The Voice of the Southwest Vol. 60 No. 1 | summer 2020 | voiceofthesouthwest.org | official news publication for the Roman catholic diocese of gallup
CALLED TO SERVICE Why deacons are essential to the work of the Church >2-3 Is God calling you to become a Deacon? >10-11 Meet two of our dioceseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s deacon candidates >12-13
Giving and receiving help during under COVID-19
Adapting to new models of education
Ethical care for Coronavirus patients
A list of organizations throughout the diocese who are working to provide aid, support and relief to all who need help during the pandemic.
How our Catholic Schools are introducing digital learning, practicing healthy habits, and prioritizing the wellbeing of students and staff.
A Catholic, science-based approach to ensuring fair treatment for critical cases and respect for the expertise of health care workers.
STORY | Page 5
STORY | Page 8
PERSPECTIVE | Page 15
THE VOICE OF THE SOUTHWEST • FROM THE BISHOP
Deacons: Continuing the Work of the Church
he Church reminds us that we are called to continue the work of the Lord, to follow in his footsteps, to accomplish great things in his name, and to continue his earthly ministry. That is, to build up His church, generation after generation, the church founded by Him through the Apostles. This is, after all, one of the four marks of the Church: “One, holy, Catholic and apostolic”. And it is this apostolic ministry, given to the Church 2000 years ago, which continues through today and into the future. In the Acts of the Apostles, we hear how the Twelve were faced with a difficulty: as the early Church continued to grow, so the demands on its ministry. And rather than abandoning these needs, the Apostles looked for a pastoral way to respond to that need: “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6:2-4) These seven men of high character were selected to join the Apostles, and to assist them in their ministry. This reading is generally read at the ordination of a deacon, whether a transitional deacon or a permanent deacon. As an example, I myself was ordained as a transitional deacon, as were each of our priests. We received this prior to receiving our priestly ordination. Other deacons, who you may see assisting at Mass, discovered their vocation was to marriage, and out of that grew their calling as deacons. These men are permanent deacons, but whether transitional or permanent, they serve in the same way. Both are called to service. Both are called to assist at the altar, and both are
called to make up what is lacking in the other ministries of the Church. To assist - as we see in the early Church - the Apostles in their ministry as the Church grew. We also have saints in our history who were famous as deacons. St. Lawrence the Martyr has a beautiful story - when asked to bring the treasures of the Church so the local government could seize them, he instead gathered all the nearby poor people together and presented them, saying “these are the treasures of the Church.” As Jesus says, the poor are always with us, and we are called to serve the poor. And we can see, in that mindset of St. Lawrence - one of the early deacons of the Church - that he understood that his vocation was one of service, especially service to the poor. Another example of a deacon is perhaps one of the most beloved saints by Catholics and non-Catholics alike: St. Francis of Assisi, who lived a life of radical poverty. In both instances, and in the tradition of the Church for 2000 years, we have seen that the role of the deacon is one of service. As some men are called to serve the Church as shepherds, imitating Jesus Christ the eternal High Priest, so also are some called to serve the Church as deacons. Often, the majority of people will see a deacon for one hour a week at Mass - but he is much more than that. As one very wise deacon told me when I was ordained to the transitional diaconate: “When you’re ordained a deacon, you are not ordained to be a church mouse.” He was not trying to downplay the role of liturgical service that a deacon provides, but rather he was speaking about how there is so much more to do - so many ways to serve. One of the great things a deacon is able to do is to visit those who are sick, those who are in prison, those who are unable to go out. And they are able to bring
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16” - June 19, 2020
St. Lawrence the Deacon presenting the “Treasures of the Church”
In the tradition of the Church for 2000 years, we have seen that the role of the deacon is one of service. As some men are called to serve the Church as shepherds, imitating Jesus Christ the eternal High Priest, so also are some called to serve the Church as deacons.”
the ministry of the Church to those who are infirm and those who are incarcerated. It’s a ministry of service and assistance to the bishop, to the priests, and to the people. The diaconate is not a ministry to which a man calls himself, just as men do not call themselves to the priesthood or the episcopacy. It is a ministry in which God initiates the call. God is the one who identifies the man, sets him apart, and speaks to his heart. And hopefully that man is able to hear that call in the recesses of his heart, and have the courage and the love to follow after it. As with the examples of St. Lawrence and St. Francis, we see how important this ministry is to the Church. During a deacon’s ordination, there comes a point at that reading of the Acts of the Apostles that often causes the clergy in attendance to smile: “They presented these men to
the apostles who prayed and laid hands on them. The word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly; even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.” (Acts 6:6-7) Note the last line, “even a large number of priests became obedient to the faith”, as if that was a surprise! But aren’t we all called to be obedient, and to give our assent to the Faith? Friends, we see this example of the early Church the need for good and faithful men to pastorally answer the call to service. As the work of the Church continues, now and into the future, we too respond in the very same way. This column is transcribed from a Sunday homily given on May 10th, 2020 by Bishop Wall.
FEATURED PHOTO FROM THE BISHOP
Posted on Twitter with the caption: “Let’s protect lives! #ProLife”
THE VOICE OF THE SOUTHWEST • DEL OBISPO
Diáconos: Continuando el trabajo de la Iglesia
a Iglesia nos recuerda que estamos llamados a continuar el trabajo del Señor, a seguir sus pasos, a hacer grandes cosas en su nombre, y continuar su ministerio en la tierra. Esto es: a construir Su Iglesia, generación despues de generación, la Iglesia fundada por Él por medio de los Apóstoles. Esta es una de las cuatro marcas de la Iglesia: “Una, Santa, Católica y Apostólica” Es este ministerio apostólica, dada a la Iglesia dos mil años atrás, que continúa hasta nuestros días y al futuro. En Los Hechos de los Apóstoles, leemos como los Doce encontraron una dificultad: mientras la joven Iglesia continuaba creciendo, así también las demandas de su ministerio. En vez de abandonar estas necesidades, los Apóstoles buscaban un modo pastoral para responder a aquellas necesidades: “No es justo que descuidemos el ministerio de la Palabra de Dios para ocuparnos de servir las mesas. Es preferible, hermanos, que busquen entre ustedes a siete hombres de buena fama, llenos del Espíritu Santo y de sabiduría, y nosotros les encargaremos esta tarea. De esa manera, podremos dedicarnos a la oración y al ministerio de la Palabra.” (Hch. 6:2-4) Estos siete hombres de buena fama fueron elegidos para unirse a los Apóstoles, y asistirlos en su ministerio. Esta lectura normalmente es leída en la ordenación de un diácono, sea transisional que permanente. Por ejemplo, yo mismo fui ordenado como diácono transitorio, como fueron cada uno de nuestros sacerdotes. Hemos recibido esto antes de recibir la ordenación sacerdotal. Otros diáconos, que tal vez has visto asistiendo en la Misa, descubrió que su vocación fue en el matrimonio, y fuera de esto creció un llamado al diaconato. Estos hombres son diáconos permanentes, pero sean transicional o permanentes, sirvan en la mis-
ma manera. Ambos están llamados al servicio. Ambos llamados a asistir al altar, y ambos son llamados a suplir lo que falta en los demás ministerios de la Iglesia. Para asistir a los Apóstoles en su ministerio creciente - como vimos en la Iglesia Primitiva. También tenemos santos en nuestra historia quienes eran famosos como diáconos. El Mártir San Lorenzo tiene una historia hermosa: cuando lo pidieron llevar los tesoros de la Iglesia al gobierno local para que los tomara, el tomo los pobres vecinos y los presentó al gobierno diciendo: “estos son los tesoros de la Iglesia”. Como dijo Jesús, los pobres están siempre con nosotros, y estamos llamados a servir a los pobres. Y podemos ver, en la mentalidad de San Lorenzo - uno de los primeros diáconos de la Iglesia - que entendió que su vocación fue uno de servicio, especialmente servicio a los pobres. Otro ejemplo de diácono fue tal vez uno de los santos más queridos por los Católicos y noCatólicos igualmente: San Francisco de Asís - quien vivió una vida de pobreza radical. En cada uno de ellos, y en la tradicion de la Iglesia por 2000 años, hemos visto que el papel del diácono es uno de servicio. Como algunos hombres están llamados a servir la Iglesia como pastores, imitando a Jesucristo como el Sumo Sacerdote eterno, así otros están llamados a servir la Iglesia como diáconos. Frecuentemente, la mayoría de la gente verá un diácono por una hora a la semana en la Misa - pero es mucho más que esto. Como me dijo un diácono muy sabio cuando yo fui ordenado al diaconado transitorio: “cuando estás ordenado diácono, no estás ordenado a ser una mosca de la iglesia.” No es que quiso menospreciar el papel del diácono en el servicio en la liturgia, sino que hablaba de cuanto hay más que hacer - tantas maneras de servir. Una de las cosas grandes que
Sí, Dios amó tanto al mundo, que entregó a su Hijo único para que todo el que cree en él no muera, sino que tenga Vida eterna. Juan 3:16” - June 19, 2020
San Lorenzo y “los tesoros de la Iglesia”
En la tradicion de la Iglesia por 2000 años, hemos visto que el papel del diácono es uno de servicio. Como algunos hombres están llamados a servir la Iglesia como pastores, imitando a Jesucristo como el Sumo Sacerdote eterno, así otros están llamados a servir la Iglesia como diáconos.” un diácono puede hacer es visitar los que están enfermos, los que están encarcelados, los que no tiene posibilidad de salir. Son capaces de llevar el ministerio de la Iglesia a los que están enfermos o encarcelados. Es un ministerio de servicio y asistencia al obispo, a los sacerdotes y a los fieles. El diaconato no es un ministerio al cual un hombre llama a sí mismo, como tampoco los hombres no llaman a sí mismos al sacerdocio o al episcopado. Es un ministerio donde Dios inicia el llamado. Dios es Él quien identifica el hombre, lo separa y le habla al corazón. Y se espera que el hombre pueda escuchar la llamada en el fondo de su corazón, y tener el coraje y el amor de seguirlo. Como con los ejemplos de San Lorenzo y San Francisco, vemos cuán necesario es este ministerio a la Iglesia. Durante la ordenación del diácono, hay una parte en la lectura de los Hechos de los Apóstoles que frecuentemente
hace reír al clero presente: “Los presentaron a los Apóstoles, y estos, después de orar, les impusieron las manos. Así la Palabra de Dios se extendía cada vez más, el número de discípulos aumentaba considerablemente en Jerusalén y aun muchos sacerdotes abrazaban la fe.” Hech. 6:6-7 Note la última frase, “y aun muchos sacerdotes abrazaban la fe”, como si fuera una sorpresa! No somos todos llamados a ser obedientes, y dar nuestro acceptation a la fe? Amigos, vemos este ejemplo de la Iglesia Primitiva la necesidad por hombres buenos y fieles a responder pastoralmente al llamado al servicio. Mientras el labor de la Iglesia continúa, ahora y en el futuro, nosotros respondemos en la mismísima manera. Esta columna ha sido adaptada de una homilía dada por el Obispo Wall en la primavera del 2020.
