Monday, September 28, 2009

'Gail F' of Father Z's discussion on kneelling

Father Z's blog has a little string going on kneeling during Communion. Not everyone is for it. I have copied a few of the out for those green comments from Gail F! Gail F's comments put kneeling people in a dilemma...

Apparently Gail F thinks kneeling Catholics are obligated to look around first to see whatever the local ideosyncracy is and then seriously consider going along with the crowd so as not to make a scene......

I have a problem with Gail F's underlying assumption, which seems to be that the crowd should trump your conscience. Gail! You can't be saying that! Help us out here!

I think the first question is, is the person actually doing so out of rebellion? That is, does he/she do this to make a point, or is it because of sheer devotion that makes it impossible to do anything else? Unfortunately, due to many different things going on in the Church today, some people DO genuflect or kneel simply to make the point that everyone else is wrong.

The norm for the USA is to receive standing. In such cases, a person genuflecting or kneeling is to be given the sacrament but to be “counseled” afterward, presumably to be told the correct way to do it. [Gail, the 'correct' way is kneeling]That ought to be done charitably but not every priest is a model of charity. I really don’t see how a person genuflecting or kneeling in the middle of a line can do so without disrupting everyone elseunless the parish has many people who do so, or unless he or she waits to go last. It’s all very well to say, as one commenter did, that disrupting a line is no big deal—until someone [...looses an eye?] trips,[have you had a chance to watch how Communion is distributed by the Pope? I have yet to see anyone fall over!] , or knocks into someone else. So much depends on how many people are there. Much more “disruption” can be done in a small crowd than, say, the parish I went to today—where hundreds of people were winding around in very complex lines.

If this is not the person’s regular parish, then surely he or she must know that genuflecting or kneeling is a roll of the dice—it will be accepted or it won’t, depending on what that parish is used to. Especially as the person refers to this as a “Novus Ordo” church [probably a better term would be 'New American' church, as its pastor is in rebellion to the universal, Catholic Church] and doesn’t seem to be inclined to accept what are, after all, the normal masses for most people in the country. It is insulting to call them “Novus Ordo masses.” They are ALL, as the Pope himself says, the SAME MASS.Comment by Gail F — 27 September 2009 @ 3:13 pm

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Father Z's blog is discussing our Topic!

You kneeling Catholics go over and tell them what you really think!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Nueces County teen age birth rate drops 70% over two years

( the public health spokeswoman says they teach 'abstinence first' but offer contraception when solicited. the drop is from 52 births per 1000 15 to 19 year olds in 2006, to 39 in 2007 to 15 = 70% drop. what's going on? It's too early to celebrate the effectiveness of 'abstinence only' education, as its not clear from the article if that is what is actually being used [there is also no mention of the teenage abortion rate])

from the 21 September 09 Corpus Christi Caller Times>>>....Also of note, the rate of births to teenage mothers in the Corpus Christi area has dropped significantly in the past three years.
In 2008, there were 15 births for every 1,000 females age 15 to 19. That number dropped from 39 in 2007 and 52 in 2006. The average is 29 in the United States and 44 in Texas.
Dolores Arispe, a registered nurse at the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District, said the Census numbers bear out what local health officials are seeing — fewer pregnancy tests and pregnancies among teens.
The public health district visits local schools to teach abstinence and offers family planning for those who come to the district offices.
“We take the stance of abstinence first and also let them know about other types of services that we might have here for some of the teens,” Arispe said. “It takes time, but I think it’s working as you can see the numbers going down.”>>>>>>

Monday, September 21, 2009

Speaking of Palliative Care

This scene, from the movie 'North' says alot! stay with it, around 2:20 minutes into clip you'll see the point..... Rob Reiner hits the nail right on the head!


Sunday, September 20, 2009

'Palliative care in UK' = death by dehydration

.....Thanks, Father Finigan for the following! K.C. is posting this story because of its similarity to case featured in Father Ron Rolheiser's glowing endorsement of 'palliative care' in his South Texas Catholic article of one month ago.....

