Dear CMA Members and Friends,

Give thanks for 2020!

What? Are you kidding me? Last year was probably the worst on record! We experienced a global pandemic, social unrest due to racial tension, and a presidential election rift with political turmoil. How can you ask me to give thanks?

All these things are real. However, for the Catholic Medical Association, it was also a time of joining together in faith to recognize the importance of the Social Doctrine of the Church to overcome racial division, educate the public on COVID-19, and help our neighbors cope with the challenges of the year 2020. This new year brings new challenges and new opportunities to advocate for change that unites; to educate our members and the public on a Catholic response to healthcare issues; and to serve our neighbors in need.

This issue of The Pulse of the Catholic Medicine highlights our new ad hoc Committee’s efforts on Catholic Social Teaching and Justice in Medicine. The committee aims to educate medical professionals and administrators about the Social Doctrine of the Church. They will advise the organization on areas to advocate for changes to policies, systems or procedures that fundamentally go against the dignity of the human person and disadvantage any socioeconomic groups. They will also recommend projects for guilds that address disparities in health care delivery. This call to serve is vital to our Catholic identity.

Further, this issue of The Pulse highlights the Global Strategic Operatives for the Eradication of Human Trafficking, GSO. At our most recent meeting, the Board approved support to encourage guilds and members to promote the GSO’s human trafficking training. The organization desires to gain access to healthcare organizations to establish programs that recognize and treat victims of human trafficking. There is an urgency to address this issue at the local, national and global levels.

Lastly, as an organization, we must take what we profess and translate it into service. Our light must “shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). The CMA Board recognizes this truth and has dedicated the month of October as a month of service.

At the time of the Annual Educational Conference, the Board will participate in a service project for the people of Orlando. I encourage all guilds to take part in a unique project that addresses human needs during this difficult time.

During a period of great persecution, the Catholic faith converted the Roman Empire by witnessing charity and love. We, too, can effect significant social change through our commitment to serving.

CMA members must be active agents of change in medicine and society, serve our neighbors in their needs and pray for unity in our communities and world. Only when we recognize each individual as made “in His image and likeness,” will true peace be achieved.

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (Thessalonians 5:18).

That means even for the year 2020.

I look forward, in hope, to what we can achieve in 2021!


Michael S. Parker, M.D.