Encuentre más columnas e historias en español en línea en: voiceofthesouthwest. org/category/enespanol/
THE VOICE OF THE SOUTHWEST • AROUND THE DIOCESE
The Voice of the
Publisher The Most Rev. Bishop James S. Wall Editor Suzanne Hammons Office Manager Anna Flores Contributors: Bishop James S. Wall Catholic News Agency Dr. Jean Lee Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk
Send comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org or mail: PO Box 1338 Gallup NM 87305-1338
On the Cover Deacons of the Diocese of Gallup before the 2018 Chrism Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral.
ARIZONA BISHOPS WELCOME SUPREME COURT DECISION ON DACA June 18 – The Bishops of the Arizona Catholic Conference (ACC) stand in solidarity with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) regarding today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling and its impact on Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) recipients. We are very much mindful that DACA children were often brought to this country at a very young age and through no responsibility of their own. They were raised in the United States, attend our schools, make positive contributions to our society, and do not know any other country but our own. Today’s ruling that proper administrative procedures were not followed to repeal DACA has a positive impact on nearly 800,000 DACA recipients as well as their families and communities. In fact, in Arizona alone, there are approximately 25,000 DACA recipients living in our communities. From our own personal experiences, we know of the tremendous contributions DACA recipients have made across Arizona and throughout our many parishes and consider them a blessing. Despite today’s favorable ruling, however, the irreparable harm these families would face through potential separation remains a grave concern if the DACA protections are ultimately terminated. Accordingly, we join USCCB in not only praying for these families, but also advocating for a permanent and just solution at the
federal level. USCCB President and Migration Committee Welcome Supreme Court Decision on DACA and Urge President to Uphold the Program June 18, 2020, WASHINGTON—Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion preventing the Trump Administration from terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. On November 12, 2019, the Court heard the challenge to the Trump Administration’s DACA repeal efforts, in which U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) submitted an amicus curiae brief in support of maintaining the program. The DACA program was implemented in 2012 and has enabled approximately 800,000 young people, who paid a fee and submitted to a background check, the opportunity to work legally, access educational opportunities and not fear deportation. DACA recipients on average contribute over $42 billion annually to the U.S. economy. Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the USCCB and Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the USCCB’ Committee on Migration issued the following statement: “We welcome the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision noting that the Trump Administration did not follow proper administrative procedures required to repeal the DACA program. “First, to DACA youth, through today’s decision
and beyond, we will continue to accompany you and your families. You are a vital part of our Church and our community of faith. We are with you. “Next, we urge the President to strongly reconsider terminating DACA. Immigrant communities are really hurting now amidst COVID-19 and moving forward with this action needlessly places many families into further anxiety and chaos. In times of uncertainty, let us remember the teachings of the Gospel which encourage us to be open and receptive to those in need: ‘If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him?’ (1 John 3:17). In this moment, we must show compassion and mercy for the vulnerable.” “Lastly, we strongly encourage our U.S. Senators to immediately pass legislation that provides a path to citizenship for Dreamers. Permanent legislative protection that overcomes partisanship and puts the human dignity and future of Dreamers first is long overdue.”
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firstname.lastname@example.org We will help. Your confidentiality will be protected.
Diócesis de Gallup Promesa de Proteccíon Si usted o alguien que usted conoce ha sido víctima de abuso por parte de un sacerdote, diácono u otro empleado o ministro de la Iglesia Católica, favor de reportar el incidente a: Elizabeth Terrill Coordinador de Asistencia para Víctimas
email@example.com Nosotros le ayudaremos. Su confidencialidad será protegida.
Most Rev. Edward J. Weisenburger, Bishop of Tucson Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix Most
Auxiliary Bishop of Phoenix Most Rev. James S. Wall Bishop of Gallup Most Rev. John S. Pazak Bishop of Holy Protection of Mary Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix
Do Háida’bił bee hodozįįł daíigi beeádee haho’dzíí’ Catholic Church dóó éé’ neishoodii yił ndaałnishi’ igíí dóó Baa ndaałah’ igíísh doo há’ atééh’ igoo da, nínįi’ yiyiiłaah’ Dóó’ oóshlí ła’ ísh ákóbí’ diiłyąą go nił beehoozin, Akohootįįngo nił beehoozin’go baahwíí’ diłníi’ Elizabeth Terrill Victim Assistance Coordinator
THE VOICE OF THE SOUTHWEST • AROUND THE DIOCESE
Where to give and receive help during the Coronavirus ST. VINCENT DEPAUL SOCIETY Needs: Volunteers to help sort and manage items at the thrift store. In Pinetop, AZ, the SVDP operates an agency that serves the residents of Navajo County, including the communities of Concho, Heber, Cibecue, and Show Low. Maria Fabris, who assists with the Pinetop society, has noticed a decrease in clients since March, but believes the demand has gone down due to lockdowns on the Navajo
LITTLE SISTERS OF THE POOR reservation, where a majority of clients travel from. “We help people with utilities - if they’re past due - with eviction notices, gas vouchers, [and] in the winter we provide wood,” Fabris said. The Pinetop SVDP also provides clients with household items. Anyone applying for help must be a resident of Navajo County for the past 90 days and have ID. Contact: 928-367-2029 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
CATHOLIC CHARITIES Needs: Monetary donations, non-perishable food items, men’s clothing. The five Catholic Charities agencies throughout the diocese provide a range of services to anyone in need. According to Vicki Trujillo, the executive director who oversees all five entities, demand for services has increased with the onset of the Covid pandemic. The agencies’ thrift stores and hot meal programs are currently closed, but Catholic Charities is still able to assist with food, clothing and hygiene items for the homeless, aid with rent and utilities for low income families, and blankets, books and toys for the families of COVID-19 patients in Gallup. Contact: 505-722-0999 or visit facebook.com/catholiccharitiesofgallup
The services offered at other agencies in the diocese include: Farmington: Immigration services by phone and telecon-
ferencing, food boxes, and transitional housing. The breakfast program is closed during the pandemic. Contact: 505-325-3734. Grants: Behavioral health through telemedicine. Due to issues with rural internet services, some patients are unable to call in. This service is vital, Trujillo says, because “a lot of people are isolated, they have no one to talk to, they’re missing family, they’re missing friends.” White Mountain: Food pantry is open and operating thanks to a partnership with a large food bank in Phoenix. Contact: 928-367-2244 and facebook.com/WhiteMountainCatholicCharities
Holbrook: To-go lunches available, and food boxes are provided to local Covid-19 patients. Contact: 928-524-9720
FOOD BANKS & PANTRIES St. Anne Mission Food Bank The food bank, which serves the communities at Klagetoh and Ganado, AZ, is currently handling the coronavirus well. According to Br. Charles Schilling, many of the supporters and friends of the mission from across the nation have been very generous, allowing the mission’s food pantry to prepare food boxes for the needy. Br. Schilling estimates the mission has provided over 100 food boxes since March. While the mission is currently unable to undertake its normal summer service projects, Br. Schilling expresses his gratitude for the support that has enabled food distribution to continue. “People have been very generous, and we’re doing okay,” he said. “The three religious here are keeping community and praying for everyone.” Contact: 928-652-3265 or visit klagetoh.org
Our Lady of the Assumption Food Pantry Needs: canned meats, soups and sauces, dried beans and rice, hot and cold cereal, instant potatoes The parish in Overgaard, AZ has seen demand increase with during the Coronavirus pandemic, posted in its bulletin: “We have been very busy the last two months and are getting low.” Anyone wishing to drop off a donation can stop by the parish office during open hours or leave donations outside the door if the parish is closed. Contact: 928-535-5329
Needs: Disposable dishes and flatware, food items (perishable and non-perishable), monetary donations, care packages and cards or letters for the elderly residents Villa Guadalupe, the home for elderly poor in Gallup, NM has lost several residents to COVID-19, according to an update released by Mother Sarah Maria. On May 18, 2020 she wrote “Villa Guadalupe has become one of the hardest hit among the Little Sisters’ 24 U.S. houses. Although this is certainly not a distinction we would have ever wished upon ourselves, we are consoled to know that it has brought us an abundance of prayerful support from our other Homes and many other people.” Many employees and sisters also tested positive for the virus or displayed symptoms, but the
home has received help from various local and governmental agencies in enacting protective measures and bringing in temporary medical workers. “We are grateful beyond words for the prayers of so many people and the donations of all sorts that keep arriving at our doorstep,” Mother Sarah wrote. “Thank you so much! Please know that we pray for all of you each day.” Contact: 505-863-6894 or visit littlesistersofthepoorgallup.org
PREGNANCY CENTERS Grace Place Pregnancy Center
Needs: financial donations, 5s and 6s diapers, brand-new cribs or car seats (can’t be used because of liability) Grace Place serves expectant and current mothers and families in San Juan County with a range of services including pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, parenting classes, men’s groups, and post-abortive support and healing groups. The center also offers an “earn while you learn” program, in which expecting parents or parents of children ages 0-2 earn points from taking classes and can use those points to purchase diapers, maternity and children’s’ clothing, cribs and car seats. Grace Place, as a 100% prolife agency, does not refer for or support abortions and tries to present women with alternative options, but Faverino has heard many of the women express fears about quality of life during a pandemic and recession. “It’s the economy, jobs, the thinking of ‘I can’t bring a baby into this world with all this going on’”. By providing counseling, baby supplies and support, Grace Place strives to alleviate fears about choosing life for children. Contact: 505-327-4747 or visit graceplacecenter.org Living Hope Pregnancy Center