Vera’s story must be a warning to us allAs doctors fear 'euthanasia by the back door' Felicity Smart describes her chilling experience when a elderly neighbour entered hospital
18 September 2009....

My friend Vera (not her real name) is 98 and she desperately wants to live to be 100. I have known her for 20 years. She is frail, with poor eyesight and limited mobility, but she is definitely "all there". Strongly independent and unmarried, she lives alone. She can wash and dress herself unaided, and still cooks. She goes shopping in a wheelchair. A cleaner comes once a week, but Vera finds it hard to accept help.On Sunday afternoons I invariably phone her before visiting. There's no answer at first, as it takes her several minutes to reach the phone her poor eyesight prevents her from using a mobile. I try again a bit later. She usually answers then, but not this time. After two more tries, I am puzzled and anxious. Then I remember that her niece, Jo (not her real name, either) could have taken her out. She is her nearest relative. Her visits are infrequent, but maybe she has turned up. I leave a message.

......On Monday the phone rings. It's Jo, and what she tells me comes as a shock. Vera was found on Saturday evening by a neighbour, collapsed and in pain. She was rushed to hospital suffering from an acute abdominal inflammation. I ask if I can visit her. Yes, although she is unconscious. She says how sad it is that she won't be coming out. [this is the same certainty voiced by the palliative care nurse in Father Rollheiser's article prior to 'giving Granny her shot...']

Can she really be dying?I go with my husband. We find her in a ward with curtains drawn round the bed. Another shock: she looks bloated and almost unrecognisable; her breathing is laboured. She is being given oxygen, but there is no drip to hydrate her. By the bed is a small sponge on a stick, stained by pink gel, and some water in a glass. These are used to moisten her mouth so that dehydration does not cause her tongue to stick to it. A tube is inserted in her arm, which must be for pain relief - not only for the inflammation, but probably to allay the pain of dehydration. Pain relief is also a sedative. Dehydration, and the additional painkillers for it, could shorten her life.Knowing nothing about her condition, I feel at a disadvantage. ....

But as a supporter of the pro-life cause, I am concerned by what I see. I am a Catholic; Vera and her niece are not, but I am in no doubt about her will to live. We go to the desk where there is a senior nurse. I ask her about treatment and say how much Vera wanted to live. She says there is no treatment for the condition, which can be fatal even in younger people. Vera is receiving only palliative care because she is dying. Her niece has agreed to this after discussion with the consultant. My impression is that the nurse is talking fast and seems on the defensive.We return home not feeling reassured. I look up her condition on the internet. It does not say it is untreatable, although it can be very serious. Briefly, treatment is by intravenous infusion of fluids (nil by mouth) and pain relief. Surgery and antibiotics may be needed. I phone a pro-life helpline, Patients First Network, for advice. This support service promotes good medical care for people at risk near the end of life - at risk, that is, under the Mental Capacity Act of euthanasia by the omission or withdrawal of nutrition and hydration, and through medical and nursing care being stopped.Having explained the situation, I am advised to ask more questions at the hospital. ....

But have I the right to do this, given that what is happening to Vera has been agreed with her niece? Yes, because the Mental Capacity Act contains a clause stating that the person who determines what is in someone's "best interests" must take into account the views of anyone interested in his or her welfare. We decide that the best way forward would be to talk to Jo first. This might clarify the situation and possibly avoid causing her offence by our going directly to the hospital for information. I phone her. When she realises I have rung to do more than commiserate, her voice changes. Like the nurse, she talks fast and sounds on the defensive, but she remains friendly. I ask if Vera was unconscious when taken to hospital. No, but she had made a "living will" saying that she did not wish to be resuscitated, so when she became unconscious, she agreed with the consultant that she should be allowed to die.....

