CATHOLIC NURSE JOURNAL
Association of Catholic Nurses of England and Wales.
2 CICIAMS in Rome
3 Catholic Nurses Elections
4 Paper presented at Bristol’s Guild of Catholic Doctors.
6 The Future
Welcome to this edition of the Catholic Nurse. There has been quite a lot of travel over the last year. As President of the Association of Catholic Nurses for England and Wales and as CICIAMS Executive Member, it has been a privilege to go to the Executive Board Meetings both here in England and as far away as Hong Kong. The Regional Congress for Asia hosted a wonderful Conference “Healthy Family –Our mission as Carers”, which was attended by the International President An Verlinde and the Pontifical council Papal Representative, His Eminence Cardinal Lasano Barrigan. The Catholic Pharmacists Guild was represented by their President Pauline Lai, also attending was her Father Richard Lai, who is 1st Vice President of CICIAMS.
In November 2006, An Verlinde was asked to invite 10 members of CICIAMS to be guests of his Eminence Cardinal Javier Lozano Barrigan, to dicuss issues affecting Catholic Nurses. This was held in Rome at Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, Via della Conciliazione,300193 Roma, Italia. A report has been written by Kathleen Kirkpatrick from the USA who accompanied me to the meeting and conference.
Nearer Home, Bishop Tom Williams has been Chair of the Health Care Reference Group which The Association of Catholic Nurses has a seat. It has been useful getting contacts to highlight the work of Catholic Nurses and to raise the issues of maintaining a Catholic Nurse Representation Nationally. There has been quite a deal of productivity going on not only with the Study days that have been presented but also the resurrection of the Catholic Doctor’s Guild in Bristol. The Publication Keeping Faith is also in production and due for a launch early in the New Year.
Our Web site is improving and expanding thanks to Mary Farnan, so any news which can benefit other Catholic Nurses should be directed to her. Thanks to the inspirational talk given to us at the AGM, I hope we can use the media more to publicise the Association of Catholic Nurses.
Jacqui Hall (Editor)
CICIAMS in Rome
Meeting of the CICIAMS Delegates to Rome.- Kathleen Kirkpatrick.RN
His Eminence, Cardinal Javier Barragan, President of the Pontifical council for Health Pastoral Care, the Holy See, met with Delegates and Officers of CICIAMS to assess their contribution to Health Pastoral care. CICIAMS has been part of the Pastoral Council for Health Care for the last 21 years.
Those present from CICIAMS were Dr. An Verlinde, President, Miss Agnes DeBaets; International Treasurer,Mrs Annemie Vlaemynk; Head of the Professional Committee, mrs Jacqueline Hall; Head of the ditorial Committee, Mr Sello Komorang; South Africa, Mrs Celestine Navigue; Ivory Coast, Mr Richard Lai; 1st Vice-President, of CICIAMS, Malaysia, Mr Rentius So; Hong Kong, mrs Kathleen Kirkpatrick;USA, Mrs Maria Vilchez; Mexico, Sr Nouhad Nassar; Lebonon and Mrs Beatrice van Drosser; Netherlands. Christa Nowakiewitsch; Germany, was unable to attend but sent in her report.
Mr Richard Lai gave a power point presentation on the history and development of Catholic Nursing in Asia from 1941 to the present day. Asia is the largest of the CICIAMS Regions.There are 2 Billion people and less than 2% are Catholic. He spoke about the Catholic Organisation in Manila, Hong Kong East Timor, New Caladonia, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, New Guinea, Bombay and Melbourne.In this impressive presentation Richard made the point that in Asia it is normal for Catholic Nurses to remain united to think together, to support one another and to stimulate each other in the light of Christian principles.
Sello spoke of the prevelance of HIV/Aids in Africa. The Church in Africa offers the annual blessing of the hands for nurses. Health Care Workers are in short supply. They have 1 MD/9000 people; 1 RN/1200; and 1 Midwife for 6000 people.
The USA, which has 41,379 health care centres, has a small group of catholic Nurses who belong to CICIAMS. They do have active participation in all areas of nursing practice and support the philosophy of the Church in their service to others. Members of NACN represent CICIAMS at World Health Organisations such as WHO, UNICEF, the UN and the Pan American Health association.
Mrs Maria Vilchez reported that there is a new Catholic University School of Nursing in Mexico. The Mexican Association of Catholic Nurses together with CICIAMS is planning a 3 day world congress in Monterey, Mexico in 2008.
Sr Nouhad Nassar reported that in Lebanon, the Middle East, there are just 350,000 Maronite Catholics. They do have a hospital in Lebanon that cares for everyone, Muslims, Jews and Christians who live in that area.
Beatrice vanDrosser, who is responsible for the Dutch Catholic Nurses, reports that while they have a nurse organisation, the government forbids them to be exclusively Catholic. These nurses are happy to belong to CICIAMS, knowing that only those that are Catholic may hold office and decision making positions.
Cardinal Barragan concluded the meeting with a very inspiring talk on the spiritual direction that our nursing care must take.The Cardinal spoke of several ways of showing our faith as nurses and said that every nurse must know how to baptise.
Asia Regional Congress November 2005
Catholic Nurses Elections – Jacqui Hall
The Elections are due this year for the International Catholic Nurses (CICIAMS) as well as consideration for our Association of Catholic Nurses of England and Wales. There has been some discussion regarding nominees and we are fortunate to have some members who are still willing to keep CICIAMS and the Association going despite all apparent adversity.
