Salazar; A Christmas Wish; Adoption; Confession; Advent; EWTN; Christmas Blues; Tilma; Pittsburgh; PSR

 

Dec. 3, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: 2017 NCYC; Wheel of Balance; Marita Rother; Stanley Rother; slavery; trafficking; Windthorst water damage; martyred priests; confession; reconciliation; How to go to confession; recipe for codfish cakes; Catholic schools; appeal

 

Nov. 19, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Saints; Father Kola; Black Elk; Giving Tuesday; velvet Elvis; a Slice of Time; Dani Sandoval; Mexican Village; Father Tim Hickey; New faces at chancery; priests share thoughts on confession; Wheel of Balance

 

Nov. 5, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Matrimony Anniversary Mass, 2017; Riebel; Faith and Light; Scripture Day; Sex in the Bible; Quilt, Mexican Village Story; Finance; Fatima pilgrimage; Fowler church window renovation; Medicare; Crazy Glue


Oct. 15, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Father Francis Jordan; Sister Renee Kirmer; Father Rother beatified; religious liberty; RCIA Kansas; V Encuentro; Bishop Weisenburger; Daughters of Isabella; Bishop Gerber Science Center


Oct. 1, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: De Colores; Rebein; Dreamer; Pies; Kellner; Code Quilts; Sister Crucita; Feezor; Formed.org; Sin and pain

 

 Sept. 17, 2017

 

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Sister Lucy Fidelis; Underground Railroad; Sister Irene Hartman; DACA; new priests; teachers; Volunteer of the Year; Golf Classic; St. Francis Xavier; St. Nicholas Parish Center, Kinsley; seminarians; Knights Lite; Stewardship Day 2017

Sept. 3, 2017

Aug. 13, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Coronado Cross; Masada; Moody Gardens; Elders; Rother; undocumented children; cages; year of mercy; Kumi; Hollywood makeup artist; New Mexico; refugee women.

July 16, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Summer camp; tithing and almsgiving; Bill Baalmann; Nathan Schaller; Jubilarian Sisters; Sister Hortencia Rodriguez; Sister Petrona Stockemer; Sister Denise Sevart; Convocation of Catholic Leaders; Mother talks about her son entering seminary; Arcoiris; Youth group travels to Colorado Springs; Major Phillip Roth

June 11, 2017 (Updated)

Ordination; Mark Brantley; Jacob Schneider; Father's Day; Thanks, Dad!; Appeal; Sister Mary Martin Weaver; Bishop Maralit; Budget; Trafficked women; Deacon Michael Brungardt; Dead Sea Scrolls; softball; Father Urban retirement; Sister Kravec retirement; Father Mazouch retirement; Authentic Joy; Pris Climate Accord; Jack Schramm; Pieta.

May 28, 2017 (Updated)

 

Grateful Hearts; MSFS Provincial; Reddy; Reif; Opossum; Dead Sea Scrolls; Our Lady of Fatima; Jorge Herrera, Jr.; Cursillo; Kough; First Communion; Confirmation

May 14, 2017

Esteban Hernandez; citizen; Lilly Ann Rein, Amberly Jimenez, Mother's Day; peacock; Quattrocchi; President Kennedy; Teen Moms; Junior High Youth Rally; Encounter With God's Call; granny/nanny; seniors' contributions; tornado anniversary; harvest; healthcare; Mr. Brown; Store-bought teeth; Louis and Zelie Martin; Father John Sullivan; Irish priest whose prayers could heal; Mexican beauty queen; Esmaralda Gonzalez; religious life

April 30, 2017

   KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Easter Vigil; bully; TEC; Father Marvin Reif; Bet'sie; What makes a hero?; St. Mary of the Plains; tornado

Easter, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: SKYAC; Honorable courtship; footsteps of migrants; CHRISM Mass 2017; honoring priests; Encuentro Cross blessed; Daughters of Isabella State Convention; Fatima pilgrim statue; Mary Sharon Moore interview; Senate advances pro-life measures; love must be at the core of family life; Father John Forkuoh's car story; Confirmations; Sisters of Concordia; CNN hero Father Khalil Jaar

March 26, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: From the heart; kidney; Rother; Friar Carmelo; Schnauzer; Lauren Seachris; Lauren's Treat; fire; Guatemala; immigration; Lenten Regulations 1888; Hot Cross Buns; budget; Trump; Forkuoh; Seiwert; South Sudan; hot ashes

March 12, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Refugees; immigrants; Gilbert Herrman; When you give alms'; Lent; Call to Continuing Conversion, Rite of Election; Charell and Jeremy Owings; adoption; Our Growing Church; Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia; water; creation; Sudan; Darlow Lampe

Feb 26, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Night to shine; Immigration; immigrants; Knights of Columbus; Pete Gomez; this foreign mission; Creole; Robin Doll; Eagle Scout; Quest

Feb 12, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Catholic Schools Week; March for Life; Pro-life; Executive Order; Secular Franciscan Order; teachers; Down Syndrome; Eagle Scout; Bronze Pelican

Jan. 29, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Thank you, religious; SEEK 2017; homeless man to priest; Fourth Sunday; Secret Service to Sacred Heart; Dr. Gerard Brungardt; Martin Luther King; 110 year old nun; Toddler miracle; Letter from undocumented immigrant; health care; immigration

Jan. 15, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Mary helps us share; Tighe donates home to Birthright; Pro-life billboard; Theobald Hattrup; Helen and Steve Eck; Pearl Harbor; Reigning Grace

Dec. 18, 2017

KEYWORDS: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 2016; Pope Francis Christmas schedule; 2016 high school youth rally; Aerospace engineer; Father Stanley Rother; Radio station; Dying girl's letter; Scout nominations; 12 days of Christmas

Dec. 4, 2016

KEYWORDS: Vocations Day; Pope Advent advice; Ex-prostitute; Spearville mission; Pilgrims v. Zombies; Face of God; Mission bazaar; Ness City fall festival; Rural health care; Archbishop Gomez; Bishops congratulate Trump

Nov. 20, 2016

Nov. 6, 2016

Oct. 23, 2016

Oct. 9, 2016


Sept. 25, 2016


Sept. 11, 2016

 
Aug. 7, 2016

July 10, 2016

June 12, 2016

May 29, 2016

May 8, 2016


 April 24, 2016

 April 10, 2016

 March 27, 2016

March 13, 2016

Feb. 28, 2016

 

Feb. 14, 2016


Jan. 31 , 2016

Jan. 17, 2016

Dec. 20, 2015

Dec. 6, 2015

Nov. 15, 2015

Nov. 1, 2015

Oct. 18, 2015

Oct. 4, 2015

Sept. 20, 2015

Sept. 6, 2015

August 9, 2015

July 12, 2015

Jun 14, 2015

May 17, 2015

May 3, 2015

April 19, 2015

Easter, 2015

 

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