I am very concerned about what this means, and whether Vera really understood what would happen.I print out the Mental Capacity Act and we take it with us to the hospital the next day. The change in Vera is marked. She now looks emaciated, the oxygen has been removed and her breathing is rapid and shallow. Only pain relief and the pink sponge are being used. We ask if we can speak to someone directly responsible for her care. Another nurse appears. I want to know why Vera is not being hydrated. I am told that she is that's what the pink sponge is for. I am astounded. I reply that it can only moisten her mouth.I ask about intravenous hydration and almost hope to be told that there would be no benefit, because then withholding it would be justified and I could stop asking questions. But the nurse says that in a case such as this, hydration is only given if the relatives request it because it just prolongs a life that would otherwise end sooner rather than later. So Vera could benefit from it.....

The Mental Capacity Act says that in considering whether life-sustaining treatment is in a patient's best interests the person making the determination must not be motivated by a desire to bring about the patient's death. I say that I think Vera should be allowed a natural end and that it is wrong to hasten her death.The nurse asks me to wait. She returns with a form headed Liverpool Care Pathway. She explains that this is the gold standard of care for the dying, and is being rolled out across the NHS. Vera's care conforms to it. I am aware that there are serious pro-life concerns about it because it encourages the use of pain-relieving sedative drugs to ease the passage from life to death, opening the way for managed death or involuntary euthanasia. There is nothing in the ongoing care plan about food and fluids.I press the question of hydration. She says that sticking a needle into someone to hydrate them is hardly natural. I come back with it being unacceptable to inflict the pain of dehydration on someone, which then has to be relieved with additional life-shortening painkillers. What is the point of a medical advance, such as intravenous hydration, if it isn't used when needed? The nurse has had enough of me, but she is careful. She asks if I would like to talk to a doctor. I say yes.....

A doctor duly appears. She invites us into a private room. A palliative care specialist will be joining us, she says. By this time I'm feeling the strain, so my husband asks for more information. She tells us that Vera was fully conscious when admitted to hospital. Treatment of her condition with fluids was tried, but failed. A "very difficult" discussion then took place with her, during which it was explained that no further treatment was possible, surgery being too risky for someone so frail.She had accepted that palliative care was the only option, and was consistent with her living will. We are stunned. What are we to believe?I pull myself together and say that this is not our understanding of what had happened. We are simply told it is true and that her niece agrees with the decision. I ask if Vera knew that "treatment" now includes nutrition and hydration. Did she really want to be dehydrated to death? No answer. The palliative care specialist arrives to hear my question. She tries to tell me that very ill people don't want fluids anyway, so withholding them is not unkind. But did Vera know that dehydration is painful? Ah, but pain relief can make her "comfortable" (a word used several times as a euphemism for this kind of death). And her life will be shortened, I say. The doctor then says that hydration couldn't prolong it. Not what the nurse said earlier, I reply. We are going round in circles. I ask if this is the death they would want for themselves. Again, no answer.My husband sums up our views. He says we haven't been given a clear picture of what has happened and remain unconvinced that hydration has been justifiably withheld. He expresses our concern about the decreasing respect for life, which the law supports.....

They make no comment and it is we who end the meeting. But afterwards my husband and I agree that their aim was to head us off. We are left with the impression that the collective view is that this very old lady should be hastened to her end as speedily and painlessly as possible, her life having become of little or no value.We say our goodbyes to Vera. That evening, Jo phones. Vera has died. It took three days.Did we achieve anything? At the very least, we were listened to. I hope we also made the point that not everyone thinks the Mental Capacity Act protects patients or that the Liverpool Care Pathway is being used appropriately things which need saying repeatedly. Anti-life legislation is eroding trust in the medical profession.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Father Ron Rollheiser provides inspiration (again!) to K. C.

Father Ron Rollheiser's heroine, Dorothy Day was big on kneeling for Holy Communion....will Father put two plus two together and say we should still be kneeling? From Father's latest South Texas Catholic column: ....(K.C.'s purple and he's black) ....

>>>>>famous historian Christopher Dawson decided to become a Roman Catholic, his aristocratic mother was distressed, not because she had any aversion to Catholic dogma, but because now her son would, in her words, have to "worship with the help."

