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Workshop on Bill C-14 (Medical Aid in Dying)

Recently, I had an opportunity to attend a workshop in which David Levangie from St. Joseph’s Hospital in Saint John brought helpful information regarding the proposed Bill C-14 (Medical Aid in Dying) that is supposed to go into effect June 6. David went through the history of the Bill, the terminology, the fears and uncertainties ahead, and the particular difficulty of crafting a federal law that covers all of Canada given that the provinces and territories are in charge of managing their own health care. (Read Rosemary Ganley comprehensive summary here). David spoke about how we all carry a bias as a result of our experience and the tradition we have known; pastoral care persons need to listen to patients, respect their dignity and their diversity of views. He cautioned us to avoid certitude. Sometimes when we don't like change, we choose to not engage and to deny those who do engage. An alternative would be to learn all we can about impending change and potential effects. Most public hospitals seek to embrace many faiths and an inclusive stance towards all its patients, professionals and ministry personnel.


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After twelve years we bring our ministry to a close in Benoit’s Cove. It is very obvious that Marguerite is present amongst the parish community and throughout all Western Newfoundland. The presence of Sister Ann Broderick during the week gave us great support amidst the sadness of departure. The closing celebration (May 1) brought people from all over the diocese, surprising us with a packed church and a celebration of life, gratitude and hope for the future. Bishop Hundt and priests were present, along with clergy from other denominations. There were many tears amidst the farewells. The town and school also honoured us for our active participation in all aspects of their lives. As sad as our leaving is, we are encouraged with the words shared: “You have made your mark on our community and you will never be forgotten.” We thank so many of you who have supported our ministry in ‘the out ports,’ through prayer, visits, calls and mail. Now, to pack and to make our way to Kingston, Ontario for the next step of our CND journey!


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We would like to thank Sister Mary Jane Wilson for the wonderful design on our 35th associate anniversary pin and bookmark. May they be a reminder to all of us that together we do indeed “Journey in Mission.” The pin and bookmarks are on the way if you haven’t already received them.


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