The Position of the International Committee/ Executive Board, has been very difficult over the last few years, due to the lack of a General Secretary. The Association of Catholic Nurses of England and Wales can empathise to some extent as our own Liz Cooney has been trying to do two jobs as Secretary and Treasurer. We thank her for her hard work and hope she will still be there when we need her. Manifesto’s for the positions for election will be out in the New Year and we wish God’s help for candidates to come forward and help continue to support Catholic Nurses at both National and International Levels.
We have been very fortunate that members such as Nora McCarthy have helped to keep the ACN going, despite her retirement and that she attends the Regional meetings of CICIAMS when our President has been unable to do so.
To Praise,To Bless,To Preach-In Search of Catholic Health for Our Times
In the UK the remnant of our major Catholic hospitals were closed by a working party established by Cardinal Heenan. We do have a few left , along with many social care institutions, but neither here nor in mainstream health services have we invested much in developing our understanding and leadership. Unlike in some other countries we do not have a natural constituency from which could leap striking voices able to articulate a far reaching vision of a Catholic health presence either in our own works or in the NHS.
This has powerfully limited Christians in at least two ways: First, policy advisors employed by the Church have tried to fit their intensely limited experience of the NHS and wider health and social care sector, into their experience of other areas of public policy. They have consequently tended towards a parliamentary focus with a few civil service add ons. The trouble is that even the NHS on its own is totally unlike any other policy field because of the sheer quantities of cash involved - £90 billion at a recent count. Billion pound budgets nestle in decentralised regions, thousands of staff directly impacted by area decisions, hundreds of patients faced by local impacts and all run by a central department split between London and Leeds with PCT catchment areas that are by no means co-terminous with Diocesan boundaries.
This complexity provokes some of the sweeping theological generalisation touched upon but it has also distracted us from gathering up information about our own people and our own options at a time of immense change: It breaks my heart to hear anecdotal evidence from Catholic hospital chaplains that more than a third of Fillipina nurses in the NHS, who arrive well, are being returned home with mental health difficulties. It frustrates me that we have no meaningful figures to quantify the Christian presence in health and social care. It would not surprise me if it mirrored the pattern in the voluntary sector where Christians are statistically over-represented in charity leadership. And what of the faith based contribution to hospital volunteering and visiting and local social care support? We know in prisons the Churches are the backbone of such endeavours and it would not be astonishing if that were the case in health also. We urgently need research to unpack these issues or else policy inexperience risks being blended with theological guesses to put our Bishops at risk and our public positions on health in the dock of credibility. Would this be just another research report? No, it would be a platform from which we can learn again who we truly are and plan to be truly heard. It would also be real ammunition in the ongoing defence of our right to provide funded Chaplaincy.
What is more is that in this combination of fresh theological questioning and focused empirical research, alongside a richer understanding of health, we may also come to recognise a new opportunity that is upon us in the coming months.
The Secretary of State for Health has announced that from April 2007 she will create a significant venture fund to pump prime the creation of new social enterprises in the health sector. PCT’s have additionally been charged with making this form of “independent sector” provider a key feature of the new NHS settlement and they now have a new DOH Social Enterprise Unit to help them in this task. Could we not give legs to our values by founding new social enterprise hospitals ? Might we provide institutional embodiment for our theological passion by supporting Christian doctors, nurses and social care workers that want to take part of the NHS – such as Community Services in a particular county – and establish them as bodies with deep motivation, flexibility of client encounter and inspirational practice? Could the Bishops call on Christian health workers to put their deeds where their complaints have been? Globally there are three Catholic hospitals and more than 5 social care organisations for each Bishop. This is a moment in the UK when our ideas could have similar consequences – albeit more demanding ones than just waving theological wishful thinking in the air and launching another publication and conference round.
Such a call though needs a fresh inspiration, a new leadership. In a recent book Fr Timothy Radcliffe recounts the Talmudic legend of Nachson Ben Amidinadabab(sp). The Israalites fled to the banks of the Red Sea only to find themselves caught between the oncoming Egyptians and the depths of the ocean. In this version Moses was flummoxed, pacing with uncertainty from pillar to post. As he did so a young lad, Nachson, took a tentative first step out into the water. The waves leapt to the side clearing a path through which God’s chosen people could flee.
All these years later we could be forgiven for thinking that the version of this event which has Moses as the hero was just another example of senior management taking the credit for frontline innovation and risk taking. More profoundly we can own that it is in taking the first step that inspirational leadership is formed.
The present time may be one of crucifixion. We may still long for a realm of comfort that eludes us. But if we are to praise, to bless to preach in new ways, to make whole what has been broken in health and give birth to fresh talk, care and institutions we must take the first step. This is the authority given to us by baptism. It is the passion of our faith. It could inspire a Catholic dimension to health in our times. Because crucifixion has never been more than only three days from the empty tomb.
Francis Davis is Director of the Centre for Faith In Society at the Von Hugel Institute, Cambridge and Chair of SCA Health and Social Care - an Observer/DTI social enterprise of the year. This article is based on a talk to the Bristol Guild of Catholic Doctors hosted by Bishop Declan Lang. The keynote speakers at the very happy event were Archbishop Peter Smith and Jim McManus.
The Future – Jacqui Hall
There are a number of events to look forward to:
There is the World Day of the Sick on 11 February. This special Day instigated at the request of Pope John Paul II, will be held in Seoul this coming year. In the meantime wouldn’t it be good if all Catholic Nurses could celebrate this day and send in a resume to be submitted to the journal?
The 12th May is International Nurses Day so we could all make an effort to celebrate this day too.
And not least our Annual Pilgrimage to Walsingham which will be held on the 12 and 13 June 2007.
Those wanting to attend the CICIAMS World Council Meeting 10-14 March 2007 need to wait for confirmation as the suggestion is that it will be held in Freiburg Germany- watch this space!.
I hope all our members are blessed with a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year and I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.