UP Catholic 10 28 2016 E Edition Page 19

E ach October we observe Respect Life Month in dio- ceses throughout the United States. Although ending abortion remains a priority of the utmost importance, threats to the disabled and those at the end of life deserve our attention as well. The legalization of medically assisted suicide in Canada in June should serve as a wake-up call compelling us to reach out in soli- darity to our most vulnerable brothers and sisters. Like abortion, the operative words in the campaign for physician assisted suicide are "person- al choice," "autono- my" and "control." Compassion and Choices, the lead- ing pro-assisted suicide organization in our country, cites a 2015 Gallup survey claiming that seven in ten Americans believe that doctors should be able to help terminally ill individuals end their lives "on their own terms by some painless means." The organization's website talks about ensuring that "you get what you want - and avoid enduring anything you don't" in relation to end-of-life care. These sentiments strike me as particularly sad. I believe that they are based on two troubling attitudes in society: a loss of the sense of God - which leads to the mistaken idea that we are the masters of our own lives - and a cor- rupt idea of compassion. Our culture has taken this beauti- ful word - compassion - and turned it upside down. Com- passion literally means "to suffer with." Compassion hap- pens when you are confronted with another's suffering and feel motivated to relieve it. It is not pity; nor does it entail ending suffering by eliminat- ing the person who suffers. In a speech to Latin Ameri- can Medical Associations this past summer, Pope Fran- cis discussed the profound meaning of this virtue. "True compassion is undertaking to bear the burden This would mean the triumph over self- ishness, of that 'throw-away culture' which rejects and scorns people who do not ful- fill certain criteria of health, beauty and usefulness Compassion, this suffering-with, is the appropriate re- sponse to the immense value of the sick person, a response made out of respect, understanding and tender- ness, because the sacred value of the life of the sick does not disappear nor is it ever darkened, but rather it shines brighter precisely in their suffering and vulnerability." He continued, "Fragility, pain and illness are a difficult trial for ev- eryone, even for the medical staff, they are an appeal for patience, for suffering-with; therefore we cannot give in to the functionalist tempta- tion to apply quick and drastic solu- tions, stirred by false compassion or by simple criteria of efficiency and economic saving. The dignity of human life is at stake; the dignity of the medical vocation is at stake." Pope Francis summed up his message to health professionals by quoting the counsel of St. Camillus de Lellis, the patron of nurses and the sick: "Put more heart in those hands!" This is excellent advice for all of us. If we wish to see a soci- ety that appreciates the inviolable dignity of human life and knows how to practice true compassion, we could have no better prayer than to ask God to "put more heart in our hands." With more heart in our hands, may we reach out to offer practical help to women in difficult pregnan- cies and young families in need. May we show mercy by feeding the hungry and helping the homeless to find dignified housing. With real compassion, may we offer words of encouragement to the doubtful, speak the truth in a loving way to the ignorant and offer a shoulder to cry on to someone grieving the loss of a loved one. With more heart in our hands, may we bring a home-cooked meal to a shut-in, take a long walk with a grandfather suffering from Alzhei- mer's or offer an elderly neighbor a ride to church. Finally, with more heart in our hands, may we have the compassion and courage to stand with a dying loved one to the very end, embracing them in a way that lets them know they are still worthy of our attention and care, and that they are awaited by a God who loves them even more than they can imagine. This October may we realize that after all is said and done, the Culture of Life begins in our hearts and our hands! Sister Constance Veit is director of communications for the Little Sisters of the Poor. www.upcatholic.org THE U.P. CATHOLIC GOLDEN AGE October 28, 2016 19 COMPARING CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITIES TO CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT DECIDING BETWEEN A BANK CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSIT AND A CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITY IS AN EASY DECISION Calculations for illustrative purposes only. Actual benefits may vary. Contact us for a free Charitable Gift Proposal today. Getting started: Contact Terri Gadzinski tgadzinski@ dioceseofmarquette.org (906) 227-9108 I look forward to speaking with you. CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITIES 75-year-old invests $25,000 in a 2 year CD 75-year-old signs contract for a $25,000 Charitable Gift Annuity Interest Rate: 1.5% for 2 years, must be renewed Income rate: 5.8% for life Interest income after 2 years: $750 Interest income of $750 is taxable Income of $1,450 per year for life $1,107 of the $1,450 is tax free No tax deduction Tax deduction of $11,257.00 (and can be carried over 5 years) May or may not go to charity at the end of life Remainder goes to charity at the end of life The culture of life begins in our hearts and our hands GUEST COLUMN Sister Constance Veit "Our 123rd Year" Canale Tonella Funeral Home, Inc Mark Canale, Owner/Manager Jerry Pennock, Director 906-226-2711 526 N. Third Street Marquette, MI Canale Gwinn Funeral Home Mark Canale, Owner/Director Jerry Pennock, Manager 906-346-4000 96 E. Stephenson, Ave., Gwinn, MI canalefuneral.com WITH MORE HEART IN OUR HANDS, MAY WE BRING A HOME-COOKED MEAL TO A SHUT-IN, TAKE A LONG WALK WITH A GRANDFATHER SUFFERING FROM ALZHEIMER'S OR OFFER AN ELDERLY NEIGHBOR A RIDE TO CHURCH. Anderson-Kell Funeral Home Anderson-Diehm Funeral Home Gary R. Anderson Nathan C. Anderson Chris Dessart 533 Tenth Avenue Menominee, MI (906) 863-5561 S218 US 41 Stephenson, MI (906) 753-2274 anderson-kell@att.net

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