Diocesan News

Schoenstatt Sisters to Host Six Bioethic Conferences All Invited to Learn About Life Issues From Conception to Natural Death

CRETE (SNR) - The Schoenstatt Shrine in Crete is hosting a series of talks on bioethical issues at various locations from Monday, July 19 through Friday, July 23. Sister Dr. Elena Lugo, I.S.S.M., will be the special guest speaker.

As professor and director of the Bioethical Commission and an active member of the Pontifical Academy of Life, Dr. Lugo has been traveling throughout the country, instructing doctors, nurses, other medical professionals, catechists, clergy and religious, and the general laity on an authentically Catholic approach to current medical controversies.

After learning through the Schoenstatt community that Dr. Lugo was going to be in Wisconsin, Sister M. Veronica, superior of the Crete community, welcomed the opportunity to bring her to Nebraska also.

“People do not understand why life is so important,” Sister Veronica said. “Any family should come to the conference – any young person who really wants to know what is going on in the world and why life is so important and why God should be at the center of it.”

Pope Benedict XVI has urged a greater understanding of the bioethical issues that our society faces today due to the rapid advancements in medical technology.

“Without universal principles that permit a common denominator for the whole of humanity, the danger of a relativistic drift at the legislative level is not at all something that should be underestimated,” the Holy Father said while addressing the Pontifical Academy for Life.

At each of Dr. Lugo’s talks, she will address the challenges of upholding the dignity and integrity of each person in light of Church teaching, from the beginning of life until death. Her presentation is very accessible to people of all walks of life.

“Sister is very knowledgeable, but she is very down to earth,” Sister Veronica said. Father Christopher Kubat, who worked as a physician before entering the priesthood and becoming director of Catholic Social Services, is hosting the first talk. Dr. Lugo will speak to a group of physicians at the Blessed John XXIII Center at 6:30 a.m. on Monday, July 19.

Father noted that there has been a great deal of “misinformation and purposeful intellectual dishonesty” about certain medical ethics issues right here in Nebraska.

“It’s important that correct medical ethics are taught and discussed,” he said. “Since there have been so many advances in medicine, there are treatment modalities that are contrary to the Catholic faith and those that aren’t. It’s confusing and complicated to people who don’t have formal training in these areas.”

On Monday at 6:30 p.m., Dr. Lugo, who was born in Puerto Rico, will present her talk to a Spanish-speaking audience at St. Cecilia Parish in Hastings. The next day, she will address nurses at St. Joseph Parish in Lincoln beginning at 7 p.m.

St. Michael Parish in Cheney will welcome all interested listeners as they host Dr. Lugo at 7 p.m. Wednesday. On Thursday, she will travel to Omaha to speak at St. Peter Parish at 7 p.m.

Dr. Lugo’s last talk in the area will again be to the Spanish-speaking community. She will deliver her presentation at Sacred Heart Church in Crete at 7 p.m.

The talks will be very informative.

“There are a lot of controversies out there,” Father Kubat said. “People are confused about the difference between embryonic stem cell research and adult stem cell research. People are confused about direct abortion and indirect abortion… end of life issues… what’s extraordinary care and what’s ordinary….”

He said, “It’s important that medical ethics at Catholics institutions are always faithful to the Church.”

There is no cost to attend any of the conferences, but donations will be accepted to pay Dr. Lugo’s expenses. For more information, visit www.cormariae.com, click on “Press Room” under the About menu and follow the Bioethics link.


Bioethic Conferences:

Monday, July 19 for physicians
Blessed John XXIII Center, Lincoln, 6:30 a.m.

Monday, July 19 in Spanish
St. Cecilia Parish in Hastings, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 20 for nurses
St. Joseph Parish in Lincoln, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, July 21 open to all
St. Michael Parish in Cheney, 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Thursday, July 22
St. Peter Parish in Omaha, 7 p.m.

Friday, July 23 in Spanish
Sacred Heart Church in Crete, 7 p.m.

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