2016 White Mass

A number of members of the Finger Lakes Guild were able to attend the White Mass celebrated this past October in Washington, D.C. during the annual meeting of the Catholic Medical Association (do you recognize anyone in the front row?). The Mass was celebrated at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, the largest Church in North America. This magnificent celebration was magnified by the incredibly beautiful surroundings and music. Our hearts were collectively stirred as we celebrated the Eucharist together with so many of our dedicated, Catholic colleagues.

In turn, the Finger Lakes Guild sponsored the White Mass here in Rochester in early November. Bishop Matano celebrated Mass for the some 100 people in attendance. His Homily was direct and most inspiring, recognizing the challenging culture we live and work in, yet supporting us in our moral endeavors. The Bishop also gave a special blessing for the new officers.  The White Mass was followed by a pleasant brunch reception. We were thrilled that Bishop Matano and Father White were able to spend so much time with us relaxing and enjoying the delicious food. It was especially appreciated that so many medical students and residents were able to attend as well.

A special thanks to the St. Anne community for hosting us in their beautiful Church, with such excellent music, and allowing us to have access to their reception hall. Let me recognize Jann Armantrout, in particular, for her invaluable assistance in planning and running this special event.

2nd Annual Diocese of Rochester Catholic Men’s Conference

The Finger Lakes Guild was pleased to be an exhibitor at the 2nd Annual Diocese of Rochester Catholic Men’s Conference on October 1, 2016. We received many visitors that day, including Residents and Fellows of the University of Rochester Medical Center as well as Physician Assistants and other Health Care practitioners. They were all interested to learn of the Guild’s presence in our community and expressed interest in becoming active members. The Conference was a dynamic event attended by some 600 men. The Guild was proud to be a supporter of such an uplifting event. Look for us at the upcoming Diocese of Rochester Catholic Women’s Conference in Spring 2017!

FLG Table
Finger Lakes Guild president Richard Seeger, M.D. at the 2nd Annual Diocese of Rochester Catholic Men’s Conference

President’s Update – September 2016

Finger Lakes Guild has seen some significant transition this summer, with several Board Officers retiring and new ones replacing them in positions of leadership. May I yet again thank Drs. Speach, Murphy and Dalton for their years of dedicated service and welcome Drs. Dailor and Martin as they assume their new roles. For my part, I am honored to serve and hope to be able to lead our beloved Guild forward to continued success.

We have already had our first Board meeting this past month, with an active agenda and meaningful discussions. Please note that we will have our annual White Mass this November 5th at 9:30 am at St. Anne’s Church. We are thrilled that, once again, Bishop Matano will celebrate Mass. We will have a brunch reception to follow. Make sure to enter this event in your calendar! More information will follow as we press ahead with our planning. Don’t be shy about inviting family and other members of the Health Professions to attend!

As we look forward to the coming year, we can see two major priorities for the Guild. The first priority is helping our members to grow in their Faith. Coming together as a community, we can encourage each other in our journey to come closer to God. In addition to the White Mass, we look forward to sponsoring a Retreat this coming Lent. We recognize that our endeavors, both personal and professional, are hollow unless they are centered in Christ. The second priority is to help witness our values to the community. Conscience protection is a critical need for those who do not agree with modern mores, which attack the value of the human person. Physician assisted suicide is being actively promoted in our Legislature. As concerned health care workers, we can help inform our elected officials and fellow citizens of the fallacies of such an approach in dealing with human suffering.

Many members of the Board will be in Washington, D.C. next month for the annual meeting of the Catholic Medical Association. The theme is Virtuous Medicine and among the many highlights are a presentation by George Weigel and the keynote address on The New Evangelization by Ralph Martin. The CMA remains a tremendous resource for us all, promoting our Catholic values on a national level and disseminating information to all 100 local Guilds.

