Dear CMA Members and Friends,

One of my favorite quotations is this one from St. Teresa of Avila:

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

St. Teresa, in her wisdom, highlights for us that while life is full of countless changes, God is always the same. He is our Eternal Rock. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever and is with us until the end of time. Whether in our own personal lives, the history of the Church, or the happenings of an organization like the CMA, we face the vicissitudes of time. Yet, Our Lord is always there as our sure foundation to see us through.

What tremendous changes we have faced this year in our day-to-day lives, in the practice of medicine, and the life of the Church because of the COVID-19 pandemic! How different the CMA’s Annual Educational Conference was this year — a hybrid of in-person and on-line attendees. I want to take this opportunity to commend the conference Chair Dr. Craig Treptow and the board, along with Executive Director Mario Dickerson and the office staff for doing a fantastic job in the face of the challenges and obstacles COVID presented. Through God’s grace we are all making it through this challenging time and He remains as the source of our strength and confidence to deal with all that we face.

Another change on the horizon is that, at the transition of the new year, I will be finishing my time of service as the national chaplain for the CMA. I have very much enjoyed serving in this capacity for almost ten years. It has been a privilege to serve the board and the members of the CMA.

These past ten years have seen various changes, especially the growth of the CMA to more than 100 guilds and a board and committee structure that seeks to better serve our membership. There have been so many excellent educational conferences during this time and it has been my pleasure at these to offer Mass and to meet our members from across the United States and even from other countries. I have always been so enriched and inspired to witness your love for your Catholic faith and your courage and commitment in living out the vocation, mission, and practice of medicine in steadfast faithfulness to the teachings of the Church. How blessed I have been to serve in collaboration with Bishops Vasa and Conley as our episcopal advisers during my tenure as national chaplain. I cannot thank you enough for honoring me with the presentation of the spiritual bouquet of prayers during the closing dinner at the conference. It has been a wonderful, blessed, and grace-filled ten years that I will always fondly treasure in my ministry as a priest. Of course, I will still be involved with the CMA as the chaplain for the Omaha Guild and will be involved with the establishment of the CMA State Associations of Nebraska.

As many of you already know, Father Christopher Kubat from the Diocese of Lincoln will be succeeding me as the national chaplain. I know him personally and I am so pleased that the board, in consultation with Bishops Vasa and Conley, have chosen him. We don’t know what changes and challenges will be on the horizon regarding the practice of medicine, religious liberty and the right of conscience in the coming months and years, as much depends on who will have governing power at both the national and state levels after the elections. But I believe that, in God’s Providence, Fr. Kubat, being a dedicated and faithful priest as well as a physician, will be a most wise and qualified national chaplain for the CMA during these times.

Know that all of you will remain in my prayers and that, as my priestly ministry allows and God wills, I will see you at the Annual Educational Conference next year.

God bless you,

Fr. Gutowski