Needs: Monetary donations, diapers, baby wipes, gently
used or new baby items and volunteers Living Hope serves the communities of the White Mountain area in Arizona through parenting classes, baby necessities, and mentorship programs for men. While the Coronavirus has put a temporary stop to in-person parenting classes, the center is able to conduct classes online. The center also had to temporarily close its thrift store – a large source of income – and hold a virtual annual fundraiser. Demand for the services the center provides rose at the beginning of the pandemic and has remained steady. “Our main purpose is fighting for life. We really come around and surround families as a whole, to help them thrive and not just survive. We surround women and families that are in a crisis situation and we help them with material goods as well as emotional support,” Brewer said. Contact: 928-537-9032, or visit livinghopecenters.org
THE VOICE OF THE SOUTHWEST • AROUND THE DIOCESE
A fond farewell to Deacon Todd Church After six years of service, Deacon Todd Church and his wife, Ann, are bidding goodbye to the Diocese of Gallup. Over ten years ago, Deacon Church had no inkling of the path that would soon lead his family to New Mexico. They were living in New Zealand, and Church was delivering food packages for the local St. Vincent DePaul Society. “I was dropping off a package to a gentleman who wasn’t home,” Church recalls. “This woman came out next door and said ‘can I help you?’ And I said ‘yes, this is for this gentleman, could you please give it to him?’ She said ‘I’d be happy to.’” Church told the woman “God bless you!” and remembers that she began to cry. She told him that she was 63 years old and couldn’t recall the last time someone told her “God bless you”. Church remembers being struck by a sudden thought in that moment. “God kind of spoke to my heart: ‘I’d like you to feed my children’”. In that moment, he began to discern that he was being called to serve God more deeply as a deacon. His family had been considering a move back to the United States, and they wanted to settle in a place where he could begin to study for the diaconate, and where his wife, Ann, an obstetrician-gynecologist, could practice
medicine according to her Catholic beliefs. “We’d been to New Mexico once before and talked about how much we liked the landscape, and the weather, and so we thought this would be a good place for us to go,” Church said. “And so that’s how we ended up in Grants, NM.” The hospital in Grants, Cibola Family Health Center, allowed Ann to promote Natural Family Planning (NFP), a Catholic-approved fertility program, to her patients. The hospital also respected her moral objection to promoting or recommending contraception or abortion in her medical practice. And Todd was able to enroll in the 4-year diaconate program for the diocese which would start that fall. Deacon Todd was ordained in 2014 and hired as the Religious Education Director for the Diocese of Gallup in 2015. For that job, he oversaw the religious education programs used at parishes, coordinated mission trip groups who visited the diocese, and helped to foster and promote youth events and ministries. He commuted each day from Grants, where he served as a deacon at St. Teresa Parish. After 10 years in the diocese, the Churches have discerned that God’s call is now leading them to Illinois, in the Diocese of Peoria.
Ann and Deacon Todd Church at the 2020 Annual Bishop’s Mardi Gras in Gallup, NM. Both have aging parents who live close to their new home. “We’ve decided that we want to be closer to our families – our place in Illinois, we can drive to any one of them. I like to tell people we’re moving to greener pastures – I saw ‘em when I was up there!” Deacon Todd says with a laugh. Ann was able to find a new job at a Catholic hospital, and after making the decision to move, they received an additional piece of happy news: their son and his wife are expecting their first child
– the Church’s first grandchild. The Churches are looking forward to their new home, but Deacon Todd is also grateful for his time in the Diocese, calling it “the most joyful thing I’ve done in my life.” “This has been such a blessing for both Ann and I and our families,” he said. “We will keep everyone we know here in our prayers, because we know what it means to live in the Diocese of Gallup – the struggles we face, the challenges that lay before us.”
Meet our diocese’s new director of religious education The Diocese of Gallup is happy to welcome Kathleen Zelasko, our new director of religious education! Zelasko will coordinate outside mission trips to the diocese, oversee catechetical and religious education programs, and help develop youth ministry programs. She spoke with The Voice of the Southwest about her background and her goals for her new position.
it’s exciting! I get to work with people coming to Gallup and share my excitement for it.
Voice of the Southwest: Please tell us about yourself! Kathleen Zelasko: I am a mother of two, born and raised in Gallup, NM and now back to work in the Diocese. I went to Franciscan University [of Steubenville] and then was a Catholic School teacher for ten years and chose to stay home and take care of my children, and now the diocese has called me back to work.
I’m most excited about the Catechesis part of my job, with an education background. I’m still getting used to [coordinating] mission groups - it blows my mind how excited people are to come out and help, but I also want them to be building relationships and not just coming out for “I said I did a mission trip!” I want them to come out and actually build relationships, and have their hearts changed as well as the people here.
What brought you to Gallup from Denver?
Do you have any big goals?
It’s my hometown! My husband loves it - there’s a good community of young families here and lots of cousins and my family here. We knew we always wanted to come back here and luckily the Lord brought us back earlier than we thought. And how’d you end up working for the diocese?
My big thing is with catechesis - get the DREs talking, because it’s such a big diocese…and to bring in a lot of resources, especially for the re-ordering of the sacraments. I’m also trained in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, so I wouldn’t mind bringing that into our diocese also, if we’re able to get enough people trained and materials made.
Well, Deacon Todd had this job, and Deacon Todd’s wife delivered my second child, and so I kind of knew of them and that they were moving. They asked if it would be something I’d be interested in, and it kind of fit the hours that I was looking for, and I’ve never had a desk job so
I’m excited about the mission groups coming out - especially the high school missions - and I want to help it be more of a “come and see” our diocese - come and see the Navajo, Hopi and Zuni cultures instead of “oh I went to this area and helped these people out”. Come
What attracts you to working for the Church? What I love about it is you come in contact with Catholics all the time - you get to go out and meet them here.
and see the way these people actually live. I want groups that will keep coming so that relationships are made. Now for some fun “getting to know you” questions do you have a favorite saint? I love St. Gianna Molla, just because I’m a Kathleen Zelasko, mother also center, with her family. now. And then of course Our Lady - I taught at Our Lady of Lourdes school [in Denver] for so long. Do you have a favorite book or author? My favorite book is Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. When I was in low times - it reaches everyone. There’s a character in there that can reach everyone. It’s just a beautiful book. Any hobbies you enjoy in your downtime? I used to play basketball! I love to coach, too. I’m hoping I’ll be able to coach some teams next year.
THE VOICE OF THE SOUTHWEST • AROUND THE DIOCESE
U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Staff Sergeant Kelly Greenwell
Bishop Chairmen Express Solidarity with Native and Indigenous Communities During the Coronavirus Pandemic WASHINGTON- Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux and chairman of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City and chairman of USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop James S. Wall of Gallup and
chairman of the USCCB’s Subcommittee on Native American Affairs have released the following statement in solidarity with Native and Indigenous communities who are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19. “As Native Communities continue to greatly suffer from the COVID-19 epidemic, the Church
is developing ways to draw upon its deep roots in the person of Jesus to foster strength, charity and support to those who are sick and those who have died. We cherish our close connections to Native Communities through our Catholic parishes, missions and schools. We recall once more our profound desire to develop pathways to hope. We are heartbroken over reports that Native and Indigenous communities across this country are suffering at disproportionately high rates from the COVID-19 pandemic and concerned about the lack of sufficient resources to respond to the crisis. We are especially mindful of the Navajo Nation where people are being infected with the coronavirus at some of the highest rates in the country. We hold in prayer our brothers and sisters who are suffering and grieving in these communities, and we stand with them in calling for a robust response to the pandemic in their lands. The virus is exacerbating health disparities and long-standing social inequalities facing Native and Indigenous communities. Adequate funding for the Indian Health Service has long been a challenge, and there are reports of shortages of medical personnel and hospital beds. We are hopeful that the U.S. Senate’s recent unan-
Fr. Hugh O’Neill, a priest of the Diocese of Gallup for 43 years, died on May 08, 2020 at Villa Guadalupe in Gallup NM. Fr. O’Neill was one of seven siblings and was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1932. He served in the Army in the Korean War and worked at newspaper and magazine printers before revisiting the call he first felt as an altar boy: the desire to be a priest. He knew of dioceses that served Native Americans and was accepted as a seminarian for the Diocese of Gallup. He was ordained a priest on June 4, 1977. He served as a Navy Chaplain
briefly, and upon returning to the Diocese of Gallup, his assignments during priestly ministry included St. Johns AZ, St. Bonaventure NM, Crownpoint NM, Milan NM, Aragon NM, Alpine AZ, Snowflake AZ, Quemado NM, Datil NM, and Gallup NM as a hospital chaplain. He also served at Villa Guadalupe, the home for the elderly run by the Little Sisters of the Poor, from 2001 until his death. He is preceded in death by his parents, three sisters, and brother. He is survived by two sisters, ten nieces and eight nephews. He officiated at many of his nieces’ and nephews’ weddings.
