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Letter From The Editor Print E-mail

Families Facing End of Life Issues

A little over a month ago, my grandfather Arturo Sanchez passed away. He suffered a fall four months prior and had remained hospitalized, eventually entering hospice up until his death.

During that time, as we prayed for him and over him, we were inevitably faced with difficult decisions that many families have to make regarding end of life issues. As Catholics, we wanted to ensure that he died a natural death, not one delivered by our hands.

As we searched for clear answers in accordance with church teaching, we un-expectedly felt pressure and weight of another nature. We were repeatedly confronted by suggestions, from members of the medical community, aimed at hastening my grandfather’s death.

Towards the end of his life, my grandfather had only been given 1-6 hours to live, but he remained with us that night, and the night after that, and the night after that. And each day that he hung on, medical staff suggested that they could increase his morphine or withhold hydration and nutrition to speed up his death. Soft phrases were also used when it was recommended that my grandfather could be made “more comfortable” despite the fact that he wasn’t in severe pain. The guilt angle was worked as well when we were casually told that we did not want to “let him go”.

Certainly not every family may encounter individuals like this. There are many wonderful doctors and nurses using their God-given talent to help the infirmed, but our experience had us thinking: what about those families who don’t know? What about families who may think they are doing the right thing and are unaware of what Catholic teaching is? Or, whether they knew when the use of technolo-gy was necessary or an aggressive means to delay death?

In my family’s personal journey, we felt very fortunate to be introduced to a wonderful book that eve-ry family must read in regard to dealing with these very issues. It is called, “A Will to Live: Clear Answers on End of Life Issues” and it was written by former San Antonio Archbishop, the Most Rever-end Jose H. Gomez. Printed in 2006, it offers a comprehensive look at topics like: What does brain death mean? Can an unconscious human being feel, hear or experience his surroundings? What is a dignified Catholic death? And, can the removal of nourishment and hydration from a terminally ill patient or person in a so-called “persistent vegetative state” be considered morally justifiable? There are thirty unique questions regarding the end of life in this book.

With this review, I have permission to include some of those questions with only brief excerpts of the answers on the following page. If you would like read the full text, you may order the book through Basilica Press. At press time, Amazon was selling the book for as little as a $1.60 with used books of-fered for only 82 cents. These are remarkable prices that belie the treasure trove of information con-tained in such a small package.

As for my grandfather, he remained with us for ten days past his final diagnosis. While my family misses him greatly, we are at peace knowing that he left this world at the will of our Heavenly Father and not our own.

May the peace of Christ be with you all,

Bianca Valenzuela


BRIEF EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK:

"A Will to Live: Clear Answers on End of Life Issues"

By Most Reverend José H. Gomez, STD

What does brain death mean?

It is necessary to specify what the term brain death means. Brain death is a term used to indicate that one has been determined to be dead using neurological criteria. It is "the complete and irreversible cessation of all brain activity (in the cerebrum, cerebellum and brain stem). This is then considered the sign that the individual organism has lost its integrative capacity." Verifying that brain death has occurred according to this definition would permit the doctor to certify death in situations in which the lungs and heart continue functioning with the help of machines.

Why is euthanasia considered murder?

Euthanasia is considered murder because it always involves the deliberate elimination of a human being; this "rules out any type of similarity to other forms of involuntary homicide." In other words, it always implies the intent to kill another person.

Euthanasia does not eliminate suffering, but instead eliminates the person who suffers. That is why Pope John Paul II stated that it is morally unacceptable and a serious violation of God's law. He reminded us that "this doctrine is based upon the natural law and upon the written word of God, is transmitted by the Church's Tradition and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium." Some years back, the Church's Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith condemned euthanasia in a specific document entitled Declaration on Euthanasia. In this document, euthanasia was called an "act of killing."

Isn't it more merciful and Christian to facilitate the death of a suffering person?

No. It could never be merciful or Christian to kill an innocent person or to "facilitate" death (that is, too directly accelerate death) for someone who deserves care and respect from us in his suffering.

What is truly merciful and Christian is to accompany the person in his suffering, to pray for him and to spiritually unite ourselves to his pain, keeping in mind that his approaching death signifies his arrival at an existence where suffering will no longer exist.

