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Association of Catholic Nurses for England and Wales


Newsletter Number 2.  September 2007

 Welcome to our quarterly newsletter aimed at keeping you informed of the activities and issues within the Association of Catholic Nurses.

This year is our 110th anniversary. Please pray for our continued success


Dates of Interest


Our Annual General Meeting takes place on 3 November 07 at St Vincent Centre, London. The Executive meeting takes place prior to the AGM at 10.00 followed by the AGM at 11.00. Everyone is welcome to attend, please bring a packed lunch.  There will be a speaker in the afternoon and the day will close at 16.00. At this meeting we will also be installing our new executive officers for a three year term of service.


On 25th October there is to be a seminar on “Assisted Reproduction-Regulation with Compassion” in London. If you are interested in attending information can be found on our website.



Mental Capacity Act 2005


The Mental Capacity Act 2005 has been implemented in two stages this year. The first stage was introduced in April and the final stage of the Act comes into effect this October. Concerns still exist about possible abuses of the Act through exploitation of what friends or relatives deem to be in the interest of the client. The  Department of Health  has produced a summary of the Act for easier reading  available in PDF format on


  Joffe Bill

We have had a letter from Peter Saunders , campaign director for the Care not Killing Alliance thanking the Association for its support with the petition against the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill bill (the Joffe Bill). There were 102,000 signatures presented to 10 Downing Street, and as you are aware the Bill was overwhelmingly defeated in the House of Lords




Dowry of Mary Pilgrimage 2007. Please see attached sheet for the report on this special day from our representative Adrian.


Our pilgrimage to Walsingham 2008 takes place on 10-11 June. More news to follow in January


Prayer Book

Prayer for us to share:

“A Philippine Nurses Prayer”


As I care for my patients today be there with me O Lord I pray. Make my words kind, it means so much, and in my hands place Your healing touch. Let Your love shine through all I do, so those in need may feel and touch You.

Philippine nurses in Tonbridge Wells

Copies of our prayer book are available cost £2.50


The Assocation of Catholic Nurses England and Wales is assisting with the development of the  CICIAMS international website .





The Association of Catholic Nurses of England and Wales.


Sello with Jacqui in Hong Kong)




2          Editorial                                                  Jacqui Hall

3          President’s Report                                  Jacqui Hall

4          CICIAMS Elections.                               Jacqui Hall

5          Catholics in Health Care                      Jacqui Hall/Cardinal Lazano Barrigan

6          Dates for the diary                                    Jacqui Hall

6          Remembering Past Nurses                        Nora McCarthy  

7          The Future of Catholics in Health Care.      Jim McManus

9          The Care Not Killing Campaign                  Jacqui Hall



Jacqui Hall


In this edition of the Catholic Nurse Journal we have been privileged to have representatives in London, at the Catholics in Health Care Seminar, and also in Frieburg for the CICIAMS General Council meeting.


In Frieburg we not only had the CICIAMS International General Council Meeting but attended a study day on Ethics, where I was invited to lead one of the groups.


A short excerpt from a lecture by Jim McManus on The Future of Catholics in Health Care is included in the Journal to give us some thoughts an models for Vocation to Healthcare Ministries.


The “Care Not Killing” campaign has proved to be successful in defeating the Joffe Bill for now. We hope we can influence other aspects of social conscience. 


President’s Report

Summer 2007

Dear Members,

This year we are celebrating our 110th Anniversary of the Association of Catholic Nurses of England and Wales. It would be a great achievement if we can make this a happy event by celebrating Mass in London with some honoured guests. We are looking for support to mark the occasion when we meet at our AGM this year on Saturday 3 November 2007. Please come and join us and make it an enjoyable moment of history for the Association.


Nora McCarthy and I attended the meeting in Freiburg for the CICIAMS General Council Meeting. The election of the Executive Board was the main concern and while most of the Executive Board were nominated and elected, the President’s

Position had to wait for a postal vote due to a delay in the approval of the nominations from the Secretary of State at the Vatican. We have now been notified of the new International President, there were two possible nominees, Marylee Meehan

from the USA and Sello Komerang


from English Speaking South Africa.