Fr. Alfred Tachias
Sr. Mary Angela Matthews
Fr. Alfred Tachias, a priest of the Diocese of Gallup, died May 5, 2020 at his residence at Villa Guadalupe in Gallup, NM. Fr. Tachias was born in 1932 in Cabezon, NM, and ordained for priestly ministry in the Diocese of Gallup 1959. He served at parishes in Kingman, AZ, St. Johns, AZ, Sacred Heart Cathedral in Gallup, NM, and as a Judicial Vicar for the tribunal office of the diocese. His final assignment was from 1989-2015 as the chaplain at Villa Guadalupe, a nursing home run by the Little Sisters of the Poor in Gallup, NM. One of eight children, he is preceded in death by his parents and five siblings.
Sister Mary Angela Matthews, 90, an Ursuline Sister of Mount Saint Joseph, Kentucky, died April 5, 2020, at Mount Saint Joseph, in her 70th year of religious life. She was a native of Hardinsburg, Ky. She was director of religious education for St. Rose Parish, Blanco (1985-86), St. Teresa Parish, Grants (1991-96), Mission San Rafael Parish, San Rafael (1986-88) and Christo Rey Parish, Santa Fe (1988-91). She was religion coordinator at Saint Mary School, Belen (1996-97). She also ministered in Kentucky and Nebraska. From 2006-2016, she was the Motherhouse librarian in Maple Mount. Survivors include the members of her religious community and nieces and nephews.
Fr. Hugh O’Neill
“We hold in prayer our brothers and sisters who are suffering and grieving in these communities, and we stand with them in calling for a robust response to the pandemic in their lands.”
imous confirmation of a director for the Indian Health Service affirms the recognition for the need of a strong advocate for the health needs of tribal communities. It is also good that additional resources were allocated in recent legislation, and it is essential that this funding reach its intended recipients as soon as possible. We implore lawmakers and government officials to protect the life and dignity of Native and Indigenous peoples by working with tribal leaders to ensure strong support and ample resources to protect their communities, including resources to adequately respond to large Native populations living in urban areas and resources devoted to addressing underlying medical conditions that increase the threat of COVID-19 for Native populations.”
Sr. Elaine Burke Sr. Elaine Burke is celebrating her 70th year of religious life. She was director of religious education and parish minister at St. Mary Parish, Bloomfield, from 198388. She had a passion for bowling and tennis during her mission days. She also
ministered in Grants, in Kentucky and Nebraska. Today she serves in a variety of ministries at the Motherhouse and continues to volunteer at the RiverPark Center, which she has done since 1992. 2019 was the 100th and final year of ministry by the Ursuline Sisters in NM.
Watch the Mass Online
from Sacred Heart Cathedral
Sundays at 11:00 am MT Online: dioceseofgallup.org Facebook: facebook.com/dioceseofgallup Youtube: youtube.com/c/dioceseofgallup
THE VOICE OF THE SOUTHWEST • CATHOLIC SCHOOLS
In response to COVID-19, Catholic schools embrace new models of education As public schools across the nation adjust teaching methods in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, so too are Catholic schools across the Diocese of Gallup grappling with adopting new models of education. “It’s so strange without the children here. It’s like the children give our building its life. And now it’s empty,” said Amy Jo Mulvaney, principal at Sacred Heart School in Gallup, NM. Sacred Heart School, along with the ten other schools in the Diocese of Gallup, closed in mid-March, following directives from the diocese that Catholic schools imitate state guidelines for New Mexico and Arizona public schools. With no students physically present, nearly every school in the diocese has adapted by holding online meetings and classes, or by sending home weekly packets for students with limited internet access. For many teachers, including some at Sacred Heart School, the online teaching model has taken some time to learn, but Mulvaney says her staff is up to the challenge. “Everyone has their ups and downs. But what are we teaching students - if the teachers can’t learn new things, how can the students? That’s who we are. We are teachers. We don’t have to learn it perfectly, we just have to take a first step,” she said. “This is such an unusual time. I always say, we’re not going to do this [totally] right. But we do have to do our best. And it seems to be working pretty well.” At St. Anthony School in Show Low, AZ, principal Bryan Yorksmith has also been working with teachers to continue classes since being shut down after Spring Break. “That first week was kind of a transition week for us - I told parents that we just needed a little bit of time to get together and create a learning framework that we would have going forward,” Yorksmith said. He left it up to teachers to decide individually whether to use online teaching and meeting apps, or to send home weekly packets. “That first week went very well - I had some of my junior high teachers start scheduling classes every day, and so they’re meeting or teaching every day, kids are signing in and watching the lesson and answering questions - they’re using it full-bore. And so far, so good! It’s going well. I try to jump in sometimes on meetings to see if they need anything, technologically, or if there’s anything I can do to help.” Yorksmith also holds regular online meetings with parents in
order to address any questions or concerns. And Mulvaney has found weekly online meetings with her staff to be helpful, with certain times dedicated to group prayer and reflection. St. Francis Catholic School in Lumberton, NM is situated in the territory of the Jicarilla Apache Tribe. Most students’ parents work for the tribe, and with the tribal government shut down, Principal Madeline Lyon has seen an increase in the involvement of parents in their children’s school. Even the youngest students in Kindergarten are accessing lessons online with their parents’ involvement. “The children at that age, they were just starting to read, and reading pretty well, and [the teacher] didn’t want to lose that, so she’s been working with them online, 2-3 times a week,” Lyon said. “There’s always a silver lining in every cloud - she’s finding she’s able to coach the parents on how to help their kids. And the parents are appreciating it, and I think even enjoying it. And that’s a real plus.” Families without internet access, as with other diocesan schools, can receive home packets, and Lyon notes that in Lumberton, each family has been accommodating of social distancing practices. “When parents come we have a definite protocol - one person in at a time, and they’ve been very, very respectful of that method.” For Sr. Marsha Moon, principal at St. Anthony School in Zuni, NM, social distancing has been an even bigger concern for staff who work to accommodate students who have no access to computers or the internet. The school was able to provide many students with computers to take home, but some are still limited to calling in with teachers, who take turns using teleconferencing programs in the school classrooms. Sr. Marsha describes renovations in the works to make several classrooms larger. “We’re going to be knocking down walls, literally, to make the rooms bigger, and then moving two classrooms into the administration building. So we’re doing everything we can so when we open it’s ready for social distancing and anything else we’re called to do.” The principals reported that most students and parents seem to be in good spirits despite the lockdowns, and many schools have taken extra steps to provide aid and outreach to their families. In Grants, NM, one young student from St. Teresa School was feeling disheartened that he wouldn’t be able to celebrate his
Signs made by students from St. Anthony School in Show Low, thanking essential workers, are hung on community display birthday with his teacher and classmates, and so parents and students brought the celebration to him. With the help of a police escort, families gathered in their vehicles and paraded past the student’s house, honking and waving. Principal Angela Brunson recorded a message and sent it to the student – a facet of adapting to a school without students physically present. “It’s definitely been an adjustment, because we’re so much like a family and used to seeing each other every day,” Brunsen said. The school does run a daycare – a state-designated official service – which she describes as a big help for parents. “All of [the children] are from households where the parents are working, either in the prisons or the mines or the medical field.” Other Catholic schools are similarly conducting activities or outreach efforts in order to help the families in their communities. With no school meals needing to be prepared, St. Francis in Lumberton is sending home its surplus of frozen food with parents who come to pick up schoolwork packets. Lyon expressed her gratitude for the volunteers’ and visitors’ willingness to follow social distancing and safety practices. “They’ve been very grateful and very respectful of the entire protocol. I’m just very proud of our parents…they’re stepping up to the plate as best they can.” Many families in both Lumberton and Zuni are employed by their tribes, and while many tribal offices and programs are closed, the parents aren’t working. A lack of tourism, too, in Zuni has greatly affected many families. “A lot of people here are silversmiths or pottery makers, and of course their business has shut down, so that’s a real hardship,” Sr. Marsha said. The students in Show Low have continued with several service projects, including a canned food drive for the local pantry, and art projects for their community. “They’re making cards for seniors in the local retirement homes - the ones that are isolated right now and not getting any visitors,” Yorksmith said. “And then the third thing we’re doing is, our
kids are making posters and signs to display in our local hospital. Just to kind of lift spirits of hospital workers and let them know how much we appreciate all that they’re doing.” A number of parents at schools throughout the diocese are health care workers, but none of the principals have seen much of an impact on families’ physical health. They instead reflected on the potential short and long-term effects on their students’ mental health. “I worry about the students because there’s a sense of fear. The teachers have all said they’re not really afraid, they’re a little anxious sometimes, but they’re not really afraid,” Sr. Marsha said, adding that she and the school’s pastor, Fr. Pat McGuire, regularly hold meetings with the teachers and staff. “So far what I’ve heard from the teachers is there’s some anxiety, but they’re not really afraid, which is good. But the students I worry about, because I don’t know what they’re hearing, what they’re being told.” And the possible financial impact of the pandemic is hard to ignore, as well. St. Teresa School has had to postpone their annual fundraiser. “We’re just taking it one day at a time,” Brunsen said, “adjusting our finances and applying for any assistance that we can to help take the pressure off of families and doing our best to keep everything going so we’re ready for next year.” But each principal expresses a commitment to the ultimate welfare of their students, families and staff members. “We are continuing to pay all our staff,” Yorksmith said. “We had it in the budget, and so we’re able to pay all of our hourlies, all of our full-time employees.” And despite any long-term social or economic effects of the virus, the schools remain committed to their mission: a high-quality education steeped in Catholic tradition. “We’re still trying to remain a community of faith,” Sr. Marsha said. “We’re still trying to ensure that our students are learning, and that, God willing, we’ll be open in August.”
