In its glorious past (and hopefully in its glorious future), the Catholic Church in the West was really big on delivering genuine health care. We need only notice the names of many hospitals. Many religious congregations who established these hospitals dedicated them to a famous Saint. At one time, the Catholic Church considered it part of its evangelistic mission to treat the sick and to offer corporal acts of mercy. That seems like a long time ago.
Today, the Catholic influence in health care is in serious jeopardy, with many Catholic hospitals under pressure to compromise their principles with the culture of death. We have also lost the personal dimension of delivering this kind of charity with the rise of the secular state. Everything now seems to be one big bureaucracy. Everything is automated. Everything is sterilized. Everything is neat and tidy. Everything is measured in terms of “quality of life” – as in, if you are sick and your “quality of life” does not measure up to the Death Board’s standards, you’re out of luck. Family members are then promptly urged to expedite termination. And the bureaucracy gets its 20% cut in administration fees, too. When the Church loses influence and the State takes over, this is the sad result. Where the personal dimenion of charity and self-sacrifice is lost, true charity, good health care, and efficient delivery are the next casualties, after the patient-victim.
But we can change all that. We can bring back Catholic health care and charity to its personal, direct dimension which offers a Christian, personal contact and cuts out the inefficient bureaucratic layers.
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta told us that charity begins at home. Catholics have been great at sharing their generosity in health care with the wider public, but now it’s time to look after our own, too. First in our homes, then in our parishes then, and only then, in our wider community.
In fact, that’s just what my parish at St. Maurice is going to do this weekend. It’s called, “Light a Candle of Joy!” We’re going to engage in some fundraising for a parishioner who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis. Health care in Ontario these days, after all, is not exactly that great, and it’s going to get worse because we don’t have the workforce to sustain the public system. You can blame abortion and contraception, for that, by the way.
The fundraiser is going to be a kind of raffle. Tickets are $2 each and there will be 30 Gift Baskets (perfect for this time of year). You deposit your ticket in the box in front of the desired basket(s). Buy many tickets and deposit them into as many baskets as you fancy.
All proceeds will go to the parishioner’s family to defray costs in treating her condition.
The event takes place after this weekend’s Masses: Saturday 5PM, Sunday 9AM & 11AM. Here are the directions to St. Maurice parish.
Please come on out and help us bring back Catholic health care to a personal level.
The government is not our Saviour in this life or the next. We need to stop believing it is, and instead believe in our Faith, in each other, and in the power of local church to touch those in our midst, to transform us into more humane people, and to renew our culture.