The new CICIAMS International President is Mrs Marylee Meehan.

Our AGM last year held in St Vincent’s Convent gave us an opportunity to enjoy a talk from Gregg Watts who was encouraging us to promote the Association of Catholic Nurses of England and Wales. Through the constant work produced by Mary Farnan, I believe we have made a huge impression on the Catholic Nurses and the presence of the Association as a useful vehicle for Catholic Nurses. The web site is truly commendable and has been acknowledged as a very good means of communication from a variety of sources. The Questionnaire we have on the web has been particularly useful in allowing people to comment on what they look for in the organisation and how they would like us to proceed. Hits have been from around the world so not only from England and Wales.

Aux.Bishop Tom Williams has also been honoured by Cardinal Barrigan for his work on the Health Care Reference Group.(See front cover picture). The Catholics in Healthcare third annual seminar, was held at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London on 28 July 2007. We were honoured to have Cardinal Lozano Barrigan who gave the keynote speech.

Nora McCarthy and I represented the Association and were privileged to talk to his Eminence. This seminar looked at “Celebrating Our Calling” and reviewed our Catholic Education, the Role of Hospital Chaplains, multidisciplinary networking among Healthcare Practitioners and highlighted the importance of a deeper understanding of the theology and spirituality of healthcare.

The publication “Caring for the Catholic Patient” has been produced by the Health Care Reference Group and published by the  CTS, it gives guidance for people caring for Catholic patients, which will be useful to all Nurses.

Mr Adrian Ing is representing us at the Dowry of Mary Pilgrimage, in Walsingham, which is held on 9 September 2007.

Our Catholic Nurses Prayer book has continued to be a huge success and the praise for this must go to all those who contributed to it and helped Christine Bentley make it a reality. I hope you all like it.

Love and God Bless to all who contribute so much to the work of the Association of Catholic Nurses.


Jacqueline Hall

President of Association of Catholic Nurses, of England and Wales.


CICIAMS Elections

Jacqui Hall

The CICIAMS elections have been subject to a little delay this year as there appeared to be a late response between the General Secretariat of CICIAMS and the Secretary of State at the Vatican, regarding approval of the nominations for the International President’s position. Despite this, there were finally two nominations that were given approval, Mrs Marylee Meehan from the USA, and Mr Sello Komerang from the English speaking South Africa. Voting has now been established as a postal vote and the results show that Mrs Marylee Meehan is our new CICIAMS International President. Seen here at our 25th Anniversary Pilgrimage to Walsingham.


 Miss Geraldine McSweeney  from Dublin, has been voted as the General Secretary of CICIAMS.

Many congratulations to all the new appointments We wish them success in their new positions.

Catholics in Health Care

Jacqui Hall

The new publications Caring for the Catholic Patient” and A Guide to Catholic Chaplaincy for NHS Managers and Trusts “, have proved to be a very valuable resource. We were privileged to have a number of platforms to promote these publications which were produced by the Health Care Reference Group appointed by the Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales, in which we are represented by Jacqui Hall who is a member of the group.




 Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán
President of the Pontifical Council
for Health Pastoral Care

Cardinal Lazano Barrigan was present at the “Catholics in Health Care Seminar” in London, where he held a keynote speech on Catholics in Health Care. He joined in with the group workshops and contributed to the thoughts and experiences of the group discussing “Spirituality in Health Care”.

Caring for the Catholic Patient, provides tools and guides to help the NHS provide emotional, spiritual, psychological and religious care to staff and patients as effectively as possible. Used well, these guides will ensure that Catholic NHS staff and patients are effectively cared for within the NHS equality and diversity framework, and spiritual care strategy.

Meeting the Pastoral Needs of Catholic Patients:  This pocket size guide is aimed at ensuring NHS staff finds a simple, accessibly written guide to the specific care needs of Catholic patients. It provides guidance on key issues from caring for Catholic inpatients to care of the dying and care of the person and their loved ones after death.