She was painfully aware that, in church at least, his aristocratic background would no longer set him apart from others or above anyone. At church he would be an equal among equals because the Eucharist would strip him of his higher social status.

She intuited correctly. The Eucharist, among other things, calls us to justice, to disregard the distinction between rich and poor, noble and peasant, aristocrat and servant, both around the Eucharist table itself and afterwards outside of the Church. The Eucharist fulfills what Mary prophesized when she was pregnant with Jesus, namely, that, in Jesus, the mighty would be brought down and that lowly would be raised up.

It was this that drew Dorothy Day to Christianity. She noticed that, at the Eucharist, the rich and the poor knelt side-by-side, all equal at that moment.

(Father, K. C. must interrupt. Dorothy Day died in 1980. She had to endure most all of the post Vatican II innovations, and surely she witnessed the new North American standing Communion line. Why did she hark back to kneeling Communion as the Church's most attractive feature to outsiders? If 'kneeling side by side' emphasized equality, what does marching- around-one-behind-the-other emphasize? This tends to put the churchiest people in the front of the line and the unwashed towards the back!

K.C. does not understand why people of your ilk put so much energy into eradicating kneeling when even Dorothy Day saw kneeling for Holy Communion as our most winsome, beautiful, and evangelistic feature. Really!)

Sadly, we often don't take this dimension of the Eucharist seriously.

(K.C. again!....Father is there any dimension of the Eucharist that we do take seriously?)

There is a common tendency to think that the practice of justice, especially social justice, is an optional part of being a Christian, something mandated by political correctness rather than by the Gospels.

(We have been hearing this, your sermon for the past 40 or so years and K. C. agrees with you! that along with your prevailing message - "concern for the poor is more important than reverence for God Almighty" - we have not only lost fear and reverence for God -- perhaps success in your eyes-- but we've also lost concern for the poor. Your tired message has not worked to better the poor's conditions. Maybe your message is wrong!)

Generally we don't see the call to actively reach out to the poor as something from which we cannot exempt ourselves.

But we are wrong in this. In the Gospels and in the Christian Scriptures in general, the call to reach out to the poor and to help create justice in the world is as non-negotiable as keeping the commandments and going to Church.

Striving for justice must be part of all authentic worship.

In the New Testament, every tenth line is a direct challenge to reach out to the poor. In Luke's Gospel, we find this in every sixth line. In the Epistle of James, this occurs in every fifth line. The challenge to reach out to the poor and to level the distinction between rich and poor is an integral and non-negotiable part of being a Christian, commanded as strongly as any of the commandments.

The Eucharistic table itself calls us to justice, to reach out to the poor. How?

Here we go again, with Father sneaking in the word 'table' (instead of altar) to signal on which side of the liturgical divide he stands. Father just has to throw in a word for 'dancing clown masses'! Lucky for Father we have one of his buddies...a 'dancing-clown-mass, social-justice' Catholic as our vice president! Unlucky for for Father the V.P. of the U. S. had to make public his contributions to the poor..... speaking of 'tables' here you go!

.......Income Charity
1998 $215,432 $195
1999 $210,797 $120
2000 $219,953 $360
2001 $220,712 $360
2002 $227,811 $260
2003 $231,375 $260
2004 $234,271 $380
2005 $321,379 $380
2006 $248,459 $380
2007 $319,853 $995

fyi that is not even 1/2 of one percent! Will you accuse him, Father, like you do us?

Father Ron, if you want us to help the poor, teach us to kneel! <<<<


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Something else we should not forget!

K.C. hopes to develope this post a little further with explanations of the photographs in the video.....(feel free to help out!)