Franciscan University project will address suicide among Native American youth living on reservations STEUBENVILLE, OH—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has awarded Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Master of Catholic Leadership Program an $80,000 grant to address suicide among Native American youth living on reservations. “It’s a pro-life issue,” said Dr. Tiffany Boury, director of the Master of Catholic Leadership. “Suicide is ongoing in reservations, and Franciscan University can enter this dialogue in search of a solution.” Contributors to the project will include 4PM Media, Father Michael Carson of the USCCB’s Cultural Diversity in the Church Subcommittee on Native American Affairs, reservation subject experts, and several Franciscan University professors. The two-year project will incorporate a documentary developed by 4PM Media, a speaker series, and a curriculum for community outreach and the classroom.
“It’s a pro-life issue. Suicide is ongoing in reservations, and Franciscan University can enter this dialogue in search of a solution.” “The message of the film is one of belonging and hope,” said Dan Johnson, creative director at 4PM Media. “It’s about bolstering the youths’ identity both as children of God and of their rich and beautiful culture. There’s a future full of hope for them, and this film allows the Native American peoples’ voice to lead each other, shining a light out of the darkness they experience, and walking together through it.” Native American suicide has spiked since 1999, with increases of 139% and 71% for Native American women and men, respectively, according to an analysis last year from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. The project will include work with the Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and St. Michael Indian School on the Navajo reservation in St. Michaels, Arizona, according to Boury. Retired Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribe and the first Native American archbishop, said he is in “full support” of the project, calling this a “pro-life issue that needs the attention of the resources of the Church.” Production on the documentary is slated to be completed by January 2021 and the project launched in spring 2021.
THE VOICE OF THE SOUTHWEST • CATHOLIC SCHOOLS
New building, new location for Gallup school After much prayer and consultation, the diocese is happy to present the following plans for Sacred Heart School in Gallup, NM.. The future plans primarily include building a brand-new school on the parish grounds of Sacred Heart Cathedral and selling the current campus and buildings. This means that Sacred Heart Cathedral School would become once again a parochial school, as it was in its first location in downtown Gallup. This will be made possible by selling the current campus to Aequitas Education, a 501(c)3 dedicated to promoting classical education in the region, for an amount large enough to cover the entire cost of building a new school. From the financial ends of things, this will solidify Sacred Heart Cathedral School for generations to come. Students will be able to attend
daily Mass at the Cathedral and the school will be an integral part of the Cathedral Parish life, especially as it will benefit from the pastoral care and leadership of the parish priests. Overall, the Catholic identity of Sacred Heart Cathedral School will be affirmed
and strengthened. Although the coronavirus has delayed normal life, we hope the building of the new school will finish in time for the 2021-2022 school year.
St. Michael Indian School and Xavier University to Explore Catholic College for Native Americans St. Michael Indian School (SMIS) and Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA) announced recently that the two institutions have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a partnership to explore the establishment of a Catholic university to be located on the campus of St. Michael Indian School in St. Michaels, Arizona. Both institutions founded by Saint Katharine Drexel will implement a four-stage process through 2020 that begins with a feasibility study conducted by both institutions for an affiliated Catholic university. The intent of the MOU signed by Xavier University of Louisiana and St. Michael Indian School is to explore the founding of an affiliated university to provide Catholic higher education that builds up the faith, values, and wisdom of the students on the Navajo Nation. It also established an ongoing relationship between the two institutions to explore the university’s feasibility and funding possibilities along with a potential infrastructure plan. The MOU outlined a four-phase process where each institution will take the deliberate steps necessary to ensure the appropriate groundwork is completed that would lead to the founding of a university on St. Michael Indian School’s campus. In December, the first phase of the MOU began with the implementation of a study that will explore the feasibility of building an affiliated Catholic university to serve the Native American population. Conversations during this phase will center around project funding, potential funding prospects, and the overall plausibility of the university. “With a signed MOU in place,
St. Katharine Drexel
Xavier University of Louisiana and St. Michael Indian School join together through faith, fervent prayer, and the providential vision of our shared Foundress to undertake this exploration with a prayerful discernment over 100 years in the making,” said Reynold Verret, president of Xavier University of Louisiana. Strategic partners outlined within the MOU also include the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady of Guadalupe Franciscan Province. These strategic partners will have input and decision-making capabilities throughout each of the phases outlined within the MOU. Today, there are over 240 Catholic universities and colleges in the United States. Xavier is the nation’s only historically Black and Catholic university. If solidified, this partnership would establish the nation’s first affiliated Catholic university with the explicit mission to provide a four-year, liberal arts curriculum to serve the Native American population. A Shared Mission and History SMIS and XULA have a shared mission and history as educational institutions founded by Saint Katharine Drexel whose mission
continues today through her Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament to create Catholic educational opportunities for Native and African American peoples. In 1900, Saint Katharine Drexel began her work to establish educational facilities for the Native people through buying land in the area known today as St. Michaels, Arizona. With assistance from nine of her Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, Our Lady of Guadalupe Franciscan friars, and tribal leaders including Chee Dodge, Saint Drexel opened St. Michael Indian School in 1902, making it the oldest and continuously operating school on the Navajo Nation today. In 1915, the archbishop of New Orleans approached then Mother Katharine about the lack of Catholic higher education for African Americans. Mother Katharine opened a high school that same year on a site located in New Orleans, Louisiana. Within eight years, what we know today as Xavier University of Louisiana began offering a four-year, liberal arts curriculum. “Throughout Saint Katharine’s storied life, she remained committed to providing an educational ladder from kindergarten through college for Native Americans,” explained Dot Teso, president of St. Michael Indian School. “Today, we continue that commitment by joining forces with Xavier University of Louisiana to begin the process of establishing a Catholic university on St. Michael Indian School’s campus. Saint Katharine Drexel would be very pleased to see us expand her mission for the Native American people.” More info: stmichaelindianschool.org
THE VOICE OF THE SOUTHWEST • DEACONS
CONSIDERING A CALL AS A DEACON? THE DIOCESE OF GALLUP’S DIACONATE PROGRAM IS ENROLLING FOR FALL 2020 Are you - or is someone you know - considering becoming a deacon? The diaconate formation program for the Diocese of Gallup is beginning a new cycle in Fall of 2020 and will run for five years. If a candidate is unable to enroll in the program this fall, they will have to wait another five years in order to begin the program, so please don’t hesitate to reach out the program coordinator, Deacon Timoteo Lujan at email@example.com or 505290-4836. Deacon Lujan was born and raised in the Diocese of Gallup, coming from a large family in Grants and Milan. He still lives in Grants with his wife, Denise, who works in the finance office for the diocese, and he runs the Diaconate Formation Program for the diocese, which trains and teaches men to serve as permanent deacons for parishes. Get to know a little more about the program, what it entails, and why deacons are crucial for ministry in the Church. Voice of the Southwest: So, in your own words, what is a deacon? Deacon Lujan: [During the Holocaust] in the Dachau prison camp, in Cell Block 26, there were priests there that would have theological discussions. There was this underground community that was existing among priests in the prison camps, and there were 144 dioceses represented from 25 different countries. What they were evaluating was: how did this horrible thing happen in Christian nations? Germany was a Catholic nation, Italy is a Catholic nation, France is a Catholic nation. Something went wrong. And one of the things they came up with was: whereas the priest is the image of Christ the priest, there needs to be an icon - there needs to be an image of Christ the servant. So, you know, a man who is firmly rooted in the ministry of the church…but also, then, he has this iconic presence in the marketplace, in the factory, in the school, in the family, where he can be this icon. Diakonia, where the word “deacon” comes from, is this Greek word that means “service”, and it’s an essential ministry of the Church. It has to occur in order for the Church to be valid, to have authenticity. Everybody is called to do it - all of the baptized are called to do it, but the deacon is like an icon of this service for the community, especially in outreach to those that are the most vulnerable, and those that are in need. The priest is the mediator between humans and God, and the deacon is the icon of the service that the love of God brings that we should show everyone, and especially those that are in most need of this particular service. But Bishop Wall, in [his column], said: deacons are called to service, deacons are called to assist at the altar, deacons are called to make up what is lacking in other ministries of the Church. We have a priest to celebrate Mass, we have a priest to hear confessions, you have a priest to be the pastor and to be the principal teacher in the parish, but you have the deacon to make up these other things - are the widows not getting fed? Are the prisoners not getting visited? Are the classes not being taught? Are families not being nourished? How does the diaconate program work in our diocese? Right, so, we’re going to be making some
ANSWERING THE CALL: Bishop Wall ordains Ed Schaub to the permanent diaconate at Sacred Heart Cathedral in 2016. As a permanent deacon, Schaub is married and will continue to live out his vocation to marriage as well as his vocation as a deacon.