A Guide to Catholic Chaplaincy for NHS Managers and Trusts:  This good practice guide is aimed at Trust Managers and provides practical advice and guidance on how to get the best from Catholic chaplaincy and chaplains, and how to ensure Clinical Governance frameworks are effectively applied. It provides competency frameworks linked to the NHS KSF, as well as tools for busy NHS Trusts to use to ensure Catholic Chaplaincy in the NHS is effective.

The publications have been peer reviewed by serving NHS personnel and experts in their field, and have been publicly endorsed by Professor Carol Cox, Dean of Nursing at St Bartholomew’s School of Nursing, City University and Chris Butler, Chief Executive of Leeds Mental Health NHS Trust.

Dates for the Diary:

13 September 2007 Health Care Reference Group Meeting, London.

3 November 2007 AGM (110th Anniversary of Catholic Nurses Guild),

St Vincent’s Centre, London.

In Memory of


Marie Hession

It is with great sadness that we are informed of the death of one of our longest and most loved members  Marie Hession. Marie possessed both a great strength of character and a sense of humour  Marie was most   well known for her years as matron at Birmingham Women’s Hospital and as founder member and active fundraiser to St Mary’s Hospice Birmingham . Many members paid tribute to Marie for her long standing devotion to the Catholic Nurses Guild.

Also remember Marjorie Whitfield Rickard. RIP.

Marjorie was born on 4th May 1918 in Finchley, North London. She was the eldest of 4 children. She was educated at the convent of Marie Auxilatrice in Finchley, a French order of nuns. Sadly the Convent closed many years ago; the site now embraces the Sternberg Centre for Judaism, and a Catholic Primary School.

After her general education arjorie attended Clarks College for shorthand and typing, following which she worked for the Crusade of Rescue in the Diocese of Westminster and then for Finchley Council.

Eventually Marjorie felt that her true vocation might lie in nursing. Accordingly she began nurse training at Finchley Memorial Hospital and later at Ashford Hospital, Kent, where, in August 1951 she obtained her SRN status. 

Marjorie then spent several years nursing in Australia. While there she felt drawn towards midwifery and enrolled for a year’s course of training at the King Edward Memorial Hospital for Women in Perth, gaining her midwifery certificate in 1956. She continued as a midwife until her retirement. On returning to England she worked in a number of hospitals, including a long spell in the Monroe Devis Maternity Hospital in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Marjorie was a very dedicated  member of the Catholic Nurses Guild (now known as the Association of Catholic Nurses). Being a Catholic Nurse was something she was very proud of. She would attend all conferences and be one of the first to arrive. She loved to chat to friends she knew over the years. She continued attending until 1995 when her health deteriorated and she could no longer cope with the travelling. She spoke very fondly of her mums and babies, many of whom kept in touch over the years.

When she could no longer join us for meetings she loved to receive her journal. I know she read it right through and would write to say how much pleasure it gave her. She felt close to nurses who were still struggling with conflicts of conscience and religion. She would always remember nurses in her prayers.

In her retirement Marjorie lived in a small flat in Barnet. When her health deteriorated she was fortunate in being able to attend Mass, being picked up by her friends in the Parish and returned home again. As her health deteriorated further she was not able to get out, but those same friends were able to take her Holy Communion. She had a number of falls which necessitated her being hospitalised on several occasions. Despite this, she was adamant that she wished to stay in her own home as long as possible.

Marjorie died on March20th 2007 in her 89th year. Requiem Mass was at Barnet followed by cremation at Hendon Crematorium. Please remember her in your prayers and also her sister Joan and brother John and his family.


Nora McCarthy.




The Future of Catholics in Health care.

A Model for Vocation to Healthcare Ministries

Jim McManus

Assistant Director of Health Improvement,

Barking & Dagenham Primary Care Trust

Member, Healthcare Reference Group

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales


We often speak about Healthcare ministry as if it meant Chaplaincy. And while Chaplaincy is included within this, our model needs to be much wider than that.  Healthcare ministry is lived out, in the UK, in a variety of different settings:


·         It is lived out by NHS staff working in the NHS, doing their role, but with varying approaches to spirituality being acceptable for public expression.