(from the creator of the video)>>>> "De antemano, pido disculpas por la forma tan singular de expresarse al principio de este video, de Don Bruno Zavala. Solamente que no hay forma de expresar el valor con el que luchaba el cristero contra el ejército federal, el cual en múltiples ocasiones huyó asustado y acobardado, no obstante la superioridad numérica que casi siempre llegó a ser de 10 a 15 soldados federales por cada cristero "<<<<

(The video's creator apologizes for old man's use of the Spanish metaphor "Do you have eggs or not?" to relate how his commander addressed them prior to battle... ...the same thing could be asked of so many prelates who have sat on their hands for the past 40 years, as the radicals have tried to transform us into another Church altogether. Indeed has not the 'American Church' not become an emasculated, feminized church?)

K. C.
courtesy of Jesed music>>>>>

un grito de guerra se escucha
en la faz de la tierra y en todo lugar
los prestos guerreros
empuñan su espada y se enlistan para pelear
para eso han sido entrenados
defenderan la verdad
y no les sera arrebtado
el fuego que en su sangre esta
viva Cristo Rey! viva Cristo Rey!

el grito de guerra que enciende la tierra
viva cristo rey
nuestro soberano y señor
nuestro capitan y campeon

pelear por el, es todo un honor
sabemos que esta battala no es facily muchos se acobardaran
y abajo los dardos de nuestro enemigo
sin duda pereceran
yo tendre mi espada en alto
como la usa mi señor
a el nada lo ha derrotado
su fuerza es la de dios

no conocemos mayor alegria
no existe mas honros afan
que con mis hermanos estar en la linea
y juntos la vida entregar
a el que merece la gloria
y nos recluto por amor
ante el la rodilla de dobla
y se postra el corazon<<<<

Friday, September 11, 2009

Don't forget

We don't see much mention of 9-11 nowadays.

Let's also not forget the cost of war. There is a fable about a farm yard debate between a chicken and pig over who contributed the most to the farmer's breakfast. It finally was agreed that the chicken 'donated' while the pig....well, let's just remember ..we Americans are not the chicken. The sacrifice of 5,ooo American fighting men and women, in Iraq and Afghanistan, should teach us all a lesson about ourselves (and about some of our 'allies') that we could not have learned in any other way......

Pray for our fallen. And thank God for them!

K. C.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

If you can genuflect, then you can kneel!

This young man makes a great point!

SSPX priest celebrates extraordinary form Mass at St. Peter's in Rome

Gloria TV is reporting today that Father Marcus Jasny of Neustatdt Germany celebrated 07:00 Mass at St. Peter's.

K. C.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's starting again! :-(

Thank you 'Catholic Femina' for

alerting us to Norwich Connecticut Bishop Michael Cote's September 6th edict [] which bans Communion on the tongue because of swine flu. We have covered this topic! As of yet our Bishop in Corpus Christi has not repeated his May 1st ban on Communion on the tongue, which he repealed in June.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Columbo: Father Ron Rollheiser 'clarification' is muddy

Father's in black, I'm purple and Lt. Columbo is in orange!

Father's statement in 04 September 2009 edition of Corpus Christi Diocese's South Texas Catholic......

>>>I am sorry that some bad wording in my recent column ' extraordinary women' might have given the impression that the injection given to the woman who was terminally ill in some way hastened her death or was in some way a form of euthanasia. here is the background to that injection:

The woman's system was already shutting down and she had only hours to live. the injection given to her in no way hastened the death process- it only lessened her pain. Indeed it probably lengthened her life sinece it took her out of excruciating pain....The choice was not between hurrying the moment of death or delaying it, only whether she would be conscious or not conscious during her last hours. I want to assure the readers that the injection didn't speed up the death process in any way. I am a very strong opponent of euthanasia of any kind and apologize for this misunderstanding.......<<< What would Columbo do with Father Rollheiser's clarification?

Now yah see Fadda, I'm just tryin' to get this straight in my mind. Something ain't right here! Da dead lady predicted she was going to die that same day and so did her nurse and then she did! I only know a couple a' instances where a poissn can pull that off: a poissn condemned to die, or a suicide. It just stands to reason dat dis has gotta be one or de uddah!

