Your Catholic Voice

Maryland state capitol

Oct. 14, 2020 — Annapolis, MD

Health Care Decision Making for End of Life

What happens if you get sick and have to go to the hospital unexpectedly or to a long-term care residence? How do you broach the topic with your loved ones? Do they and your doctor know what you wishes are?
COVID has prompted many of us to ask these questions. It’s crucial to prayerfully reflect and plan how you wish your health care to be handled before there is a crisis, and to make sure your wishes are known by your loved ones and medical providers.


The Maryland Catholic Conference has updated and simplified our health care decision making resources to help you. This simple document outlines the essentials of our Catholic faith and end of life, and includes an advanced care directive (en español) that you can fill out and use in Maryland. 
Please share this document with parishioners, Knights of Columbus, your DRE, ministries to the sick, men’s or women’s groups, elderly neighbors, friends, chaplains, and especially with your family. 
Additional resources for parishioners and parishes are available online at www.mdcatholic.org/endoflife, in English and Spanish.
In Joyful Hope Webinar on November 11

Join the Maryland Catholic Conference webinar on end of life planning, In Joyful Hope: Planning Your Healthcare, on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 7 p.m. Hear from our panel of experts, including Rev. Michael DeAscanis, STL; Shannon Hammond, Esq.; and Joan Panke, NP.

These wonderful presenters will share about Church teaching on end of life care, how to fill out an advance health care directive, and the options for excellent care including palliative and hospice care.
The webinar is free but you must register in advance.
Get More out of Respect Life Month


Visit our website at www.mdcatholic.org for our Respect Life and End of Life resource pages, with bulletin announcements on pregnancy help, healing after abortion, health care, Mass intercessions and more that you can use this month or at any time during the year. 

Need more ideas?
Work on your Walking with Moms in Need survey
Participate in your local 40 Days for Life campaign
Support your local pregnancy center
Offer babysitting or meals to moms in your parish
Help a neighbor fill out an advance health care directive
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness

This month we also remember those families who are grieving the loss of a child to miscarriage, pregnancy or infant loss. These little lives touch our hearts deeply, no matter how brief their time on earth. One great support in Maryland is the Holy Innocents Ministry of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, which offers pastoral care, spiritual and emotional support, and burial services for families who have lost a child to miscarriage.
Holy Innocents will host a Vespers Service on Sunday, Nov. 1, 4-6 p.m., at Our Lady of Victory, 4414 Wilkens Ave., Arbutus, MD 21229, to pray with these families and remember their little ones.
Learn more about how this program helps families experiencing loss here, and please hold these families in prayer.
Domestic Violence Awareness 

With reports of domestic violence increasing during COVID, and with one in four women and one in seven men having experienced domestic violence, this impacts all of us. We have compiled resources to share with parishioners, including bulletin/Flocknote/email announcements, Mass intercessions, Maryland-based resources, a hotline, and more at mdcatholic.org/domesticviolence.
Nationwide News You Can Use

Pro Life Action Alert: Bill to Protect from Chemical Abortions at Home
In recent years, the number of chemical abortions has gone up. COVID has increased these numbers even more. Regulations now allow women to take the chemical abortion pill at home, which ends the life of the child while also being very dangerous to the mother’s health. Urge your Member of Congress and your Senators to pass the SAVE Moms and Babies Act (H.R. 4399 / S. 3072) which would protect mothers and babies from chemical abortion. Take action now.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update: Several Ethical Vaccines in Production
Five of the major companies undertaking clinical trials for a COVID vaccine have used ethical production methods and have received a combined $6.5 billion in federal federal funding. However, two companies in the clinical trial phase are pursuing unethical research utilizing fetal cell lines in production, and have received $1.6 billion in federal funding. The Charlotte Lozier Institute created a brief fact sheet comparing the ethics of these vaccines and produced a longer report showing all vaccines in production. We will continue to keep you apprised of the ethics related to COVID vaccines.
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