On pastoral care and charitable care for a terminally soul for death

A terminally ill person who is unconscious also has the right to full pastoral and charitable care from the Church and those who surround him. He should not be treated as an annoying "thing" that should be disposed of as quickly as possible. Above all other possible forms of care, the dying person should receive the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick with Confession and the reception of the Holy Eucharist and should be accompanied by prayers and nurturing until the moment he departs.

Can the removal of nourishment and hydration from a terminally ill patient or a person in so-called "persistent vegetative state" be considered morally justifiable?

Nourishment and hydration are part of basic health care or the normal care that must be provided to the terminally ill or to those in a persistent vegetative state. To give food and drink to a person, even artificially, when it is deemed to be ethically proportionate for the person can never be considered "aggressive medical treatment." On the contrary, doing so "always represents a natural means of preserving life, not a medical act, [and] its use, furthermore, should be considered, in principle, ordinary and proportionate" until and to the extent that it is evident the patient has been nourished and that his suffering has thus been alleviated. Therefore, to interrupt feeding or hydration is not morally justifiable under such circumstances. Indeed, the undue suspension of nourishment or hydration would inevitably cause the patient's death by starvation or dehydration, such that it "could amount to euthanasia in a proper sense." The fact that the chances of recovery from a persistent vegetative state are slim does not ethically justify the removal of nutrition and hydration from the patient. As studies demonstrate, withdrawing nutrition and hydration may be a source of considerable suffering for these patients.

 
Ministry News Print E-mail
CATECHIST & KID

ARE YOU BEING CALLED?

Holy Mother Church teaches us that by the very nature of our Baptism, we are called to be catechists, to be soldiers for Christ. The idea of being a catechist can either take an informal or formal route. Have you in the past or recently felt the need to share your Faith with others? If so, now is the time to respond. The need for faithful teachers in our parish grows each year. Did you know that last year over 150 volunteers shared their talents with over 1100 young people of our parish? This need continues to grow each year. Please take some time today or during the next week to prayerfully consider if you are being called to share our Faith. You may call the Religious Education office at 210-688-9033 ext. 204 for more information or to complete an application.


A Year's Worth of Prayer and Inspiration for only $26!

The Magnificat is a monthly liturgical prayer magazine that can be used to follow the daily Mass and can also be read at home for personal or family prayer. It is a lavishly printed, easy-to-read pocket-sized worship aid with more than 400 pages that offers:

· beautiful prayers for both morning and evening from the treasury of the Liturgy of

the Hours

· the official texts of the daily Mass

· meditations written by the renowned Fathers of the Church and a great variety of

spiritual writings

· essays on the lives of the saints

· an article giving valuable insight into a masterpiece of sacred art.

Our parish is placing a group order so that we may qualify for a discounted rate of only $26.00 per year (regular yearly rate is $44.95). Subscriptions for this English (regular print) version of the Magnificat will begin November 2014 and run through October 2015. Parishioner Tracey Kollmansberger is coordinating this effort. Payment must be submitted to Tracey NO LATER THAN Sunday, Sept. 6. Please make checks payable to Tracey Kollmansberger. Tracey will receive and distribute our monthly magazines. To order or if you have questions, contact Tracey at 210-273-4818.


JESUS MARY HEARTS

TWO HEARTS PRAYER GROUP

Invites all prayer group members &

anyone interested in joining us!

Wednesday, Aug 19 at 7:15pm

9546 Coolbrook

For more info, call 680-4866.

 
Community News, Mar. 5 & 6, 2016 Print E-mail

Incarnate Word High School (IWHS) Shamrock Preview & Open House

Sunday, April 3, 2 - 4 p.m., 727 E. Hildebrand Ave. 78212

Prospective students and their families can tour the campus, meet faculty and coaching staff,

and learn about the academic/athletic opportunities.

For more info, contact IWHS Director of Enrollment Carli Valverde at (210) 829-3123

or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Project Rachel: Hope After Abortion

Have you or someone you know participated in or been impacted by an abortion?

Find peace and healing at our Project Rachel retreat

Saturday, April 9, 8:30 to 5:30

For information, call 210-342-HOPE (4673).

HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE… Experience God's mercy in his land by spending time at the very places mentioned in the scriptures: Bethlehem, Nazareth, Mt. Tabor, Sea of Galilee, Cana, Jerusalem, Mt. of Olives and more! Two journeys to choose from:

  • 11-day pilgrimage including 1 night on Mt Carmel; 3 nights by Sea of Galilee and 5 nights in Jerusalem at the Vatican's Hotel, the Notre Dame, with Deacon Tom & Mary Jane Fox as your leaders
  • 10-day pilgrimage en Español from San Antonio including 1 night in Nazareth, 2 nights by Sea of Galilee and 5 nights in Jerusalem at the Notre Dame of Jerusalem.

Organized by the Pilgrim Center of Hope; space is limited. To learn more or to request a brochure, contact Mary Jane Fox at 210-521-3377 or visit www.pilgrimcenterofhope.org .

 
Announcements, Mar. 5 & 6, 2016 Print E-mail

Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for March

Universal Intention

Families in Difficulty : That families in need may receive the necessary support and that children may grow up in healthy and peaceful environments.

Evangelization Intention

Persecuted Christians : That those Christians who, on account of their faith, are discriminated against or are being persecuted, may remain strong and faithful to the Gospel, thanks to the incessant prayer of the Church.

Daily Offering Prayer

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, reparation for sin, and the reunion of all Christians. I offer them for the intentions of our bishops and of all Apostles of Prayer, and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month.


Journey through Scripture Series: "The Bible and Prayer"

(English only)

This seven-week Bible study class, written and supported by the team from the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, is based on the book Prayer Works! Getting a Grip on Catholic Spirituality by Matthew Leonard. This series explores the human quest for God, unveiling the true nature of prayer. It looks at the prayer lives of the towering figures of salvation history in both the Old and New Testaments showing the different forms our communication with God can take. It also examines the three types or modes of prayer every Catholic is called to engage in: vocal prayer, meditation, and contemplation. The study examines the prayer life of Jesus Christ, the ultimate example of how to commune with our Father. Workbook provided. Visit www.StPaulCenter.com to learn more. Open to ages 15 and up. Limited seating. Matthew Leonard's book will be pre-ordered and must be paid for at the time of registration. Class not available in Spanish at this time.

Evening classes begin Sunday, Apr. 10, 7 p.m.; Morning classes begin Tuesday, Apr. 12 at 10 a.m. Contact Charolette J. (CJ) Garcia-Aboytes at 210-843-1198 for more info.

Journey Through Scripture Series: La Biblia y la Virgen María

Siguiendo el modelo interpretativo de los autores de las escrituras y los padres de la iglesia, la Biblia y la Virgen María examina el papel de María en la historia de la salvación.

A través de la tipología se estudia su rol como la nueva Eva, Arca de la Alianza y la reina madre.

Este estudio examina también la doctrina católica en relación con la Santísima Virgen, respondiendo a las objeciones comunes a lo largo del camino.

Clase de español comienza el domingo 10 de abril a la 1:00 p.m.

Para información contactar Felipe Forero al 210-833-8552.


Husbands, fathers, uncles, sons: you are invited to the

St. Joseph Novena

Daily: Thursday, Mar. 10 - Friday, Mar. 18, 8 p.m., in the church

Solemnity of St. Joseph Mass

Saturday, Mar. 19, 8 a.m.

The entire family is welcome to attend, but men are especially encouraged to participate in this spiritually power-packed novena!


St. Anthony Claret 17th Annual Family Seder Meal

Wednesday of Holy Week, March 23

6:30 p.m., Msgr. Hubertus Hall

Adults & Teens: $15

Children 10 - 12: $10

Children 6 - 9: $5

Children 5 and under: Free

Tickets on sale after all masses March 5/6, 12/13, and 19/20.

Teen volunteers are needed,

For more info or if you can help, call Tracey Kollmansberger at 210-273-4818.


Children's Summer Program Cancelled

Due to work being done in the church for several weeks this summer, Msgr. Hubertus Hall will have to be utilized for daily Mass. Therefore, the previously announced Birthday Blast program will not take place. The volunteer information meeting scheduled for March 10 has also been cancelled.