Furthermore regahding dat pain medication, Fadda Rollheisah: The dead lady's statement in your foist ahticle didn't say nuttin' 'bout any pain. She just said she wanted to give her children more time to be home wit' deir families...and if she was experiencing pain, don't ya think da hospital would have given her more than enough pain meds to keep her in lala land?

Da lady says she wanted to give her children more time to be home, dat, by definition would be less time wit' her which wasn't goin' to happen as long she was still hang'n around planet Oit'!You tell me... "I want to assure the readers that the injection didn't speed up the death process in any way. "But da lady musta thought that pallyoutive care unit would shorten her life cuzz dat's what she said she wanted to do before she checked in!

Here's how I sees it:

1. she says she was going to die that day

2. she checks into dat pallyoutive care unit

3. da nois' gives her a shot which da nois' says is da last shot she'll ever get!

4. bam! gophers are bringin her da mail!

As a matter a fact, Fadda, have you stopped to think dat maybe you're not hearing both sides of da story? You talked to the live poissn, what about da victim? maybe she wasn't as wild about da pallyoutive care as her daugta' says she was?......maybe da lady was pressured into taking dat shot, so given what you've told me I can't even rule out homicide, .....


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Father Rollheiser's 'terminal sedation?' article in South Texas Catholic in need of clarification

Corpus Christi's STC will be printing a 'clarification' of Father Rollheiser's 21 AUG 2009 -article which describes and praises an act which resembles an assisted suicide.....i.e. the victim told her family of her plan to die that same day and then the nurse told them she would give the victim a 'pain shot' to put her into a sleep from she would very likely never wake up, and death soon followed.

[[Would an assisted suicide look any different than what he describes? this scheduling of one's earthly exit certainly does not seem to be letting nature take it's course, but still... exactly what the shot was and how large it's volume would determine whether or not this was 'assisted suicide']] This is an excerpt with K.C.'s underscoring....
>>>>>....And she lived this out, to her dying words: Hospitalized with a disease that would not respond to medication, she developed a blood infection from which there was little hope of recovery. Her family kept vigil around her bedside for several weeks while her condition deteriorated. Finally, she herself took the initiative: She called her family round her, told them that they had been with her in the hospital and away from their homes for too long, informed them that she had called the palliative care unit in the hospital and asked to be transferred there, and that she would die that same day. ...

She was moved to the palliative care unit and the nurse there told the family that she was about to give their mother a shot of pain medication that would put her into a deep sleep from which she would probably never regain consciousness. As this was about to happen, her daughter, the one who shared this story, sat by her mother's bed, held her hand, clung to her like a drowning child, and said: "Oh Mom, a little more time! Just a little more time! Not quite yet! Stay with us for just a little more time!" But her mom, with what strength she still had, replied: "Enough, it's enough." Those were her final words to her daughter and her family.These are strong stories from strong women, each with enough wisdom and faith to undercut the false sentimentality which can so easily paralyze us in the face of loss. Both knew that there is a time to let go and a way to let go that doesn't lessen love but increases it. <<<<<

... from another Father Rollheiser article where he talks about Holland as a wonderful place despite its being the land of euthanasia and abortion, etc.....

>>>>2) One issue does not make for a whole gospel. .... Holland has legalized abortion, euthanasia, prostitution, and various drugs. Church attendance is very low, many people no longer bother to get married inside of the church or even inside of a courthouse, and, from many points of view, things look very post- Christian. ...

Yet, on the other hand, Holland has established one of the most compassionate, peace-loving cultures in the whole world. They take care of their poor better perhaps than any other country in the world, are peace-loving, solicitous that everyone have equal rights, anxious about the environment, and display a wonderful religious and ethnic tolerance. These are no small moral achievements. .............

K.C.'s sources say Father Rollheiser will be given space in an upcoming STC edition to clarify what it was he was talking about....