For the first time, the Finger Lakes Guild is instituting a modest dues structure. The CMA has ceased turning over some of national dues to the membership’s local Guilds. As such, we need to seek financial resources to fund our activities. Dues are $50 for Physicians, $25 for Allied Health practitioners and $15 for Residents. There is no charge for Clergy or medical students.

The Finger Lakes Guild remains an active, vital and relevant organization. I hope you find this update informative. Look for regular updates and be sure to visit our website at www.fingerlakescma.org.

Richard Seeger, M.D.
President, Finger Lakes Guild

2016 White Mass

– Date: Saturday, November 5 at 9:30 am
– Location: St Anne Church, 1600 Mt. Hope Avenue
– Celebrant: The Most Reverend Salvatore Matano, Bishop of Rochester

– Open to all physicians, health care workers and their families. Medical students and residents are especially welcome. Brunch reception to follow.

2016 Mid Year meeting of the CMA

I was privileged to be able to attend the 2016 Mid Year meeting of the Catholic Medical Association last month in Mundelein, Illinois. A full schedule of meetings, daily Mass and social gatherings made the 3 days pass quite quickly.

A major focus of the meeting was developing the communication skills of those in attendance. Workshops were offered in public speaking and web site development. Other speakers modeled optimal interaction with political leadership. We heard several presentations from successful Guild chapters, demonstrating strategies to grow a healthy Guild chapter at home. Sr. Mary Diana Dreger, OP, MD gave an excellent talk entitled, “Conscience: At the End of the Day”, which explored the practice of Medicine as a moral endeavor.

Our Chaplain, Father Matthew Gutowski was in attendance throughout, saying daily Mass and offering evening spiritual reflections. Participating in such a faith filled environment was a great comfort.

Meals and session breaks provided opportunities to get to know the other members of the CMA from around the country. I was especially pleased to meet the current Presidents of the Buffalo and Syracuse Guilds. There is potential to work together on issues affecting our State and even cosponsored events. On Saturday evening we saw a screening of a new documentary, “Hush”, which explored the strong connection between pregnancy termination and breast cancer. It was an enlightening film, and remarkable as it was written by a pro-choice individual.

The CMA is holding their annual meeting this October in Washington, D.C. I know many of our local Guild members will be in attendance. Perhaps you can break away for a few days to attend as well. I am confident you will find it to be most rewarding.

Summer Soirée 2016

A warm summer’s evening several weeks ago greeted those who attended the summer soirée of the Finger Lakes Guild. Hosted by retiring Guild President, Dr. Elissa Speach, and her husband, David, some 50 people enjoyed the pleasant outdoor setting at their home. While all enjoyed the warm breezes and delightful foods, a shared sense of values and purpose was the main attraction of the event. We were delighted that Bishop Salvatore Matano was in attendance, and true to form, he shared his counsel and support of our Catholic mission in this most troubled world. Many other clergy were in attendance, as well, demonstrating the Diocese’s commitment to our Guild. Dr. Speech expressed her appreciation for the service and dedication of the other retiring Guild officers, namely Dr. Phil Murphy (Vice President) and Dr. Karen Dalton (Treasurer). In turn, incoming President Dr. Rick Seeger recognized all of our retiring Officers and introduced our new Vice President, Dr. Ellen Dailor and Treasurer, Dr. Mike Martin. Jean Parker will continue as Secretary, pending a new candidate for that position.

The evening marked a period of transition in leadership, though such a transition is a sign of a healthy and vital organization. Dr. Seeger called on those in attendance to continue to be a witness to the Truth, which our secular society frequently fails to recognize. He encouraged all our Members to remain active in the Guild in whatever manner they are called. The Mission of the Finger Lakes Guild is wide ranging, rising out of our cherished shared Faith. Let us continue to support each other as we labor in the vineyard!  – see photos here –

Rochester Catholic Women’s Conference

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Love One Another
Saturday, March 12, 2016
Aquinas Institute, Rochester, NY
Doors open at 7 AM, Mass at 8

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