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FIRE Committee's Embers

Embers November Newsletter

November 8, 2023


The FIRE committee offers Courageous and Compassionate Saints as our theme for November. We celebrated All Saints Day (Nov. 1) and All Souls Day (Nov. 2) this week and we would like to remind you that there is a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions, for visiting a cemetery and praying for the dead until Nov. 8. Since so many folks are choosing cremation after death, which the Church allows, this is a reminder that even cremated remains are to be buried, not kept or spread. Father Mike Schmitz explains why in this video Burying the dead is a corporal work of mercy.

In the above painting, we see St. Martin de Porres (Nov. 3) caring for a sick man. Born in Peru in 1579 to a Spanish gentleman and a freed slave from Panama, he grew up in poverty after his father abandoned his family. He experienced ridicule and discrimination for being of mixed race and by law could not enter the Dominican order, but gradually became accepted as a volunteer and then a Third Order Dominican. When a plague broke out, he broke the rules and ministered to the sick in the Convent and was disciplined. He said, “Forgive my error, and please instruct me, for I did not know that the precept of obedience took precedence over that of charity.” He was given full liberty to follow his heart in mercy, which is an important lesson for us today. He is the patron saint of people of mixed race and public health workers. He was canonized in 1962 by Pope St. John XXIII. November is also National Black Catholic History Month in the U.S. Begun by the black bishops in the USCCB in 1990, it honors the achievements of black Catholics, including several being considered for sainthood.

We conclude the month with the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Nov. 21) and the liturgical year with the feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (Nov. 26). May our example as Catholic health care professionals draw more people to Christ.

We invite our members to storm Heaven these next few days, petitioning with prayers and sacrifices that Issue 1 in Ohio will be defeated on Nov. 7. This amendment to the state constitution would take away parents’ rights over their children’s health care and make abortion legal for any reason throughout pregnancy. If successful, a similar tactic will be brought to every state. You can learn more here.

The short video this month from the Thomistic Institute’s Aquinas 101 series is Act and Potency. Take just 3 minutes out of your busy day to learn the wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas.

The CMA’s Virtual Prayer Group will meet Sat. Nov. 11 at 2:00 PM EST. Come join us with your intentions as we pray for all of our members.

Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (Nov. 13) is honored this month as a model of courage and compassion. Born near Milan, Italy in 1850 at 32 weeks, she was frail as a child and could not be admitted to a religious order for health reasons. Instead she founded an order, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Her motto was from Phil 4:13 “I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.” She was sent by Pope Leo XIII with six of her sisters, none of whom spoke English, to New York City in 1889 to provide spiritual and physical care for the millions of Italian immigrants in this country. Despite a fear of water from nearly drowning as a child, she crossed the ocean 27 times! She ultimately established 67 hospitals, schools and orphanages throughout the Americas and in Europe and is the patroness of immigrants. Pope Pius XII canonized her in 1950 as the first American citizen to be declared a saint.

Finally, we recommend Dr. Scott Hahn’s book Hope to Die: the Christian Meaning of Death and the Resurrection of the Body and Pope Benedict’s Holy Men and Women of the Middle Ages. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!


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

Deacon Bruno Schettini, MD

Robin Pierucci, MD

Maria Martinez Ramos, MD

Sister Edith Mary Hart, RSM, DO

Chris Moon, MD