15th Annual Divine Mercy Medicine, Bioethics, and Spirituality Conference - Day 2

Today is the second day of the 15th Annual Divine Mercy Medicine, Bioethics, and Spirituality Conference.

8:30 a.m. Doctor Ron Sobecks, MD, from the Taussig Cancer Institute at the Cleveland Clinic Department of Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders began the day with a presentation entitled, "Conflicts of Interest in Healthcare."

See his full talk here:

9 a.m. Doctor Bryan Thatcher, MD, International Director of Doctors for Divine Mercy and Founder of the Eucharistic Apostles of Divine Mercy followed with a presentation on the importance of having good role models in the healthcare profession. He highlighted this importance with the example of a role model like Servant of God Dr. Jerome Lejeune as compared to Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood.

Doctor Lejeune discovered the chromosomal abnormality that causes Down's Syndrome. He was a renowned professor and doctor. Unfortunately, his discovery led others to want to abort infants found to have this abnormality in-utero. Doctor Lejeune was outspoken against abortion, and in turn, lost his Nobel prize in medicine for his discovery.

See his full talk here:

9:30 a.m. The keynote speaker for the conference, Dr. Gosia Brykczynska, RN, OCV, author of Blessed Hanna Chrzanowska, RN: A Nurse of Mercy, gave a presentation on Blessed Hanna, including her vocation, spirituality, and message for healthcare workers today.

"Blessed Hanna would tell her nurses, 'We, in the place of Christ, care for the sick, who are Christ.'" Dr. Gosia noted. This is a spirituality that all nurses can take on. "Blessed Hanna embodied the works of mercy and encouraged others to be merciful."

Much like Our Lady, Blessed Hanna would encourage her nurses to "go in haste" to the poor and the sick. "She took it to heart. Our patients don't need us in 5 minutes, 10 minutes, an hour. They need us now." This was how she lived her life and her vocation, and this is a message for healthcare workers today. Like Christ, we come to serve, not to be served.

See her full talk here:

10:35 a.m. Doctor Christopher Klofft, STD, associate professor at Assumption College gave a talk entitled, "Re-Thinking Sexual Orientation."

Doctor Klofft shared how the term "sexual orientation" has been constructed to be a way to delineate and classify people. This created a whole new class of people defined by their sexual acts. The terms of sexual orientation were originally made to make distinctions of what is "normal," and what is "not normal." Today, though, society has said that every sexual orientation is normal. "So," Doctor Klofft proposed, "why does the culture think there a need for distinction?"

As for the development of the terms in the acronym LGBTQQIAAP, Dr. Klofft explained how confused current culture has become. Sexual orientation is no longer defined by just sexual acts. The scientific community has not even agreed on what sexual orientation can be defined by. So, if someone claims sexual orientation is something genetic and that they are "born that way," why can it not be defined by science?

Quoting Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in Persona Humana (On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons), Dr. Klofft shared that, "Today the Church badly needs a context ... to define a person by what truly matters: a person as a creature and child of God made in His image and likeness."

"I believe the Church should stop using the language of sexual orientation, which she is already doing" Dr. Klofft shared. "Instead, we should see people as people who make sexual choices ... not as an ideological class of people who are defined by sexual acts and judged separately from everyone else ... To think of people not as those who have a unique burden, but rather as people called to chastity."

Doctor Klofft shared that the ability to understand, the ability to love, these are things we need to remember. Our happiness is not dependent on our ability to engage in sexual acts. People who claim to be part of the LGBT community deserve the truth to be shared with them, in charity.

11:20 a.m. Father Chris Alar, MIC, director of the Association of Marian Helpers, gave a presentation called, "Care of the Sick: The Loving Example of St. Damien of Molokai and St. Marianne Cope."

See his full talk here:

1 p.m. Doctor Iris Mamier, PhD, MSN, RN, associate professor at Loma Linda University's School of Nursing gave a presentation entitled, "Responses to Patient Prayer Requests: Insights Gained from Christian Nurses."

"Nurses are with patients at their most vulnerable times," Dr. Mamier said. "Nurses have prayed with their patients through the centuries. ... Prayer is one approach in which we can provide spiritual care."

According to a study by the Barna Group in 2017, out of the 79 percent of Americans who have prayed at least one time in a 3-month period, 82 percent pray silently by themselves. Very few pray in a church context. So, for most young nurses coming into the field, most likely they will not be naturally comfortable praying with patients, and young patients will be very suspicious of chaplains and those who offer to pray for them. Furthermore, those who claim to be of no religion are rising.

"So, as Christian doctors and nurses, we will need to be equipped to help people in crisis as they reevaluate what gives their life meaning," Dr. Mamier noted.

Doctor Mamier then shared an emerging structure to teach nurses how to pray with patients.

Video to come

1:45 p.m. Deana Nunes, MSN, RN, CWCN, assistant clinical instructor at Elms College School of Nursing, gave a presentation with one of her students entitled, "Nightingale's Pillars and Jamaica 2018."

2:30 p.m. Divine Mercy expert Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, PhB, STL, SEOL, gave a presentation entitled, "The Healing Rays of Divine Mercy."

See his full talk here:

4 p.m. The Very Rev. Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC, BA, STB, STL (Cand.), Provincial Superior of the Marian Father of the Immaculate Conception in the United States and Argentina, concluded the first day of the conference with a presentation entitled, "Blessed Hanna's Examination of Conscience: It's Importance for Healthcare Professionals and Patients."

Blessed Hanna's Examination of Conscience for Nurses can be found in Blessed Hanna Chrzanowska, RN: A Nurse of Mercy (Marian Press).

See his full talk here:

4:30 p.m. Marie Romagnano, RN, BSN, CRC, CCM, founder of the Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy, gave a presentation entitled, "Spiritual Assessment of the Sick, Injured, and Dying."

See her full talk here:

Learn more about the Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy.


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Nurse Marie Romagnanon, founder of Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy, brings good news of a great opportunity for education, spiritual refreshment, and more for healthcare professionals and caregivers, online Feb. 11-13.

Divine Mercy Medicine, Bioethics, and Spirituality Conference - Day 2 - We are live blogging the Conference and posting videos from the day's presentations.