major changes. In the past, we’ve had a fouryear program that’s on a two-year cycle, which means that you could start every two years. One problem with that is it makes it difficult for academic continuity, but the other problem is to run a program like that, you have to have a lot more staff - a lot more teachers. We’re faced with the problem of finding competent teachers to teach the subjects that we need. So we’re going to go to the five-year, oncethrough program. We really want to emphasize theology, knowledge of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and also traditional spirituality. And if a candidate has a wife, she’s encouraged to be involved as well? Deacon Lujan explains that the wife has to give written agreement two different times to the husband’s continues participation in the program. If it seems as if being a deacon could put a strain on the marriage, the candidate is encouraged to not continue. I can tell you from personal experience it has an overwhelming effect on the entire family. And the wife especially, because the husband and the wife are partners, doing the work and raising the children. And also the emotional partnership of being husband and wife…the husband gets ordained and then he’s
all things to all people, and that can be difficult in a marriage. Can you explain how the extended family of a deacon might be affected? My mother lives in Grants, right? So my mother is the mother of the deacon, and then she hears “could he come by and talk to these people” or “why did he say that controversial thing at Mass the other day?” But at the same time it’s also very positive, because you’re expected to have all the family funerals, and visit all of the friends of the family and the sick people that they know. And then all of the questions you can answer about “why does the Church do this or that?” What about the time commitment that comes after ordination? It can be a wide variety. But the time commitment is very great. A deacon can be the chancellor for a diocese or have a professional career and family. A deacon fundamentally has to be a man of prayer, so there has to be time for his sacramental life, his spiritual life, his prayer life, or he’s useless to anybody. He has to have time to continue his studies nobody likes it when you show up to preach on Sunday and you weren’t prepared. Now my situation is different - my wife and I are
THE VOICE OF THE SOUTHWEST • DEACONS
them meet the demands on the Church. I like that as bookends - on one end we say deacons were brought about in the first place to help meet the demands and the needs of the Church, and on the other hand to fill in wherever the Church’s ministry is lacking. What might an indication be that someone could be called to be a deacon?
ASSISTING AT MASS: Mitchell Brown, left of Bishop Wall, participates in his first Mass as a transitional deacon in 2017. Brown, now a priest, was ordained a transitional deacon because it was a step toward his final vocation as a priest. PHOTO CREDIT: Samantha McCarty
I think the most important thing would be if they’re already in ministry in the parish, and they find themselves doing different things and enjoying it, or being willing to do it. Sometimes it’s more direct - someone might say “have you ever thought about becoming a deacon?” If men find themselves in a situation where they think they could offer more, and they’re drawn to the liturgy, and they’re drawn to the prayer life, they like teaching catechism, they like working with the youth group - all of those people are not necessarily called to the diaconate, but it’s a good start. And what has been your own personal experience as a deacon, both the blessings and the challenges?
DEACONS IN THE EARLY CHURCH: St. Stephen was one of the first-ever deacons and was also the first Christian martyr. He died as a public witness to the love and service required to follow Christ.
The priest is the mediator between humans and God, and the deacon is the icon of the service that the love of God brings.”
both engaged in church work in our ministry, I have no kids at home, I have the freedom to do these types of things. My job is very flexible. But the thing about the time is, you have to be at the service of others. And then everything you have to be flexible for, like funerals or emergencies that come up in peoples’ lives. I tell people all the time, the work of a parish is not what happens on Sundays - the work of a parish is the life of the parishioners between Sunday Masses. What about unique commitments required in our Diocese? They can expect a lot of leadership roles that may not be the classic role of the deacon. In a mission diocese like Gallup, the presence of the Church is very important, and deacons are part of that. A burial at the cemetery, a prayer service at the funeral home, the blessing of peoples’ homes, the visiting of the sick… we do not bring the sacrament of anointing of the sick, but we definitely visit the sick. In our diocese, the men get a theological formation, and it’s not just for their personal edification - we need them to learn because they’re going to have to teach. They’re going to be very important parts of our sacrament formation, of support of our Catholic schools, the support of our catechetical programs, and support of our adult formation programs, and
everyday conversations with people, to help them understand the theology and mind of the Church as we move through very difficult times. The great challenges we have in our society, and the great questioning or confusion about religion. And then visits to nursing homes, and people that are sick, and visits to the hospital. So I think what’s unique in the Diocese of Gallup is you will find yourself in leadership roles representing the whole church, and not just a pure diaconate ministry like in another diocese with more resources. Do you see a great need for deacons in this diocese? I do see a great need for that, because there are never enough workers for the harvest, right? We have a very good congregation in the Diocese of Gallup, and they really deserve the best that we can offer them. And amongst those people are those with the call to come forward, to be part of that outreach. Something else Bishop Wall said in his homily - he said that this great need arose in the Church, and so the Apostles got together and prayed in the best pastoral way to meet this particular need, that as the Church was growing and it was being built up, there were more and more demands on it, so they decided to establish this order of deacons in order to help
I have been a deacon for over 25 years - I understand my role. It’s really caused me to open up. When you have to study because you’re going to preach to people…you really enhance your own spiritual life because you think about the word of God, and as you’re a servant of the word of God you grow more into it. There were a lot of struggles. My kids were young and I was ordained a deacon - I’d only been married ten years. But I did learn balance - balance between family and church. I learned to integrate - my marriage, my fatherhood, now I’m a grandfather. I think that integration is really the key thing for a deacon, all the different aspects of your life in a deep spiritual life that’s rooted in prayer and service. That’s true for everybody, but I think it’s especially true for deacons. When you go around doing what you’re supposed to do, this can cause resentment from some people, and the real challenge is to turn the other cheek, to bear wrongs patiently. It’s very important to not be part of the problem. And also the challenge of finding the best way to be Father’s helper, to not impose yourself on him but to be available to him at all times and to be the resource he needs. At my own parish, we have a lot of challenges but we have wonderful people. We’re not really concerned about the perfection of how these people go about their business my job is to serve them, not to judge them. To try to keep that at the top of your mind in working relationships with other deacons, with men and women religious, with lay people. They have very important things to do in the church and have great gifts to offer the Church, and how to not stifle them but to encourage it. Deacon Lujan quotes a female professor who once gave an insight that has stuck with him: “St. Steven was initially made a deacon so he could serve table, but he wasn’t stoned to death because he was giving people bread. He was stoned because he was proclaiming the Gospel with his life.” That’s something I always think about with deacons. Interested in learning more? Speak to your pastor or a priest you know well. Talk to deacons about their experiences. And visit our website to learn more about deacons in the Diocese of Gallup and how they serve: dioceseofgallup.org
THE VOICE OF THE SOUTHWEST • DEACONS
From addict to the diaconate Marty Smith was on a literal road to death - until the night he saw the Devil. That encounter changed his life forever. One night, driving down a rural New Mexico highway, Martin Smith saw the devil. That encounter, which he recalls as feeling “like an eternity”, would change his life forever. Smith, who lives in Farmington, NM, will soon be ordained a deacon for the Diocese of Gallup. But his journey to the diaconate has been long and winding. “My adopted father is from Paraje, NM, and that’s where I was baptized. In 1958, ‘59 they moved to Winslow, AZ, and I attended Catholic School there,” he recalls. Smith’s father was a railroad worker, and his parents adopted him and raised him in the faith, but it didn’t settle. “Teen years, I discovered money…and more or less left the Church.” Smith describes the next couple of decades of his life as “self-centered”, rooted in addiction to drugs and alcohol. He worked as a diesel mechanic, living in Farmington, NM. He didn’t rediscover his faith until that encounter with Satan, and what happened next is what Smith describes as his “spiritual awakening”. It was Christmas Eve in the early 90s. “I was jonesin’ real bad for cocaine. And there was nothing that was going to stop me going down to Albuquerque,” Smith recalls. “So I got in my car, I was half-lit, and right before Cuba, mile marker 82 - I’ll never forget this. I was driving a little Jeep sedan, 4-door. And what transpired in the next few minutes seemed like an eternity.” He heard a crash, and suddenly a face he remembers as Satan’s burst through his window. “He had glowing eyes, horns, just - an ugly, ugly face. A demon just ugly. And there was an angel I don’t know if you know about the old cartoons, where you have the devil on one side and the angel on the other side? That’s what they were doing, they were bartering for my life.” To Smith, it felt like the encounter went on for hours, and he watched as the angelic and demonic entities bartered for his life. “The question was finally proposed to me: ‘Do you want to live or do you want to die?’”, he remembers. “And I had to make that
choice. If I continued to go down the road I am, I would die. If I turn around and go home, I would live. Well, I chose to turn around and live.” Smith remembers “snapping out of” his vision. He was still alone, at night, on the highway between Farmington and Albuquerque. He was unhurt – but his car had collided with a deer, which was now collapsed partway through his broken window. “But his head was triangular and there was fire in his eyes, and when he spoke he said ‘I want your soul.’ And that was my spiritual awakening - it wasn’t a conversion, it was just an awakening, to realize the gifts I had within myself, and it was now my choice to make good.” Smith was so shaken that he decided to talk to a priest, and for the first time in decades, he went to Mass. He recalls walking into the doors at St. Mary’s Parish in Farmington, worried that the building might collapse because of his presence, and taking a seat in the back. “And I kinda knew the formulation of the Mass and all the procedures. Some things had changed but not a lot - it was still the Mass. And after Mass, the deacon and priests were greeting people.” Smith walked up to the priest and said “Padre, I really need to speak with you”. To his amazement, the priest looked at him and said “Marty Smith, is that you?” It was one of the priests whom he had known as a boy in Winslow. Smith described what had happened, and the priest asked him to read the book of Hosea. Smith was immediately taken with the message of repentance of forgiveness: “I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely; for my anger is turned away from them.” “Then I went back and made a confession. And I came back to the Church full-blown,” Smith said. “I was on the road to ruin. I still say, because of the confirmation, because of Holy Spirit, because of Baptism, the gifts and fruits of the Spirit are always with you. No matter how long away from the Church you are, your baptismal gifts are there. It’s up to you to choose and recognize them.” Renewed in his new-found
I was on the road to ruin. I still say, because of the confirmation, because of Holy Spirit, because of Baptism, the gifts and fruits of the Spirit are always with you. No matter how long away from the Church you are, your baptismal gifts are there. It’s up to you to choose and recognize them.”
