Archive for the ‘Medicine’ Category

"He Descended Into Hell" – Jesuit Brother Writes from Scene of Haitian Earthquake

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Member of Team Rubicon on the Ruins of the Jesuit Novitiate in Port Au Prince, Haiti

Members of Team Rubicon on the ruins of the Jesuit Novitiate in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti

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Jesuit Brother Jim Boynton, recently assigned to Haiti to work at a school, is now apart of the rapid response team of Jesuits and U.S. Marine veterans assembled to quickly get medical personnel and supplies into Port au Prince. Named “Team Rubicon”, the operation is privately funded and includes former servicemen from Iraq and Afghanistan who can can operate both as security personnel and as medics.

On Team Rubicon’s blog, Br. Boynton writes of his recent experiences in Haiti and dealing with the devastating aftermath. National Jesuit News is reaching out to Br. Boynton to continue to get updates from him in Haiti.

“He descended into Hell”….  I have said these words every time I have prayed the Creed at Sunday mass, or the rosary.  I have prayed these words often, but have never understood them until now.  The smell of stale death is something that until now I have only experienced in roadkill in Northern Michigan roads.  Usually a raccoon or a skunk, but never a person, and never many persons.  In the past 6 years I have had the honor to serve on numerous medical brigades to the garbage dumps of Guatemala and Honduras, but nothing I have ever seen or done prepared me for the sights of the last few days.  I am new to Haiti, and only arrived on November 1st to work in a school.  To be honest I was nervous about that, but a school in Haiti now seems no more daunting than a classroom at University of Detroit Jesuit High School, or St. Ignatius Cleveland, where I taught history for years.  What is daunting now is Haiti itself.  “Haiti cherie”, or “dear Haiti”, as this country is called by those who love her, is suffering.  The news may report that help is being sent from all over the world, but today we are 6 days past the quake, yet at our location we were the first foreign aid to arrive.  Most is bottlenecked in the airport.  The only other non-Haitians I saw today were reporters from Caritas, Germany.  One left his team to help us secure transportation for the wounded and in the end for ourselves.

“He rose from the dead”… is another part of the Creed so often prayed.  There is hope, there is a resurrection.  Good is stronger than bad.  Today the Haitians triaged themselves in an orderly fashion, the most wounded getting to see a doctor first, something that is difficult to attain in any American hospital on any given night.  The amount of gratitude on part of the wounded, their families, and strangers is overwhelming.  Today 4 times I flagged a car off the street to take vital cases to the nearest operation room.  Gas is over $25 a gallon, if available, but each time strangers said yes.  Our return transportation failed to arrive.  Strangers loaded us into two trucks to drive us to the other side of town, regardless of curfew, and regardless of looters.

“To give and not to count the cost”…. is from the prayer of St. Ignatius, the founder of my religious order.  Somehow through a strange course of events, I have found myself with a group of men who are living these words to their fullest.  In spite of the difficulties, the struggle for organization, and lack of everything medical, the team I am with is making an incredible difference.  After today’s work many will lose limbs, some may not walk, but others had the first chance at life in 6 days.

The motivations for each of us on this team is different.  I am here because of my faith in Jesus Christ.  If you share my faith, I would ask that you pray for the people of Haiti, and pray for the men I am with.  Please make both a prayer of thanksgiving, for the people of Haiti are beautiful, and the team is as well.

Brother Jim Boynton, S.J.

National Jesuit News is urging people to give to the Jesuit organization Jesuit Refugee Service to help those in Haiti.

To support JRS/USA’s humanitarian response to the emergency needs of the Haitian people, please click here to be directed to their secure website and choose “Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund.”

Or you may send a check to:

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA
1016 16th Street NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036

Checks should be made payable to “Jesuit Refugee Service/USA.”
Please clearly note “Haiti Earthquake Relief” in the memo field on the check.

Jesuit Speaks about the Church’s Response to Aids in Africa

Jesuit Father Michael Czerny, SJ, a Canadian Jesuit based in Nairobi, Kenya, has been appointed one of about 30 experts who will assist the bishops at Synod of Bishops for Africa at the Vatican from Oct. 4 – 25, 2009.
In 2002, Fr. Czerny founded the African Jesuit AIDS Network as a way to help Jesuits in Africa work on the problem of HIV and AIDS. Fr. Czerny spoke with Vatican Radio about how the Church offers hope to people living with HIV AIDS. Go here to listen Vatican Radio’s interview with Fr. Michael Czerny, SJ.

njn_Michael_CzernyJesuit Father Michael Czerny, SJ, a Canadian Jesuit based in Nairobi, Kenya, has been appointed one of about 30 experts who will assist the bishops at Synod of Bishops for Africa at the Vatican from Oct. 4 – 25, 2009.

In 2002, Fr. Czerny founded the African Jesuit AIDS Network as a way to help Jesuits in Africa work on the problem of HIV and AIDS. Fr. Czerny spoke with Vatican Radio about how the Church offers hope to people living with HIV AIDS. Go here to listen Vatican Radio’s interview with Fr. Michael Czerny, SJ.

Jesuit Speaks about the Church's Response to Aids in Africa

Jesuit Father Michael Czerny, SJ, a Canadian Jesuit based in Nairobi, Kenya, has been appointed one of about 30 experts who will assist the bishops at Synod of Bishops for Africa at the Vatican from Oct. 4 – 25, 2009.
In 2002, Fr. Czerny founded the African Jesuit AIDS Network as a way to help Jesuits in Africa work on the problem of HIV and AIDS. Fr. Czerny spoke with Vatican Radio about how the Church offers hope to people living with HIV AIDS. Go here to listen Vatican Radio’s interview with Fr. Michael Czerny, SJ.

njn_Michael_CzernyJesuit Father Michael Czerny, SJ, a Canadian Jesuit based in Nairobi, Kenya, has been appointed one of about 30 experts who will assist the bishops at Synod of Bishops for Africa at the Vatican from Oct. 4 – 25, 2009.

In 2002, Fr. Czerny founded the African Jesuit AIDS Network as a way to help Jesuits in Africa work on the problem of HIV and AIDS. Fr. Czerny spoke with Vatican Radio about how the Church offers hope to people living with HIV AIDS. Go here to listen Vatican Radio’s interview with Fr. Michael Czerny, SJ.

Jesuit Father George Winchester Featured In Boston Globe Article on the Increasing Demand for Chaplains at Boston Hospitals

njn_hospitalchaplain1In today’s Boston Globe, health/science reporter Liz Kowalczyk takes a look at the increase in demand for chaplains at Boston hospitals. The story features Jesuit Father George Winchester who talks about his special role as a minister to the sick and dying while requests for his visits soar.

Minutes after arriving at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Rev. George Winchester received an urgent page from the intensive care unit. A man was dying. The chaplain should come immediately.

Winchester found the patient and his son lightly crying. “I hear you’ve made a big decision,” he said.
The conversation marked the start of a relentless recent workday for the Catholic priest, a day that included the traditional jobs of a hospital chaplain, such as anointing of the sick, but that also involved duties once reserved for doctors and nurses: attending medical rounds and helping run a difficult family meeting.

There was no shortage of work. The number of requests from patients, families, and staff for spiritual guidance in one of the country’s most technology-rich medical hubs has soared, as hospitals have expanded the role and number of chaplains.

Since 2004, requests for chaplains at the Brigham have jumped 23 percent. At Massachusetts General Hospital, requests have grown 30 percent since the hospital began tracking visits in 2006. And at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, which expanded its pastoral care program last year, monthly visits are expected to rise to at least 540 this month, a 10-fold increase over the same time last year.

Read More at the Boston Globe site.