New Healthcare Series Launching Divine Mercy Sunday

Fires, falls, explosions, car accidents. Most of the patients Marie Romagnano, RN, has seen in her line of work have sustained catastrophic injuries in some of the most terrifying ways.

"You name it, I've seen it," said Marie, the founder and director of the Marian Fathers' apostolate Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy.

Many of her patients have overcome their life-threatening injuries through more than just good medical care. They have healed through prayer and the power of Divine Mercy.

"Total patient care," is how Marie puts it.

"The Divine Mercy message and devotion is a tool that the Lord gives us, not only to help our patients, but to help ourselves and our personal lives to grow in grace," said Marie, of Charlton, Massachusetts, the co-author of the book Nursing with the Hands of Jesus: A Guide to Nurses for Divine Mercy (Marian Press) with Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, and the Very Rev. Fr. Kaz Chwalek, MIC. "As a Healthcare Professional for Divine Mercy you are always aware that you are the spiritual link to Christ, you are His merciful presence at the bedside of the patient."

Unfortunately, many Catholic healthcare professionals in the United States don't know how to integrate a healthy spirituality into their medical practices. Spiritual care of patients, according to Marie, should involve more than merely calling for a priest. "You really need to pray for your patients and talk to the family members. You're a patient advocate in giving the spiritual care that not only the patient needs, but the family needs," she said.

In light of this need, for the past 14 years, Marie has helped educate healthcare professionals through annual conferences that feature top experts in the fields of medicine, bioethics, and Divine Mercy.

"Basically, many of us were healthcare professionals that wanted to follow the guidelines of our Catholic faith, but we were so busy that we didn't know where to go to find the information and how to use it," she said.

The success of the conferences has now led to a new initiative: compiling the best of those conference talks into a free online video series titled "Healthcare & Divine Mercy Matters." Set to launch on Divine Mercy Sunday, the video series will be available through the website DivineMercyMatters.org

In 2005, when the first conference sold out 30 days in advance, Marie knew she was onto something. Throughout the years, prominent Divine Mercy experts, doctors, and nurses have spoken on topics including abortion, contraception, and end-of-life issues, as well as spiritual care of patients.

"For those who have been unable to attend any of those conferences, we're pleased to now bring them to you," said Marie.

Meanwhile, the 15th Annual Divine Mercy Medicine, Bioethics, and Spirituality Conference will be held on May 7-8 at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. The Most Rev. Robert McManus, bishop of the Diocese of Worcester, will give a talk entitled "Transgenderism: The Multifaceted Challenges to the Moral Teachings of the Church" and direct a panel discussion.

Gosia Brykczynska, author of Blessed Hanna Chrzanowska, A Caring Nurse (Marian Press), will speak on the life and mission of 20th-century Polish nurse Blessed Hanna Chrzanowska (1902-1973), who saved thousands from starvation during the Second World War and was beatified last April at the International Divine Mercy Shrine in Lagiewniki-Krakow, Poland. She's the first lay registered nurse to be beatified, letting the light of faith illuminate the nursing and medical practice.

Visit TheDivineMercy.org/worcester for more information.

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