Curatio conference integrates faith and health care

| Jennifer Janikula for The Catholic Spirit | February 26, 2014 | 0 Comments
Nurse practitioner Teresa Tawil checks on Lenny Deering at the North Ridge assisted living center in New Hope Feb. 24. Tawil is a board member of Curatio: Apostolate of Catholic Health Care Professionals, which will host a bioethics conference March 28-29 in St. Paul. Dianne Towalski / The Catholic Spirit

Nurse practitioner Teresa Tawil checks on Lenny Deering at the North Ridge assisted living center in New Hope Feb. 24. Tawil is a board member of Curatio: Apostolate of Catholic Health Care Professionals, which will host a bioethics conference March 28-29 in St. Paul. Dianne Towalski / The Catholic Spirit

Dianne Johnson, a registered nurse in Minneapolis, almost quit her job 10 years ago. After 30 years in health care, she was frustrated, burnt out and felt empty, like she had nothing more to give.

Through prayer and conversations with friends, Johnson realized that quitting wasn’t the answer. Instead, she had to find a way to rediscover the joy and meaning in her profession — a way to invite the love of Christ into patient care.

Johnson responded to this invitation by creating the Curatio: Apostolate of Catholic Health Care Professionals. The apostolate calls all members to “heal from the heart of Christ.”

“We see Curatio as part of the new evangelization — bringing Christ into every encounter,” said Johnson, a parishioner of St. Charles Borromeo in St. Anthony. “Experiencing Christ’s love, even in the midst of profound suffering, brings joy.”

Members of the Curatio Apostolate seek to help all health care professionals bring their faith to work during their bioethics conference “Rediscovering Joy in Health Care — The Call to Virtue & Holiness” March 28-29.

Johnson, who will speak at the conference, hopes attendees leave feeling hopeful, re-energized and lighter in the soul. “Our work has meaning beyond ourselves when we let God lead us and transform us,” Johnson said.

Register for the bioethics conference

“Rediscovering Joy in Healthcare — The Call to Virtue and Holiness”

The two-day conference will focus on the “dignity of the human person in the midst of escalating challenges and threats to human life in health care.”

  • 5 p.m. Friday, March 28, at St. Catherine University
  • 8 a.m. Saturday, March 29, at the University of St. Thomas

For the complete conference schedule, registration options, and continuing education credit information, visit http://www.curatioapostolate.com.

Living the joy of the Gospel at home and work

The conference’s keynote speaker, Dominican priest Nicanor Austriaco, will remind attendees to bring the joy of the Gospel to their personal and professional lives.

“Catholic health care professionals need to recognize that their Christian vocation calls them to live out the joy of the Gospel in the hospitals and clinics where they serve,” Father Austriaco said. “This is the only way they can find fulfillment in their work and in their lives.”

Father Austriaco, associate professor of biology at Providence College in Rhode Island, will call attendees to focus on their approach to bioethical issues like abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research.

“We need to speak differently about all topics in bioethics in a way that emphasizes joy, mercy and grace,” Father Austriaco said.

Solidarity with patients

Nurse practitioner Teresa Tawil embodies Father Austriaco’s image of health care professionals who infuse the joy of the Gospel into their work.

Tawil encounters Jesus every day — in the faces of her elderly patients. Her work and her faith are integrated in a way that brings fullness and joy to all of her interactions.

A nurse for nearly 30 years and a Curatio board member, Tawil described her approach to patient care as an escalation of grace.

“The patient is promoted to the divine place of humanity, created in the image and likeness of God,” explained Tawil, a member of St. Raphael in Crystal. “I am aware of their inherent dignity and approach them in the honor it is to serve them.”

Tawil believes in the transformative power of her Christ-filled mindset and finds joy in the notion that “love is compounded in us when we give to others.” This joy, along with daily prayer and participation in the sacraments, sustains Tawil through her most challenging days.

“We are in such need to transform the hearts and minds of those working in health care to be ones communicating affinity and solidarity with their patients,” Tawil said.

For more information about Curatio: Apostolate of Catholic Health Care Professionals and its bioethics conference, visit http://www.curatioapostolate.com.

 

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Category: Faith and Culture