Photos and story by Tim O’Neill
On October 27 physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals gathered at St. Therese of Carmel parish to celebrate San Diego’s first White Mass. More than two hundred filled the church for the Mass named for the white coats and uniforms worn by medical workers.
Bishop Cirilo Flores, coadjutor of the San Diego diocese, celebrated the Mass, joined by seven San Diego priests who concelebrated. The choir of St. Therese of Carmel sang, in Italian, a hymn dedicated to St. Gianna Molla.
San Diego’s White Mass kicked off as politicians and Church leaders continued to debate the Obama administration’s Health and Human Services mandate. Bishop Flores commented, “Our religious liberty must be protected when we walk out the [church] doors, so that we can live our faith without compromising our religious convictions.”
Highlighting the Year of Faith proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI, Bishop Flores challenged those in the medical community to strengthen their faith and find the courage to ask of themselves, “Do we believe truly that we can transform a culture of death? Do we believe that we can transform the hearts of people so that human life from the moment of conception to natural death is protected and respected and revered and held sacred?”
Following Mass, attendees had the opportunity to venerate a first-class relic of Saint Gianna and the stethoscope she used in the care of her patients. Dr. Theresa Stigen, a physician trained in natural procreative technology from Mystical Rose Obstetrics and Gynecology in Fallbrook commented, “St Gianna has always been kind of a role model for me.”
A reception followed the Mass where attendees heard from event organizers Thomas McKenna, founder and president of St. Gianna Physician’s Guild, and Dr. George Delgado, medical director of Culture of Life Family Services.
Mr. McKenna highlighted St. Gianna’s description of a physician’s role as a “priestly mission” saying, “Just as the priest can touch Jesus, so we doctors touch Jesus in the bodies of our patients, in the poor, the young, the old, and children.” McKenna said that St. Gianna’s description of the medical vocation is at the center of St. Gianna Physician’s Guild because, “It goes totally contrary to the secular and humanist idea of what medicine is portrayed as today. This aspect of medicine being a “priestly mission” involves caring for the soul as well as the body.”
Drawing upon his personal conversion, Dr. Delgado challenged his colleagues saying, “I want to make a special appeal to any of you out there who are, or know people, who are in any way involved in participating in abortions, contraception, euthanasia, or sterilization. I want to ask you to take this opportunity as an invitation to stop doing that and to live your professional life in accord with your faith life.”
At the conclusion of his homily, Bishop Flores thanked the medical professionals saying, “Thank you so much, those of you who I see here, who in very different ways and many times in hidden ways do what you can to protect the baby still in mommy’s womb.”
The way this article presents medicine is very interesting, like a breath of fresh air.
JSL, I couldn’t have said it better, so I won’t try.
Doesn’t Mercy Hospital in San Diego still have abortionists on staff (they don’t kill babies at mercy but do so elsewhere)?
It goes to show you that we do have people in medicine who truly are pro-life and are not afraid to stand up and say so. It’s nice that they do not keep it a secret. I know someone who use to be pro-life but when she went into medical school and after she graduated she couldn’t find a job but the only place offering her a job was planned parenthood and she took it to help her grow and gain more experience, now she is very much pro-choice ideals and it made me very sad. People do choose…and this article gave me hope that people still honor their faith in God!
Let us pray that Bishop Cirillo will be a better Shepherd than is the present bishop who crucified the saintly Msgr. Andreatta and too many others.
I will forward this to my nephew and his wife in Alaska, his wife is a Doctor and a Catholic.
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
I really enjoyed this article and am hopeful for the SD diocese with its new leader after reading the above. But I return to CCD from exile for one post which shows what another bishop is doing to destroy and indoctrinate his priests, Bishop Kicanas of Tucson. The following is from Kicanas’s Monday Memo posted today, 11/5. Kicanas even links the words “community organizing” to the wikipedia writeup where discussions on ACORN and Saul Alinsky appear. The 3 brain washers in the Memo are Alinsky group related. Any ideas of what to do with this info? Can someone come to Tucson with a spatula and scrape me off my ceiling! —— “Newly Ordained Mentoring Program” – On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, we will have the first of three sessions for our “newly” ordained priests – those who have been priests for five years or less. These presentations are designed to build fraternity among the priests, to encourage them in their ministries and to assist them with addressing the various topics encountered in priesthood. The program presenters this week are Joe Rubio, Kevin Courtney and Frank Pierson. Joe Rubio is the lead organizer for the Valley Interfaith Project in the Phoenix area. He also served on a bi-partisan coalition of business, faith and civic groups that issued five guidelines emphasizing a humanitarian approach to immigration issues, shortly after the status of SB-1070 was in question. Kevin Courtney is the Director of the Pima County Interfaith Council and has been very involved in addressing important issues facing us in Pima County. He works with a number of parishes in the diocese as well as other churches and synagogues throughout Pima County. Frank Pierson is an organizer for Industrial Areas Foundation, or IAF, which is a national community organizing network established in 1940. The organization provides training, consultation, organizers, and develops national strategy for its affiliated broad-based community organizations. There are 57 IAF affiliates in 21 states, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and Australia, all working toward social change. He also is a member of our Pastoral Council. These three experts will hold a workshop that will help our newly ordained priests to understand better how to form parish communities and build relationships in their parishes to address community concerns and to organize them to make a difference in dealing with concerns. They will learn how to get actively involved in community affairs and form laity to take a more active role in the public arena.
I was at the Mass. So glad you’ are bringing together the Medical Community. I could say so much about the way the Medical Professiion WAS in San Diego, and the drastic takeover now.
Before 1973 ALL Doctors were Prolife, It was just a given that YOUR Personal Doctor would do everything inhis power to save your liffe, and the child etc. The Hippocratice Oath Remember.
In San Diego, we even had Catholic Physicians and Dentists Guild . Dear Bishop Buddy would have an Annual St. Luke’s Mass, and host the Doctor’s’ either at Mercy Hospital, or his Home in Mission Hills. Speaking of Bishop Buddy, He was also well respected among CIVic and Ecumenical Collegues. such store Merchant George Walker Scott, and Jewish Leader Irving Solomon. Channel 8 was downtown, and hosted him on a weekly Program “Bishop Buddy Speaks” Everyone was ProLife, ProMarriage, ProFamily. Then in the early 60″s when the Contriceptiion Pill, came about a quote “open Panel was held on Television, connieving all the Pastors to say what a good idea this new Pill was going to be, and Bishop Buddy was told that only the Catholic Church wasleft alone speaking against this.
So after that the Media and Politicians swung into actiion, coming up with one sided Polls such as “Do you think Woman”s Health should be between a woman and her Doctor? Remember I said all Doctors were ProLife, so most people answere d Yes, because they knew from Hippocratic Oath, every Doctor would do everything to save a person’s Life. Thus, the Politicias Published all Polls as Women favoring Abortion on Demand.
So here we are 40 years later. Thank you soo much for the Mass and your good Work. Praise you and God
Marggie Trudell Morrison