14th Annual Divine Mercy Medicine, Bioethics, and Spirituality Conference - Day 2

Today is the second day of the 14th Annual Divine Mercy Medicine, Bioethics, and Spirituality Conference, sponsored by Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy, an apostolate of the Marian Fathers.

8:45 a.m. Doctor Bryan Thatcher began the morning by presenting on how Divine Mercy can help with the healing process of those who suffer from addictions.

Perhaps there is someone you know who suffers from an addiction? Divine Mercy is a message of healing, Dr. Thatcher commented, however not many connect it to the healing of addictions. This is a mission Dr. Thatcher wants to accomplish by connecting Divine Mercy with 12-step programs.

He proposed the following:

1. Admit that you are powerless against the drug, alcohol, etc.
- Read Diary 55

2. A higher power can help; God is the Higher Power – Phil 2:9
- Read Diary 281, 890, 949, 1487

3. Turn your life over to Him.
- Jesus, I trust in You!
- Read Diary 1488

4. Make a moral inventory (which can be painful). Make an Examination of Conscience.
- Read Diary 1487

5. Admit to God and to another human being your wrongs. Make a good Confession.
- Read Diary 113, 1488

6. Be ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Read Diary 185

7. Humbly ask Him to remove your shortcomings.
- Go to meetings, counseling
- Read Diary 55, 1486

8. Make a list of all the people you have harmed and be willing to make amends.

9. Make amends whenever possible.
- Read Diary 1486

10. Continue to take personal inventory.
- Read Diary 1488

11. Prayer and meditation - improve our conscious contact with God, knowledge of His will and carry it out.
- Pray "Thy Will be done," and "Jesus I trust in You"
- Read Diary 1487, 1784

12. Carry this message and practice into all of your affairs.
-Read Diary 742
-Mercy by deed, by word, and by prayer

In conclusion, we are all broken and in need of God's mercy. Receive His mercy and share it with others.

9:30 a.m. Sister Angela de Fatima Coelho, MD, postulator for the causes of Sts. Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Sr. Lucia dos Santos gave the keynote presentation entitled, "Marian Spirituality for Healthcare Professionals and Patient Care"

Sister Angela connected Our Lady of Fatima with how Our Lady is recorded in Scripture:

1. The Lady of the Immaculate Heart points to John 2: Mary at Cana who intercedes for us and shows us the way.
2. The Lady of the Rosary points to Luke 2: Mary who keeps and reflects on everything in her Heart
3. The Lady brighter than the sun points to Revelation 12: The woman (Mary) clothed with the sun.

Furthermore, the apparitions of Fatima teach us about Jesus and Mary.

For example, in the angel's first apparition, the angel says, "Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications." This means that Jesus always listens to our prayers, and Jesus and Mary's Hearts are always united.

In subsequent apparitions of the angel, the angel asked for prayers and sacrifices. In Our Lady's first apparition to the children, she asks not only for prayers and sacrifices, but for our whole lives.

"Are you willing to give your whole lives for Jesus?" Sr. Angela asked the attendees. This is what is needed.

"Our Lady tells the children that they will suffer much. This is nothing new," Sr. Angela explained. "What does the Gospel say? 'If you wish you follow me, take up your cross, and follow me." This is a message for the whole Church.

Yet Our Lady does not leave us alone. She promises at the June apparition, "My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God."

Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
So what is devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary? Allowing ourselves to take refuge in her Heart and to imitate her in her attitude of Heart, in her fiat - "let it be done unto me according to Your Word."

Sister Angela shared, "Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary means, 'My fiat becomes the center of my whole existence.'"

"Devotion to Our Lady is not about bringing flowers, even though flowers are important. They are secondary," Sr. Angela shared. "Cardinal Ratzinger [in the commentary on the third secret of Fatima] points to the essence of devotion to Our Lady - it is to imitate her in her fiat, in her Heart, which includes her intelligence, desires, free will, affections. Until then, it is just a superficial thing. ... "Do whatever He tells you," this is true devotion to Our Lady."

The Rosary
As for the Rosary, it is a meditation on the Scriptures and the life of Christ. Our Lady, before she revealed herself at the last apparition as Our Lady of the Rosary, had been asking the children to pray the Rosary for months. First, they learned how to pray the Rosary. By the last apparition, Our Lady revealed herself.

"First the encounter, then the understanding," Sr. Angela said.

And Our Lady asks us to pray the Rosary every day, for a daily encounter with her and God.

