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!

White Mass Rescheduled

When the Guild Board planned the 2017-18 calendar, we had thought to schedule our White Mass for this Fall. We even made some initial announcements that the White Mass would be scheduled for Saturday, October 28 at St Anne’s Church. Since then, we have been busy planning a day long conference on Health Care issues of concern to the Catholic community scheduled for May 5, 2018. The Board has rescheduled the White Mass for that afternoon, and therefore the White Mass will NOT take place this upcoming Saturday. We hope to celebrate this most important Mass with you next Spring, instead.

My apologies for any confusion in this regard.

Richard Seeger, M.D.
President
Finger Lakes Guild

An evening of sharing and reflection on medical missions

Thursday, 25 May 2017
7-8:30 PM
St. Bernard’s School of Theology
120 French Rd, Rochester, NY 14618

Speaker Panel:
Father Robert Ring, Chaplain, Finger Lakes Guild
Ellen Dailor, MD, Vice President, Finger Lakes Guild
Richard Seeger, MD, President, Finger Lakes Guild

Students and residents are especially welcome!

Refreshments and reception will follow the talk.
This event is free of charge.

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