The Southern Cross : October 2010
The Southern Cross October 2010 Page 7 www.adelaide.catholic.org.au news The efforts of Mary Potter Hospice Clinical Manager Helen Walker in improving access to palliative care, including for prisoners and indigenous Australians, has earned her the prestigious Catholic Health and Aged Care Nurse of the Year Award 2010. She was also recognised for her efforts in helping Samira, a Lebanese lady, to achieve her wish to die in Beirut with her family. "Helen Walker's great care, compassion and strength are epitomised by the way in which she helped Samira," said Catholic Health Australia CEO Martin Laverty. "Helen went well beyond the call of duty and negotiated with airlines, doctors, embassies and bureaucracies to make Samira's dying wish a reality." Ms Walker is a strong community advocate for improved access to palliative care, and has made a special effort to ease the journey for custodial patients. "The conditions in which prisoners are nursed at the end of their life are very difficult and Helen recognised that to be able to leave prison and come to the hospice is very important for them and their families," Mr Laverty said. "There were significant legal hurdles to overcome to allow this to happen, but Helen has successfully negotiated a protocol with police, the State Department for Correctional Services, and Yatala Labour Prison in Adelaide. "Her work has allowed these otherwise forgotten people to die with dignity. "Helen has also begun a new project to help improve access to services for the local Aboriginal population." Helen was presented with her award in a ceremony at Catholic Health Australia's National Conference in Adelaide. The award includes a $5000 grant from Hesta for professional development. Nurse of the Year helps the dying NURSE OF THE YEAR: Helen Walker (second from left) with Dr Jelena Radosavljevic, Ms Sarah Schulze, Clinical Manager, St Clares Ward, Calvary North Adelaide Hospital (CNAH) and Ms Louise Russell, Registered Nurse, Mary Potter Hospice CNAH. By Jenny Brinkworth Bishop of Port Pirie, Greg O'Kelly SJ, has called on Catholics to make greater effort to convey to others the "deep humanity" that underscores their opposition to matters such as abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage. The call comes in a pastoral letter entitled "Concerning the Sacredness of Life in a Secular Society" which has received strong endorsement from Adelaide Archbishop, Philip Wilson. It coincides with Greens MLC Mark Parnell's reintroduction of his private member's bill on voluntary euthanasia and efforts by Greens leader Bob Brown to restore the capacity of the territories to legalise voluntary euthanasia. Bishop O'Kelly referred to Pope Benedict's recent address in Britain where he said a society which excluded God, values and religion from its considerations of moral issues would end up with a "truncated form of humanity" that did not heed "our intrinsic and untouchable dignity as human beings". Bishop O'Kelly said history had shown that if our sacredness was not heeded, it was "then a short step to denying our humanity, and to doing unspeakable things to each other, like sending people off in cattle trucks". "It is the sacred, the God-given, that constitutes us as thinking and loving creatures with an eternal destiny," he wrote. "While not forcing our views on others, we must nevertheless proclaim our values aloud if we are to be true to our baptismal call to be 'priest, prophet and king'. "Prophets must speak out, and we are obliged to let our parliamentary representatives know our view on these issues on the sacredness of life. "A true parliamentarian weighs votes, and does not just count them." On euthanasia, Bishop O'Kelly said the Church teaches that we can take ordinary medical means to preserve life and there is no compulsion to continue treatment that prolongs the act of dying. He said palliative care could enable a person to die with the dignity and ease of suffering that many proponents of euthanasia desire. "The church urges proper palliative care as the means to honour the lives of our loved ones," he said. Bishop O'Kelly warned that euthanasia would put enormous pressure on the frail aged to do away with themselves in order to lessen the distress they believe they are causing their family. It also put stress on medical and nursing staff not to continue their great care for those in high dependence. "People come to aged care homes in order to be cared for, not have their lives terminated before time," he said. Archbishop Wilson urged Catholics to read the letter which is available on the archdiocesan website, www.adelaide. catholic.org.au/stes/archbishop/ page_2832 ̨ See editorial page 11. Speak out on moral issues IN BRIEF World Mission Day Build Community Together in Christ is the theme for World Mission Day on Sunday October 24. World Mission Day is the universal day for the whole Catholic community to support the vital work of global mission. This year there is a special focus on Timore-Leste, where the faith of its people has refused to waiver despite its troubles. In his World Mission Day message, Pope Benedict XVI said the day was an opportunity to renew the commitment to proclaim the Gospel and to give pastoral activities greater missionary perspective. For more information, visit www.catholicmission.org.au New Dominican head Father Bruno Cadoré, OP, of the Province of France, has been elected as the new Master of the Order of Friars Preachers and the 86th successor to St. Dominic. The election took place on Sunday, September 5 when the Dominican friars gathered together in Chapter in Rome. Fr. Cadoré was trained as a physician and has taught especially in the area of bio-medical ethics. Before becoming Provincial of the Province of France, he taught at the Catholic University of Lille. In 2008, the President of France appointed Fr. Cadoré to the French National AIDS Council as an advisor. Voice for youth The contribution of young people in the life of the Catholic Church and the need to better connect with youth has been recognised by the Interim Council for Ministry for Young People. About 90 young people met with Archbishop Philip Wilson and the Council in September to identify meaningful experiences such as modern and relevant music at Mass, social justice programs, sporting competitions and involvement and empowerment of young people in the church. The gathering recognised the many ways in which young people are already involved in their school communities, parish youth groups and movements as well as outreach and social justice programs. Cycling for Sam The challenges facing families of terminally-ill or chronically- sick children have inspired champion cyclist Kerrie Meares to join the Cycle4Sam charity bike ride. Kerrie, 28, is a multiple World Championship medalist and Commonwealth Games gold medalist. Cycle4Sam aims to raise more than $60,000 for targeted services of the Paediatric Palliative Care Unit of the Women's and Children's Hospital. Cycle4Sam is in memory of young Sam Roberts, who passed away aged four, from a rare genetic illness in 2005. Cycle4Sam will see 12 riders start out from the Victorian Highlands, ride 1200km and arrive in Adelaide on Monday, October 4. White Balloon Day Catholic parishes and schools across the State showed their support for the protection of young people by taking part in Bravehearts' White Balloon Day in September. "The Catholic Church's lead involvement in White Balloon Day marks publicly their active involvement in changing the culture of silence around child sexual assault," said Bravehearts' founder Hetty Johnston. "We applaud the Catholic Church of Australia for their bold stance and look forward to a long and effective working relationship in providing world class protection for children no matter in what environment or culture.