Quoting St. John Paul II, Sr. Angela said, "The Rosary mystically transports us to Mary's side" (Rosarium Virginis Mariae, Apostolic Letter on the Rosary, 15).

The woman brighter than the sun
In the vision of the third secret, Our Lady is at the foot of the Cross, and the Church comes to the foot of the Cross.

"Our Lady points us to Jesus and is with us at the foot of our very own crosses," Sr. Angela said. She promises that her Immaculate Heart will triumph.

"I think it won't be a spectacular thing," Sr. Angela shared in regard to the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. "I think it will be something quiet, like she was, and the Holy Spirit will make our hearts like Jesus'."

As it is written in Lumen Gentium (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church), 62,

This maternity of Mary in the order of grace began with the consent which she gave in faith at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the Cross, and lasts until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to Heaven she did not lay aside this salvific duty, but by her constant intercession continued to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. By her maternal charity, she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties, until they are led into the happiness of their true home."

Watch Sr. Angela's full talk here:

10:45 a.m. Kathleen B. Scoble, Dean of the Elms College of Nursing, and Marie Romagnano, founder of the Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy gave a presentation entitled, "Spiritual Assessment for Patients: Evidence-Based Practice."

Kathleen Scoble and Marie Romagnano presented that the effect of spirituality on health falls into three major areas:
1. Mortality
2. Coping
3. Recovery

Healthcare professionals are called to tend to the spiritual care of their patients, and Nurse Scoble and Nurse Romagnano wish to help equip healthcare professionals, specifically nurses, with a new program they are creating.

Acknowledging that nurses are often overworked and overloaded, Nurse Scoble and Nurse Romagnano have worked to make the spiritual assessment and care program to be as efficient and effective as possible.

Watch the full presentation here:

12:15 p.m. Joan and David Maroney, the Mother of Mercy Messengers, gave a special presentation on Divine Mercy and Fatima during the lunch break.

Watch the full presentation here:

1 p.m. Sister M. Alicja Zelmanska, OLM, gave a spiritual presentation entitled, "The Source of Mercy is Within You: Compassionate Patient Care."

Watch Sr. Alicja's talk here:

1:50 p.m. Doctor Ron Sobecks gave a presentation entitled, "An Approach for Providers to Effectively Intercede for the Infirm."

See Dr. Sobecks' full talk here:

2:30 Brother Michael T. Duffy, OMVConv., DNP, APRN, ANP-BC, Assistant Professor of the Elms College School of Nursing, gave a presentation on the Elms College "Elms caRe vaN" (ERN) and the Works of Mercy.

Watch Br. Michael's full talk here:

3:30 p.m. Father Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, gave a very special presentation on the Image of the Divine Mercy.

This is why the Father gave us the Image of the Divine Mercy, Fr. Seraphim said: "To inspire people to realize their salvation and that they participate in His priesthood, and therefore can give offerings pleasing to God - the fruit of our lips and works of mercy."

4:30 p.m. Dr. Mark Rollo gave a presentation on Physician-Assisted Suicide and the abandonment of Hippocratic Medicine.

Watch Dr. Rollo's full talk here:

5:10 p.m. The Very Rev. Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC, Provincial Superior of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception Mother of Mercy Province, gave a talk entitled, "How Does Your Faith as a Healthcare Professional Help the Patient Cope with Illness?"

Giving advice on how to work with people who claim they are atheist, Fr. Kaz suggested that one ask them what they believe about the God they don't believe in. That is usually a good starting point for conversation and evangelization.

Christ, ultimately, is our eternal medicine, Fr. Kaz shared. "Christ died for us, for our sins... He gave us freedom. ... and redemptive suffering is the key."

Sharing stories of many medical professionals who taught him about redemptive suffering, Fr. Kaz urged healthcare professionals in attendance to offer up their sufferings for their patients and poor sinners in need.

Father Kaz said, "You are the Hands of Christ they feel; You are the Heart of Christ sharing love; You can help those with terminal illness with your hope for eternal life. ... You don't need to worry about what to say, it will come ... Allow yourself to be used completely; allow yourself to be an instrument of God."

See Fr. Kaz's full presentation here:

5:50 p.m. Nurse Marie Romagnano, concluded the conference by presenting on the life of newly beatified Blessed Hanna Chrzanowska. Blessed Hanna is the first ever beatified registered nurse and was a personal friend of Cardinal Karol Wojty?a (St. John Paul II).


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