Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Catholic Medical Students Association

We're one step closer. I finally had a pretty good discussion with our Newman Club about changing our name to/adding "The Catholic Medical Students Association" to our present medical school Catholic group. Things are "looking good" for what I want to be the University of Toledo College of Medicine Chapter of the Catholic Medical Students Association. It's a cumbersome title, but it's very descriptive.

My friend Blase Hennessy, as well as a few other students of good will, have expressed a strong interest in living the Catholic faith in medical practice. No doubt, there is no better time to learn this than at the start of medical school. Therefore, we are trying to rejuvenate our Newman Club, nay remodel it, to be an even brighter light for Christ at UTCOM.

Recently, Blase set up a meeting for us with Dr. Paul Byrne, past president of the Catholic Medical Association. He was delighted at our plans for the CMSA and wants to be a part of helping us get it off the ground. Moreover, I have talked with numerous physicians, priests, and interested lay people who are willing to support our endeavor intellectually, financially, and spiritually. The Vicar General and Chancellor of the Diocese of Toledo also gave his support and was quite sure our Bishop, Leonard Blair, would be willing to lend his support and guidance as well. (I have yet to address a letter to His Excellency, so hopefully he doesn't read this yet.) I think it's gonna be a go. Here are some of my and Blase's ideas for the inaugural year of UTCOM's chapter of the CMSA. The details need worked out but you'll get the general idea.

  • A beginning of the year barbecue and possibly a White Mass (mass for health care workers) offered by our Bishop.
  • Bi-weekly "Catholic Forum" events in which we would host a lunch and a brief talk on topics of import for Catholics and Catholic medical personnel: i.e. "The Seven Sacraments," "The Church's Teaching on Abortion," "Care for the Terminally Ill," "Contraception," "Natural Family Planning and Catholic Medical Practice," "What It Means to be a Catholic Physician" etc.
  • A trip to the Catholic Medical Association's annual conference in Atlanta, GA October 4-6, 2007. We're gonna show our support for Catholic values in medicine and hopefully take at least eight students.
  • An end of the year conference of some sort on a topic like "Pro-Life Philosophy: Religious Perspectives" in which we would devote an entire day to theological, medical, and philosophical perspectives in support of life and invite a high caliber keynote such as Richard John Neuhaus, Avery Cardinal Dulles, Dr. Edmund Pellegrino, or Dr. Thomas Hilgers. Perhaps we could even host the first annual meeting of the Catholic Medical Students Association?
  • Support intellectual study of Catholic issues in medicine by training and equipping Catholic students to write about issues like abortion, euthanasia, contraception; present papers at regional conferences that support Catholic ethics in medicine; discuss ethical issues intelligently; and most importantly to live their Catholic faith in the vocation of medicine.
  • To mentor premeds and underclassman
  • To be mentored by significant Catholic role models in medicine
  • To provide a forum in which the Church's teachings can be faithfully presented, understood, and discussed among both Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
  • To defend life and extend the healing ministry of Jesus through our fidelity to Christ and His Church by being the best future physicians, nurses, and health care professionals that we can be.
These are just some of our thoughts. Let me know if you have suggestions. It is going to take a lot of planning to put this into action, and above all a lot of prayer. So please support us with a rosary or two, and bring our cause to the Lord that He would bless us and "prosper the work of our hands" as the Psalm says. St. Luke Pray for Us.

While you're waiting to see how this plays out. Check out the CMSA's website and

1 comment:

  1. I think that Catholic Medical Students will benefit from the materials at the website below my signature. Allow me to call your attention to two items in the "And more..." section of the Home Page: "Understanding Humanae Vitae" and "Not Just for Catholics." You will also want to become familiar with the research dealing with ecological breastfeeding in the NFP Resources Section. Some of you will find our books helpful. Lastly, for those of you who are married and feel obliged to delay pregnancy, check out the NFP How-to manual that is free and downloadable.
    May God bless your every effort.

    John F. Kippley
    Author, Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality (Ignatius, 2005)
    Co-author, Natural Family Planning: The Question-Answer Book, an e-book available at