All parishioners in all churches in South Dundas are invited to join the Catholic Women’s League of Morrisburg/Iroquois in 12 Hours of Prayer for Palliative Care on Wednesday, May 4 at St. Mary’s Church in Morrisburg.
The day is designed to take place during the National Hospice Palliative Care Week (organized by the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association) as a profound witness to the sanctity of human life.
The 12 hour vigil at St. Mary’s will begin with mass at 9 a.m.,” says CWL president Catherine Lortie. “Following mass at 9 a.m., we will have a day long vigil which will wrap up with guest speakers beginning at 7 p.m.”
Sign up sheets are now available at the church, where “people can sign up for portions of times” to ensure the 12 hour vigil continuation.
“This is for the whole community, and we welcome everyone to join us,” says Lortie.
In addition to the Prayer Vigil, participants will be afforded the opportunity to make free-will donations to Hospice, which locally includes two, the Dundas County Hospice headquartered in Williamsburg and Carfor Hospice in Cornwall.
The Dundas County Hospice provides programs through volunteers to assist those diagnosed with terminal or life threatening illnesses to remain in their homes. Carfor Hospice is a 10-bed facility, in Cornwall, that provides end of life care in a home like setting to the residents of the City of Cornwall, Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry, as well as Prescott and Russell Counties.
“There is a pressing need for all people to have greater accessibility to palliative care,” says a press release issued by the Catholic Women’s League of Canada. “It has become an urgent priority in the face of impending legislation for euthanasia/assisted suicide in Canada.”
“This end-of-life care is true compassion. It allows people who are facing death not to be burdened by pain and suffering, but to receive the support that respects their human dignity both physically and spiritually.”
The evening speakers for the Prayer Vigil at St. Mary’s are Linda Johnson, who is the Director of Client Services at Dundas County Hospice and Kimberly Patterson Social Worker at Winchester District Memorial Hospital and the St. Lawrence Medical Clinic.
Following the speeches, the day will end with a short prayer service and light refreshments.
The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association notes that, “Only 16-30 percent of Canadians who die, currently have access to or receive hospice palliative and end-of-life care services, depending on where they live in Canada. Even fewer receive grief and bereavement services.”
Also, “residential hospice palliative care programs are still, at least 50 percent funded by charitable donations, and families must bear part of the cost of dying at home, in long-term care, almost anywhere outside a hospital.”
For further information on the 12 Hours of Prayer for Palliative Care please contact Catherine Lortie at 613-543-2059.
A petition urging the recognition and funding for hospice palliative care across Canada will be available to sign at the Wednesday, May 3 vigil at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Morrisburg.