spiritual life, Smith began volunteering at ministries in the parish. Through his service as a CCD teacher, he met the woman who would become his wife, Deborah. She has been a great source of faith and support in his eventual decision to become a deacon. “[Deborah] has been a real backbone. She’s been a real influence on me. We’ve both accepted this journey to the diaconate. That’s another thing I would say - the wife has to be on board. You have to be together in this.” But the obstacles in his life weren’t completely cleared away. Within a few years of his marriage, Smith was struck with Transverse myelitis, an inflammation of his spinal cord near his brain stem. “It took away my mobility, my speech. I was able to think - that was about it. To this day, they don’t know what caused it. I was in rehab for almost two years, to learn to walk and talk again, all the mechanics [of basic movement]. To this day I still have a bit of neuropathy, I have a speech impediment now and then.” Smith found solace in his reawakened faith. “God got me through that. He strengthened me more, spiritually, in that way. I know it sounds weird, but He did. He brought me closer to Him, as a prayerful man. Because that’s all I could do - was pray.” Eventually he recovered and returned to service at his parish, and several times, he was asked by his friend Deacon Frank Chavez if he would consider the diaconate program. He told Chavez “No thanks, I don’t think you want me. I’m not worthy to be a deacon.” Chavez replied, “Nobody is worthy.” By this time, the Smiths had been attending adoration regularly for years. And Chavez’s words stayed with him. “That’s where I really find it peaceful in speaking to Jesus, and just listening. And one night He said ‘I think you’re ready’”, Smith recalls. “The thought was always there - it was present: ‘Can I be a deacon? Should I be a deacon?’ And every time I’d go to the Blessed Sacrament, the thought of the diaconate would pop up. And of course, I’ve been friends with a lot of deacons also, and the way they conduct their lives was similar to mine.” He was attracted to the idea of deeper service to the bishop, to priests and the diocese. “That’s what I want to do, is serve my diocese. I want to serve my bishop, my priests. Because growing up in this diocese, I know how poor it is, and I know we need good, faithful men to step up to the plate. And
Martin Smith and his wife, Deborah. “I would not be in [Deacon] formation if it wasn’t for her,” he says. “She is my rock.”
I consider myself a good, faithful man - I’m totally, totally a sinner. But I’ve finally come to the point where I’m not worthy to be a deacon, but I’m accepting His confidence in me.” Smith takes great encouragement from the Gospel of John, Chapter 15: It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you, and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. “The [Holy] Spirit just feels like He’s enveloped me. And it feels good. I was never like this before. I was hot-headed, quick-tempered, vulgar-mouthed. I’ve done 180 degrees. I’m joyful. I’m full of the Spirit.” When he is ordained a deacon, he will serve at Holy Trinity Parish in Flora Vista, helping his friend Deacon Matt Lamaroux in building and fostering the parish community. Smith says he is greatly looking forward to ministering to the sick. “I’ve been one that overcame sickness, overcame the struggle of learning - as an adult, learning to walk and speak again. You have to have that kind of faith to overcome that. I can connect on that level very easily.” He encourages any man who feels called to deeper service to consider whether they might have a vocation as a deacon. “You are worthy. God made you, everyone worthy to love Christ. And even though we feel unworthy, we are all worthy to serve Christ, and that’s what Christ wants us to do.”
THE VOICE OF THE SOUTHWEST • DEACONS
Rising to the challenge When Ronald Chavez followed his calling to the diaconate, he and his wife Rosie discovered a richness to their faith that has transformed their family
Are you comfortable, or are you challenged?”
and we talk to them about it all the time. We don’t tell them they have to go to church, but we tell them we’re praying for them to go to church. Do you have advice for potential deacons and their spouses?
St. Augustine and his mother, St. Monica. For years, St. Monica prayed and fasted for her son, who was living an immoral lifestyle, and her dedication was rewarded when Augustine eventually repented and returned to the Church.
After a career as a teacher and principal in California. Ron Chavez and his wife Rosie retired to St. Johns, Arizona, where they live on a ranch where Chavez’s family would hold annual summer gatherings. Currently, Chavez is in formation to become a deacon at St. John the Baptist Parish in St. John’s. He spoke with the Voice of the Southwest about his journey to the diaconate. Voice of the Southwest: When did you first start considering a call to the diaconate? Ron Chavez: I was an altar boy from the start and always looked up to the priests, so I kind of always envisioned myself being on the altar somehow. Then I went to a men’s retreat in Snowflake, AZ several years ago. I’d been retired, had a mobile home and traveled a lot. Life was good, life was comfortable, life was easy. And at this men’s Catholic retreat, there was a sign there that said “Are you comfortable, or are you challenged?” And I had to admit I was comfortable. (The theme of the retreat was taken from “Into the Breach”, a book by Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix) It kept nagging at me and nagging at me. So I went back home and asked my
parish priest what he thought, and he was very pro-diaconate. So I approached the diocese at the age of 63, thinking that they weren’t going to allow me in because of my age, and of course I prayed and asked God “if it’s your will, let them say yes. If not, then I’ll accept that as a no.” Well, Bishop Wall accepted me as a candidate…it was kind of a last minute deal. Asked my wife if it was okay with her, and she’s been 100% supportive. I couldn’t be happier being in the Gallup diocese. I came from Riverside, CA, where they have everything. It’s very populated, very wealthy. And I’m glad to be able to serve in a diocese that is struggling financially, and there’s a lot of need, a lot of opportunity to love your neighbor in this area.
Sure. From the beginning I wasn’t sure I was being called. But the longer I’m in the program, the more I feel the calling, the more I - if the thought enters your mind, then consider that a call and answer it. The discernment process is such that if you’re not meant to be a deacon, then you won’t get to that point. But if you are, then you’re saying yes to that voice in your head. It’s a big step, and I haven’t regretted one minute of it. I’ve grown a lot, my wife and I have grown closer to each other, our family has been blessed since we’ve been involved in the program. I’ve seen a lot of blessings on my children and grandchildren.
What are you looking forward to being able to do as a deacon?
I have a son who was addicted to drugs and he’s gone into a program, and since I’ve been in the [Deacon formation] program, he’s been clean. He’s doing really well - bought himself a house and got himself a vehicle.
The deacon’s primary job is to serve, and so wherever the bishop asks me to serve, that’s what I’ll be doing. I look forward to being involved in my parish, and helping our pastor grow our faith community there in St. Johns. Is there any advice you have for men who are discerning their vocation?
My other children, who are not practicing their faith, have recently talked to me about what it would take to be confirmed, what it would take to be married in the Church. I think my wife and I are an example to them - I think they see that we are happy, we’re fulfilled, and I think they hunger for that. We’re not shy about our faith
Rosie Chavez: When he told me that he was considering becoming a deacon and that would mean doing the Liturgy of the Hours, my first reaction was “What?! I’ve gotta take more time out of my day?” That was my reaction initially, but you know, I just love the Liturgy of the Hours now. It’s very enriching…I am learning a whole lot more about my faith than I have ever known. If they feel like they want to do it, then do it! They will really grow spiritually. They’ll become more knowledgeable in their faith and more compassionate with others. My favorite part is that I don’t have to do the homework! *laughs* But getting to know all the people - here, you get to know people intimately. We know our bishop - we can greet him, and he knows us. We’ve also noticed [our children] have started asking questions. Two haven’t been confirmed - the others received all their sacraments. They’ve started saying that they’d like to be confirmed. The youngest is 35 and the oldest is 43. When they got to be on their own, they stopped attending Mass. When we talk to them about it, they say they believe, but they just didn’t think they had to go to church. They’ve done it on occasion, like one Christmas I told my son and his family that that’s what I wanted for my Christmas present, was for all of us to go to church on Christmas Day as a family. And we did. So I think little by little, they’re starting to come back. We just keep praying for them, like St. Monica did for her son.
THE VOICE OF THE SOUTHWEST • PERSPECTIVES
Saints For Today by Dr. Jean Lee Mary Magdalene, 1st century AD. The feast of Saint Mary Magdalene (from Magdala, near the Lake of Galilee) has been celebrated on July 22nd since the tenth century. Except for the Mother of Jesus, few women are more honored in the Bible than Mary Magdalene. She has been recognized as the “Apostle to the Apostles.” Yet she could well be the patron of the slandered, since there has been persistent legend in the church that she is the unnamed sinful women who anointed the feet of Jesus in Luke 7:36-50. Mary Magdalene was the one from whom Christ cast out “seven demons” (Lk 8:2) - an indication, at the worst, of extreme demonic possession or possibly severe mental illness. Mary Magdalene was one of the many “who were assisting them [Jesus and the Twelve Apostles] out of their own means” (Lk 8:3). She was one of those who stood by the cross of Jesus with his Mother. And, of all the official witnesses that might have been chosen for the first awareness of the Resurrection, she was the one to whom that privilege was given by Jesus himself. She arrived at Christ’s tomb that morning shortly before dawn. Discovering that the stone had been moved, Mary Magdalene ran to the Apostles Simon, Peter, and John and brought them back to see.
