Archbishop Miller praises Catholic Health Association of B.C.
By Brent Mattson
The B.C. Catholic
VANCOUVER--For over 70 years the Catholic Health Association of B.C. has brought Catholic faith and tradition to health care in the province, something for which Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, is grateful.
"The CHABC is itself one of the great gifts to the Church and community for which today we express our gratitude," the archbishop said in his homily during Mass at the CHABC's 71st Annual General Meeting and Conference. The theme of the Sept. 15 conference in Coquitlam was "The Things we do for Love."
The day-long event also featured guest speakers Sister Sue Mosteller, CSJ, who has practised her ministry at L'Arche Daybreak in Ontario for more 30 years, and Scott Harrison and the Providence Crosstown Clinic team, who offer addiction treatment and counselling, housing referrals, and legal assistance in the Downtown Eastside.
The health association deals with policy issues regarding the delivery of health and pastoral care in hospitals, and it lobbies for the freedom of independent health care. The CHABC helps form chaplains in its facilities, distributes religious and educational materials, and organizes the World Day of the Sick celebrations.
Archbishop Miller pointed out some of CHABC's recent advancements that most excited him, including the parish nursing program at St. Michael's. Parish nurses are volunteers who combine professional healthcare expertise with the Church's teaching that suffering can unite the faithful to Christ.
Parish nursing is "a development which I hope will be the first of many such initiatives in British Columbia." Such programs, he said, ensure those in care facilities receive the pastoral visits they require.
The archbishop also praised the recent publication of Advance Care Directives (see the Sept. 19 issue of The B.C. Catholic for the full story) which he said are "fully in accordance with Catholic teaching."
CHABC is the group that is behind the Catholic identity wallet cards that read, "I am a Catholic. In the event of an accident or serious illness, please call a priest." The ID cards are available for free by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.