OVASE Training

OVASE (Office of Victim Assistance & Safe Environment) certification is valid for three years.

To obtain or update yours, OVASE training will be offered

Saturday, March 12, 10 a.m., Msgr. Hubertus Hall.

To attend, visit www.virtus.org: click on first time registrant (on left)

and follow prompts on each screen to register for the session.


Ministers of Hospitality Training in Spanish

Tuesday, March 8, 7 p.m. in the Church

Entrenamiento en español para los ministros de hospitalidad.

El martes 8 de marzo a las 7 p.m. en la iglesia.

For info, contact Lupe Nguy at 210-316-7346 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


St. Anthony Claret Marriage Ministry

Special Date Night:

Stations of the Cross for Married Couples

followed by Mass

Friday, March 18, 7 p.m. in the church

Married and engaged couples are welcome to attend.

For more info, contact Chris and Nicole Glowe at

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 257-6616.


Graduating from high school? Need cash for college?

Three parish ministries-the Knights of Columbus Council #10090, the St. Anthony Claret Men's Club and the Ladies of St. Anthony-will award a few $500 scholarships to qualified parish high school seniors intent on pursuing higher education. Pick up an application in the narthex or parish office . The completed application packet must be MAILED IN

and postmarked by Saturday, April 2, 2016.


Come pray with us!

40 Days for Life

Now through March 20, 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.

2140 Babcock Rd. (New Planned Parenthood)

Sign up for an hour of peaceful prayer at www.40daysforlife.com/sanantonio.

Water, snacks and chairs provided.

Contact Kellie at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 210-737-2235.


2016 LENT CROSS

Men's Club Fish Fry

Every Friday during Lent except March 18

5-7 p.m. Msgr. Hubertus Hall

Tilapia, fries, & coleslaw for $7.

After the meal, stay for the Stations of the Cross in Spanish at 5:30 p.m.

or the Stations of the Cross in English at 7 p.m. followed by Mass.


CANNED GOODS

We need over… 6200 lbs. of canned goods to meet our goal in the Knights of Columbus 40 Cans for Lent drive going on now through Easter Sunday. Place your bags by the St. Anthony Mary Claret Statue in the narthex.


Archdiocese of San Antonio

Jubilee Year of Mercy

Sunday, April 3, Divine Mercy Sunday - During this Jubilee of Mercy, consider praying the Divine Mercy Novena that begins on Good Friday, March 25, and culminates on Divine Mercy Sunday, the Second Sunday of Easter. Novena prayers, information on St. Faustina Kowalska and other resources are available at www.thedivinemercy.org.

Domingo, 3 de abril, el domingo - Durante este Jubileo de la Misericordia, considere rezar la Novena de la Divina Misericordia que comienza el Viernes Santo, 25 de Marzo y culmina el Domingo de la Misericordia, el segundo domingo de Pascua. Oraciones de la novena, información sobre Sta. Faustina Kowalska y otros recursos están disponibles en www.thedivinemercy.org.


Fill Your Easter Baskets…

…with beautiful gifts from the Ladies of St. Anthony.

They will be selling religious items this weekend after all Masses in the narthex.


Get your baskets ready!

St. Anthony Mary Claret Knights of Columbus Council #10090

Easter Egg Hunt

Saturday, March 19, 10 a.m.

Registration at 9 a.m. for the following age groups 0-3, 4-7 and 8-12.

There will be a special egg for one lucky kid in each age group.

Join us afterward in Msgr. Hubertus Hall for fun activities hosted by Women of the Well.

A big thank you to the Ladies of SAMC for purchasing the eggs

and the Silver Seniors for stuffing of the eggs. 


St. Anthony Mary Claret M.O.M. (Ministry of Motherhood),

a Catholic group helping mothers find encouragement, instruction, prayer time & caring friends

Next meeting: Wednesday, March 9, 9 - 11 a.m., Msgr. Hubertus Hall

Join us for 8 a.m. Mass if you can.

Topic: "The Developing Brain in Our Children" presented by Meg Rogers

Feel free to bring a breakfast item, snack, or beverage to share.

Free babysitting available in building B.

 

 
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