Mary Magdalene became such a faithful follower of Christ that her name is placed first in the list of women who accompanied Jesus (Lk 8:2; Mk 15:47; Mt 27:56). At Calvary, her loving worship and her faithful love kept Mary close to Christ. Saint Gregory the Great said: “Though the disciples had left the tomb, she remained. She was still seeking the one she had not found, and while she sought she wept; burning with the fire of love, she longed for him who she thought had been taken away. And so it happened that the woman who stayed behind to seek Christ was the only one to see him. For perseverance is essential to any good deed.” According to the Eastern tradition, after Pentecost Mary Magdalene accompanied Mary, the Mother of Christ and John the Apostle to Ephesus, where she died and was buried. The example of Mary Magdalene’s ardent love for Christ, her courageous stance on Calvary, and her procession of faith in the risen Lord are relevant for us also, who have not yet fully understood the Scriptures (Jn 20:9). Jean M. Lee, M.A., D.Min., is a licensed behavioral health and substance abuse counselor, founding a nonprofit and a Catholic revert after 32 years away from the Church.
G-Bar Ranch St. Johns, Arizona
Closed Bid Auction Date July 1, 2020 Fee simple estate, subject to governmental powers, as to the 12,468.64± acres of deeded land and the leasehold estate in Arizona State Grazing Lease #05-1932 and Bureau of Land Management Zuni Wash Grazing Allotment #06081.
Carrying Capacity: Deeded Acres - 136 AU Arizona State Grazing Lease - 58 AU BLM Lease - 16 AU Total carrying capacity is 210 AU.
Contact: Teresa Trujillo • (928) 892-9722 St. John the Baptist Catholic Church P.O. Box 309, St. Johns, AZ 85936 For more information visit GBar4Sale.com G-Bar Flyer Ad.indd 1
Of all the official witnesses that might have been chosen for the first awareness of the Resurrection, she was the one to whom that privilege was given by Jesus himself.”
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Foley, Leonard, O.F.M., and Pat McCloskey, O.F.M. “Saint of the Day-Updated and Expanded.” Cincinnati: Franciscan Media, 2013. Gallick, Sarah. “The Big Book of Women Saints.” New York, NY: HarperOne, 2007. Lodi, Enzo. “Saints of the Roman Calendar-Updated and Revised Edition.” New York: Alba House, 2012.
A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity
12,468.64± acres 62.75% 6,280± acres state lease 31.61% 1,120± acres BLM lease 5.64% 19,868.64± total acres or 31 sections 100.0%
Mary Magdalene in Meditation, by Massimo Stanzione
Own a Piece of Natural Beauty in Apache County, Arizona Zuni Wash Water Rights • Wildlife • Highway Frontage • 4 Seasons• Gravel Quarry The G-Bar Ranch was a gift from Allene Barth to the Catholic Church in 1987. She wanted to support many of the churches and civic organizations in St. Johns, Arizona. St. John the Baptist Catholic Church was blessed to be one of the recipients of her generosity. Today, the Church has decided that the ranch should be sold to an individual or organization that can better manage the ranch’s resources and beauty. The ranch has been a working cattle ranch which was leased out. The revenues from the lease have helped support the local parish and the Diocese of Gallup Priest Retirement Fund. Priests and ministry professionals are not experienced ranchers or conservationists. After 33 years of ownership, the Church believes that it can better meet Allene’s wishes for our community if we sell the ranch and put her bequest into a trust for the future. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to own this beautiful ranch. The sales process will include a review of the offers by the Vatican. To buy this beautiful property, each bidder will need to explain their longterm vision for the property. We invite interested parties to tour the ranch and the St. Johns, Arizona community. A detailed book with the last two appraisals of the property is available for your consideration.
Teresa Trujillo is prepared to answer any questions you might have regarding the property, or to schedule a tour. She can be reached by cell phone at (928) 892-9722, or by email at MariposaConcho@gmail.com
Contact: Teresa Trujillo • (928) 892-9722 St. John the Baptist Catholic Church • P.O. Box 309 • St. Johns, AZ 85936
For more information visit GBar4Sale.com
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THE VOICE OF THE SOUTHWEST • PERSPECTIVES
Making Sense Out of Bioethics by Fr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk Thinking through the rationing of ventilators When ventilators are in short supply, several key ethical principles can assist clinicians: 1. Ventilators should not be rationed based on categorical exclusions such as a patient’s age, disability (e.g. being paraplegic) or other secondary traits, but rather on the basis of clinical data including likelihood of survival, organ function and other clinically relevant medical data or test results. Various medical “scoring tools” can be used to objectively evaluate this information about a patient’s status and to make comparisons among patients. 2. If two clinically similar patients arrive at the emergency room, the allocation of a ventilator to one patient over another can be done on a first-come-first-served basis, a lottery or another randomized approach. 3. It is generally immoral to take away without consent the ventilator of a patient still in need of it in order to give it to another patient who may die without it. 4. In situations where a patient on a ventilator is clearly deteriorating, and where Covid-19 and its complications can reasonably be expected to cause the patient’s death even with continued ventilator support, dialogue should be initiated with the patient or his designated health care agent to obtain consent to remove the ventilator. Obtaining free and informed consent helps resolve nearly every problematic angle in the ventilator rationing process. Scoring tools can be used to decide which patient’s health care agent should be approached first. Attention must always remain focused on establishing and maintaining honest and open communication with the patient, family and the health care agent throughout difficult triage situations. 5. Patients who relinquish a ventilator in triage situations, or who cannot be given a ventilator due to lack of availability, should receive not only suitable alternative forms of medical treatment and palliative measures to manage
their discomfort, but also spiritual support rooted in their particular religious tradition. This would include visits from a pastor, minister, priest, etc. where final requests, last sacraments, and other needs can be attended to. During the Covid-19 crisis, some commentators have recommended taking tough choices out of the hands of front-line clinicians, and handing them over to dedicated triage officers or triage committees to decide. In a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), for example, Dr. Robert Truog and his collaborators offer this approach as a way to “protect” clinicians: “Reports from Italy describe physicians ‘weeping in the hospital hallways because of the choices they were going to have to make.’ The angst that clinicians may experience when asked to withdraw ventilators for reasons not related to the welfare of their patients should not be underestimated — it may lead to debilitating and disabling distress for some clinicians. One strategy for avoiding this tragic outcome is to use a triage committee to buffer clinicians from this potential harm.” The main goal during triage, however, cannot be to “buffer clinicians” or “soften the angst” of what is clearly a difficult and challenging set of decisions. Nor is it to “save the most lives possible in a time of unprecedented crisis,” as proposed in the NEJM article. Nor is it to favor those with “the best prospects for the longest remaining life,” as others have suggested, by relying on a utilitarian calculus that favors the young and the strong. The goal must instead be to make allocation decisions based on evenly applied practices, as fair as possible, across the spectrum of patients, without turning to biased “quality of life” assessments. Even in a pandemic, the first priority remains the provision of outstanding patient care. Triage scenarios involve emergency situations. In an emergency,
The goal must be to make allocation decisions based on evenly applied practices, as fair as possible, across the spectrum of patients, without turning to biased “quality of life” assessments. Even in a pandemic, the first priority remains the provision of outstanding patient care.”
as the plane’s engines flame out, the captain should not be sidelined in favor of a remote “landing committee” working to bring the plane to a safe touchdown. Instead, passengers should be able to entrust themselves to a pilot with professional skills, instincts and expertise, somebody who is fully invested in the critical task at hand. The pilot’s personal involvement in the fate of his passengers mirrors the physician’s accompaniment of his patients in a time of crisis, with these front-line clinicians properly assuming a key role in making decisions about the allocation of limited medical resources. Rather than trying to offload responsibility to a committee to “mitigate the enormous emotional, spiritual, and existential burden to which caregivers may be exposed,” as the NEJM article phrases it, front-line clinicians, to-
THE MARIA GORETTI NETWORK “RECOVERY THROUGH FORGIVENESS” The Maria Goretti Network offers support to those affected by abuse. All survivors of abuse need love and support. We at MGN are survivors and friends of survivors who understand the need to experience the healing power of Jesus Christ. We welcome all those who have survived abuse, no matter the type.
gether with their patients and/or health care agents, should manage these critical decisions, with triage committees serving in advisory, rather than decision-making or adjudicating capacities. If rationing becomes necessary, sound ethical principles not only enable responsible triage decisions to be made, but can also help clinicians to avoid panic and calmly accompany each patient entering a health care facility, including those facing their final days and hours. Fr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D. earned a doctorate in neuroscience from Yale and did post-doctoral work at Harvard. He is a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, MA, and serves as the director of education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia.
LOCAL MEETINGS IN THE DIOCESE: Snowflake, AZ Meetings will be at Our Lady of the Snow in Snowflake every first Wednesday of the month. Everything said during a meeting is confidential. The meeting will also be accessible online.
At the local level, support is provided through regular meetings and through prayer, with survivors helping other survivors as they journey toward recovery.
For information email Philip Fry at pfry@mgoretti. org or call 520-609-5930.
We have learned that hate and anger towards those who have harmed us prevent us from having a full recovery. Our sole interest at MGN is to help our brothers and sisters learn to forgive and experience healing and God’s love.
You can also visit mgoretti.org to learn more.
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