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The full texts of Senator Kennedy's and the Pope's letters

No! K.C. did not have a hidden camera at the basilica! I don't know to whom and how Holy Communion was distributed, other than there was obviously no kneeler being used. The camera people were apparently instructed not to film people receiving Communion. Why? Perhaps prelates in charge didn't want something scandalous ending up on utube or blogs. [[there is another way to prevent skandal--don't do something scandalous!]]

The 'inclusive language' responses at the funeral by someone who had a microphone were hard to miss....'....and the good of all of God's Church.'

The absence of the word abortion was also hard to miss. It was off the radar, just as pro-choice Catholics like it!

Do pray for Senator Kennedy's soul, right along with Henry VIII's and Ann Boleyn's, etc. Many people who spend their lives undermining the Catholic Church [large donors can do as much undermining as declared enemies] do end up repenting on their deathbeds. God is merciful.

There is an old hymn which concludes :

'in my hand no price I bring, simply to Thy Cross I cling' .

I believe that protestant author got it more right than Father Herrion's Catholic funeral sermon . The stuff we're most proud of is not going to be worth much on that day. We should only hope to be owning up to our sins and to be found in a state of grace. I wish Father's sermon and the senator's letter had had more about Jesus and His Mercy and less self-congratulations about how building up a [[soul-atrophying-family-displacing]]-welfare state had somehow helped God out.


[[courtesy of Matthew Brown]]

>>>>>Following, courtesy of the Associated Press, is the text of the letter from Sen. Edward M. Kennedy to Pope Benedict XVI delivered last month by President Barack Obama. After that comes the Vatican response, which Time writer Jeff Israely -- whom we quoted at length last week on the exchange -- calls "pro forma."

Most Holy Father,

I asked President Obama to personally hand deliver this letter to you. As a man of deep faith himself, he understands how important my Roman Catholic faith is to me and I am so deeply grateful to him. I hope this letter finds you in good health. I pray that you have all of God’s blessings as you lead our church and inspire our world during challenging times.

I am writing with deep humility to ask that you pray for me as my own health declines. I was diagnosed with brain cancer over a year ago and although I am undergoing treatment, the disease is taking its toll on me.

I am 77-years-old and preparing for the next passage of life. I’ve been blessed to be part of a wonderful family and both my parents, specifically my mother, kept our Catholic faith at the center of our lives. That gift of faith has sustained and nurtured and provided solace to me in the darkest hours. I know that i have been an imperfect human being, but with the help of my faith I have tried to right my past.

I want you to know, your Holiness, that in my 50 years of elected office I have done my best to champion the rights of the poor and open doors of economic opportunity. I’ve worked to welcome the immigrant, to fight discrimination and expand access to health care and education. I’ve opposed the death penalty and fought to end war. Those are the issues that have motivated me and have been the focus of my work as a U.S. Senator.

I also want you to know that even though I am ill, I am committed to do everything I can to achieve access to health care for everyone in my country. This has been the political cause of my life.

I believe in a conscience protection for Catholics in the health field and I’ll continue to advocate for it as my colleagues in the Senate and I work to develop an overall national health policy that guarantees health care for everyone.I’ve always tried to be a faithful Catholic, Your Holiness. And though I have fallen short through human failings I’ve never failed to believe and respect the fundamental teachings of my faith.

I continue to pray for God’s blessings on you and on our church and would be most thankful for your prayers for me.”

The Vatican response:

The Holy Father has read the letter in which you entrusted to President Obama, who kindly presented it to him during his recent meeting.

He was saddened to know of your illness and asked me to assure you of his concern and his spiritual closeness. He is particular grateful of your prayers for him and for the needs of our universal church. His Holiness prays that in the days ahead you may be sustained in faith and hope and granted the precious grace of joyful surrender to the will of God, our merciful Father.

He invokes upon you the consolation and peace of our risen savior, to all who share in his sufferings and trust in his promise of eternal life, commending you and the members of your family to the loving intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Holy Father cordially imparts his apostolic blessing as a pledge of wisdom, comfort and strength in the Lord.<<<<<<