President’s Note

Being the first day of a new year, it is natural to reflect on the events of the past year and consider what the upcoming year may bring. The Guild certainly had an active 2017! We sponsored two evening presentations at St Bernard’s, discussing Medical Missions in May and a Catholic perspective on Physician Assisted Suicide in September. Both events were well attended and most successful. We cosponsored Peter Colosi’s talk on Euthanasia in August as well.  Our annual summer Soiree was a most pleasant evening marked by beautiful weather and gracious company. I especially enjoyed being able to introduce our Guild to Physicians, Nurses and Healthcare workers who were not previously aware of our presence in the community.

As you may know, the Guild is a Chartered member of the Catholic Medical Association. The CMA is a national organization that attends to a myriad of concerns on a wider scale than any local Guild could possibly achieve. The CMA sponsors a Mid Year Forum that is focused on building stronger Guilds. I was able to attend this meeting for a second year in a row, and continue to find it a valuable investment of time. The main event of the CMA is their annual meeting, this year held in Denver. The theme was “Medicine at the Service of Marriage and the Family”. The topics addressed were wide ranging, from the Truth of the Human Person to avoiding Burnout to NFP to Bioethics to the Cultivation of a Healthy Society, among scores of other presentations. Fellow Board members Jean Parker and Angela Maupin were able to attend as well and we were able to network with many other Guild and CMA members from thoughout New York State. A highlight during the conference was the announcement that the New York Appellate Court unanimously rejected the argument that PAS is a constitutional right.

Our Guild is always looking to grow in membership and increase it’s visibility in our area.  Our intent is to make our evening programs of interest to our Catholic community, as well as the community at large. We reach out to our Medical Students and Residents, as well as other health care students, to inform them of our presence and serve as a resource to them on their personal and professional journeys. We hope to sponsor a Physician in training to attend the CMA’s Boot Camp this upcoming summer. We have sponsored tables at the Rochester Men’s and Women’s Conferences to introduce ourselves to those audiences.

Our Board is active and committed in the pursuit of making the Guild relevant to our community. I am sorry to say that our Vice President, Ellen Dailor, M.D.. will be leaving the Rochester area for a new position in Florida. We will miss her greatly. I am thrilled, however, to welcome four new members to our Board in the near future. Drs. Angela Maupin, Thomas Carroll and Bryan Stanistreet and Sue Moncynski, RN will bring a healthy, young energy to the Board, which we will all appreciate.

Looking ahead to 2018, I am excited to announce that the Finger Lakes Guild, together with the Buffalo and Syracuse Guilds, will be sponsoring a day long conference entitled “Catholic Perspectives on Modern Day Health Care” this May 5, 2018. We have an outstanding schedule of speakers, including Wesley Smith J.D., Anne Nolte, M.D., Father Robert McTeigue, S.J., PhD., and Thomas Carroll, M.D. The event will take place at the RIT Inn and Conference Center and will include celebration of the White Mass. Please be sure to mark this on your calendar today and look for further information on our Website in the upcoming months.

It has been a privilege to be involved with the Finger Lakes Guild and I look forward to working with you as we undertake new endeavors this upcoming year. For your part, I would ask you to stay involved. Join the Guild (see our website to access the 2018 membership form). Come to our events. Talk to a colleague or student about us. Invite them to join the Guild and attend one of our events with you. And by all means, join us in prayer that the Guild will continue to grow and be successful in all it’s endeavors!

Medical Student and Resident Bootcamp

Are you a Medical Student or Resident looking to deepen your understanding of how your Catholic Faith can guide you in your personal and professional journey as a Physician? Do you wonder how to respond to the challenges extended by your colleagues when the subject of the sanctity of human life is broached?

If so, perhaps we should ship you off to Boot Camp! No, we are not referring to a months long endless program of pushups and 10 mile long runs wearing a 40 pound backpack. We are referring to a one week long program sponsored by the Catholic Medical Association.

The goals are to assist Catholic medical students to:

    1. More fully live and understand the Catholic faith and moral tradition in order to thrive as faithful Catholic physicians.
    2. Develop skills to help organize Catholic support groups within medical schools and residency programs.
    3. Evangelize Catholics and non-Catholics encountered throughout medical training.

The 2018 Boot Camp is scheduled for June 18-24 in Mundelein, Illinois. The Finger Lakes Guild will be proud to sponsor a Medical Student or Resident, so there will be no cost to attend.

Check out more about the Boot Camp by visiting the website of the CMA at Cathmed.org. If you are interested, be sure to contact the Guild. You may use this contact form:

Boot Camp. A great chance to get into awesome (spiritual) conditioning!

Catholic Women Physicians’ Retreat

The registration for the Catholic Women Physicians Retreat of March 2017 is now open! Attached please find the registration form, which you can print off and mail in, or complete on-line and send by email.

This is our SIXTH annual retreat, and I am very excited about having Father James Brent, OP, as our retreat master. He is planning an outstanding retreat for you. Father’s retreat will have a focus on Our Lady, and how with her help we can grow in closer union to her Son, and so live out our call to holiness in the world.

This couldn’t be more perfect for Catholic women physicians — in practice or retired! And the days of the retreat are in Lent, but include the Solemnity of the Annunciation. The Lord has thought of everything!

And so now He is thinking about having you join Him…..

The registration fee is $280. If you are a resident, and need some financial help, let me know and we can help. And we will also include second-semester fourth-year medical students (if you know of any!).

Please arrive at Bethany between 1:30 and 4:00 pm on Thursday, March 23 (so flights to Nashville should arrive no later than 3:00 pm). On Sunday, March 26, please plan for flights at 3:30 pm or later.

We will of course have adoration and silence as well as fellowship and great food.

In case you didn’t see it, I’m attaching Kathy Raviele’s article from “The Pulse” about the retreat.

We will take registrations on a first-come basis. We have 42 rooms available, 16 of those with private bathrooms.
I am looking forward to seeing familiar faces as well as new retreatants (who have been asking about when the next retreat would be!).

God bless you.

Sister Mary Diana Dreger, OP, MD

2017 CWP registration form

CWP Retreat Pulse Article

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.

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.