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FIRE Committee's Embers

Embers February Newsletter

February 6, 2024

The FIRE committee suggests the theme Courage to Recognize the Image of God for this month. As physicians and health care professionals, we may bring our preconceived notions and biases about patients to the bedside, often as a diagnosis such as “gunshot wound to the abdomen” or “single mother” or “cocaine addict” or “illegal immigrant”. However, we are called to see Jesus in every patient we encounter and recognize that God has put that person in our care for a reason.

St. Valentine’s Day corresponds with Ash Wednesday (Feb. 14) this year, so as Catholics we should celebrate on Shrove Tuesday. It will probably be easier to get a seat in a restaurant! Ash Wednesday is not a holy day, but many flock to Mass that day to receive ashes on the forehead. It is a day of strict fasting and abstinence from meat. The use of ashes to demonstrate repentance dates back to the Old Testament as seen here.

Lent is a time for prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Perhaps this guide by the Dominican Sisters of Nashville will help you with prayer. We suggest giving up attachments such as electronic devices, social media, television or alcohol. Consider giving up entertaining negative thoughts and complaining, too!

The World Day of the Sick and the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes are on February 11.

This month’s Thomistic Institute short video in its Aquinas 101 series is The Real Distinction.

CMA Virtual Prayer Group will meet Saturday, Feb. 10 at 2:00 PM EST. We are transitioning to Microsoft Teams, so be sure and download it ahead of time.

The annual Catholic Men Physicians’ Retreat, May 16-19, is open for registration. Contact Dr. Steve White at [email protected]. The theme is Personal Holiness in the Life of a Physician and you can learn more here.

February is also Black History Month in the U.S. There are several black Americans who are on the road to sainthood, including recently declared Venerable Mary Elizabeth Lange, OSP, who founded the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first African-American religious order. Her cause is being promoted by the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Along the way, she was helped by St. John Neumann. A saint helping a saint! We suggest reading Black Catholics on the Road to Sainthood by Michael R. Heinlein.

After 50 years in Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange’s order, Sr. Mary Wilhelmina Lancaster, OSB, was called to found a new order, the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles. Four years after her death, her body was found to be incorrupt. The Life of Sister Mary Wilhelmina (TAN) was recently authored by her order.

We also remember St. Polycarp (Feb. 23), a disciple of St. John the Evangelist, whom God encouraged from Heaven when he was martyred at age 86.

We suggest Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary, an updated version of St. Louis de Montfort’s classic, by Scott Smith, which is also available on the Hallow app.

Chair: Kathleen M. Raviele, MD

Vice-Chair: Lynne Bissonnette-Pitre, MD, PhD

Chaplain: Fr. Christopher Kubat, MD

Donna C. Dobrowolsky, MD

Richard Florentine, MD

Jennifer Johnson, MD

Christina Chan, MD

Marie-Alberte Boursiquot, MD

Kevin Murrell, MD

Anthony S. Oliva, MD

Deacon Bruno Schettini, MD

Maria Martinez Ramos, MD

Sister Edith Mary Hart, RSM, DO