·         It is lived out by the parish community. In our area we are trying to get “Faith Health Champions” off the ground, and recently through the mosque we trained people to reflect on health from within their faith. We picked up 9 hitherto undiagnosed cases of Type 2 diabetes in women early enough to intervene and reduce their risk of heart disease and complications. Think what we could do in parishes, and how we could build mental wellbeing through them.

·         It is lived out in Chaplaincy. At the moment, because of policy changes, Chaplaincy is where we have some major threats – and opportunities – and so a lot of work has been done. More about this later.

·         It is lived out through Christian Health services (CHS, not NHS) like St John of God, the Little Sisters of the Poor and the homeless primary care service here in Bristol run by your own Guild Chairman.

All of hese are vocations, all of them show different charisms. The charism of the dentist or occupational therapist, the charism of the physician or surgeon, the charism of the nursing religious.


So what are the models for our vocations?  Well, I suggest there are at least two, and that these two are really complementary.  The first is provided by the Healthcare Workers’ Charter, a document from the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care.  This document speaks profoundly of living out our vocation to healthcare and our participation in the work of Christ in doing so. 

…the ealthcare worker is “the minister of that God who in Scripture is presented as ‘a lover of life’ (Wisdom 11:26). To serve life is to serve God in the person: it is to become “a collaborator with God in restoring health to the sick body” and to give praise and glory to God in the loving acceptance of life, especially if it is weak and ill.

The therapeutic ministry of healthcare workers is a sharing in the pastoral and evangelizing work of the Church. Service to life becomes a ministry of salvation that is, a message that implements the redeeming love of Christ. Doctors, nurses, other healthcare workers, and voluntary assistants are called to be the living image of Christ and of his Church in loving the sick and the suffering”: witnesses to “the gospel of life”.[i]

Healing – spiritual, physical and psychological – has always been central to the mission of the Church. Healthcare workers of all kinds and charisms contribute their gifts to making this happen. As St Paul says, “there are many kinds of gifts, but the same spirit.” See what you do as a charism, a gift, to play your part in the healing mission of the Church.

The second model, which I think is entirely complementary to the first, derives from our baptism.  Our vocation to work for the health of others comes from our baptism into Christ and into the people of God. This is then sustained by the sacramental life of the Church – especially Eucharist and Confirmation – and expressed in our participation in bringing about God’s Kingdom. Our diverse charisms and ministries arising from these are all signs of the Body of Christ at work (back to Lumen Gentium again.)

None of these models minimise the fact that modern healthcare is a difficult, and even hostile place to be a person of faith. It is supremely ironic that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommends the importance of spiritual care in guidance on palliative care for cancer patients, just at a time when spirituality is becoming a dirty word in many workplaces in the NHS.

[i] Pontifical Commission for Health Pastoral Care (1995) Charter for Healthcare Workers. Rome: Pontifical Commission for Health Pastoral Care.


The Care Not Killing Campaign resulted in this letter sent to me recently:

Dear Jacqueline
I’m writing to thank you for supporting the Care Not Killing Alliance last year by signing our petition against the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill (the Joffe Bill). Your signature was one of 102,000 presented to 10 Downing Street on 12 May 2006, the day the Bill was overwhelmingly defeated in the House of Lords.

Those who wish to legalise assisted suicide, however, have been actively campaigning and fundraising in preparation for a new attempt to change the law and we expect a new Assisted Dying Bill in Parlament this autumn.

Care not Killing played a major role in overturning the Joffe Bill last year and now brings together over 45 organisations and thousands of individuals in order to promote palliative care throughout the UK and oppose moves to legalise euthanasia and physician assisted suicide.

Our monthly eNewsletters will keep you up to date with events in Parliament and inform and equip you. You can read  past eNewsletters on our website and the September edition will be out soon. 

If you are not yet a member of CNK but would like to join and/or support us financially, again there are details on the website. Thanking you again for your support last year.

Peter Saunders
Campaign Director
Care Not Killing