Note to HALO Monthly recipientsWhether or not you are able to make a donation to HALO, you will continue to receive the newsletter. However, there are expenses involved in producing a quality newsletter. Therefore, we suggest an annual donation of $25.00 for HALO membership, which includes our newsletter. Of course, donations in any amount to support the work of HALO will be gratefully accepted. All donations are tax-deductible. Please send checks only to: HALO, P.O. Box 324, Chisago City, MN 55013.
Welcome to this edition of the HALO Monthly. This e-newsletter provides opportunities for HALO to share information about current healthcare issues, events, contributions from members, answers to prayer, and other relevant information. Please share your ideas and suggestions with us.

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HALO MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the Healthcare Advocacy and Leadership Organization is to promote, protect, and advocate for the rights of the medically vulnerable through direct patient and family interactions; through community education and awareness programs; and through promotion and development of concrete *"life-affirming healthcare"* alternatives for those facing the grave consequences of healthcare rationing and unethical practices, especially those at risk of euthanasia and assisted suicide.

*"Life-affirming healthcare" is defined as medical care in which the paramount principle is the sanctity of life, which means that the life and safety of each person come first and each person receives medical care across their lifespan based on their need for care and never with an intention to hasten death, regardless of their abilities or perceived "quality of life."

CHOOSE LIFE !




CHOOSE LIFE !

Just before Christmas, my husband Denny and I were in Zimbabwe speaking “life” to 600 high school and college students who came from churches around their country. We explained abstinence and dating boundaries, as well as the dangers of abortion, and the specific addictions of pornography, drugs, and alcohol. We hoped they would heed our warnings and consider the consequences of the choices they make. Multiple times we repeated, “When you wake up in the morning, you have the choice to do God’s Word or to do what the world tempts you to do. Life or death; Word or world.” We also added that the grace of forgiveness can give them a fresh start from a wrongful past. There is hope. Denny and I prayed they would choose life in all its fullness.
Become informed.
As we begin a new year, we have that same choice, no matter what stage our life is at right now. Many of us, having been involved for years in this struggle to protect human lives, may be weary. Or, you may have recently become involved in the pro-life movement. Whatever stage we are in, we need to continue to run this race and finish strong. Quitting will adversely affect our lives and the lives of others, both now and in the future.
HALO members believe every person is entitled to life-affirming medical care in which the paramount principle is the sanctity of human life. HALO’s mission is to “promote, protect, and advocate for the rights of the medically vulnerable.” One way to do this is through education and awareness. Become informed.
Take advantage of every opportunity to increase your awareness of the crucially important life issues that HALO and other organizations address. There are many websites, educational materials, and conferences to help you learn what you need to know, as well as to prepare you to educate others.
Denny and I are always learning. In fact, we just returned from attending an international conference—"Stopping Assisted Suicide in Your State”—hosted by a member of HALO’s Board of Directors, Alex Schadenberg, president of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. We will recap highlights of this conference in the next edition of our newsletter.
Be a doer in 2019.
You can be a “watchman on the wall” (Ezekiel 33) so others associate you with choosing life. This can be accomplished by warning your relatives and friends, members of your community, your legislators, etc. about the culture of death that has infiltrated our healthcare system. You can give them information that may help them save lives.
Praying is being a doer, and prayer is crucially important. If we hope to accomplish our mission, we must ask God for his guidance and grace.
After two trips to Africa in four months, my husband and I were tired of flying, so we decided to drive to see our son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren in the western United States. As we drove, our “Choose Life” license plates spoke for us a powerful, visual message to those who saw it.
Denny and I intend to continue to run this race and finish strong. Won’t you join us? Will your message to others in 2019 be “Choose Life!”?




THE DRAGONS DEVOURING OUR CHILDREN


HALO’s mission is to “promote, protect, and advocate for the rights of the medically vulnerable,” and that includes every human life “from the very first moment they are created…and throughout the rest of their lives until true death.” (See https://halorganization.com/LIFE-AFFIRMING-PRINCIPLES-AND-DEFINITIONS/) Therefore, we would be inconsistent if we did not condemn the twin abominations of abortion and infanticide.
In a tweet, Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas got it exactly right:
The video of the ‘celebration’ of New York legislators as they condemned even full-term unborn children to Death by Choice is a scene from Hell. Woe to those who ignore the sanctity of life, they reap the whirlwind of Hell. Stand against this holocaust in every way you can.
New York’s new law allows abortions up until the moment of birth and removes legal protections for babies born alive from botched abortions. Planned Parenthood cheered. They will not stop pushing their deadly agenda until killing any child is a legally sanctioned “choice” and no child’s life is safe.
At a news conference on January 30th, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, a physician, coldly explained what will happen to a baby who survives a third-trimester abortion.
[I]f the mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered, the infant would be kept comfortable, the infant would be resuscitated if this is what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physician and the mother.
Imagine the doctor’s words to the mother: ”Do you want your baby to live? If not, we can make certain he dies.” That is barbaric.
The politicians who enact such laws are like dragons—monsters with ravenous appetites that must be overcome by heroes and saints. (Recall St. George.) They will never stop devouring helpless children unless we—you and I—stop them! How? We can start with a few simple (although challenging) actions.
  1. Stay informed. Know what is happening in state and federal legislatures and support—with donations and words of encouragement and gratitude—the politicians and organizations that are defending life. Also add your voice to theirs by writing legislators and/or testifying against pro-death bills and for bills which defend life.
  2. Inform others. Talk to your neighbors and friends about the reasons you oppose laws that permit abortion and infanticide. Write letters to the editors of newspapers and magazines. Raise your voice in public forums. Yes, it may be uncomfortable, but heroes and saints don’t faint from discomfort.
  3. Pray.

THE FEDERAL CLOSET EUTHANASIA BILL – WHY IT MUST BE STOPPED





The Federal Closet Euthanasia Bill – why it must be stopped


By Julie Grimstad, President, HALO Board of Directors
The Healthcare Advocacy and Leadership Organization (HALO) has profound respect for the sanctity of human life and promotes life-affirming healthcare. Therefore, for the following reasons, HALO will vigorously oppose all attempts to enact legislation promoting hospice and palliative medicine (HPM) that does not explicitly prohibit providers from committing euthanasia as traditionally defined.
HALO is concerned about the well-being and lives of all people.
HALO cites numerous tragic cases of our help being sought when a loved one was being overdosed with analgesics and sedatives, and/or denied basic care such as food and water and usual medications, or when a loved one’s death was hastened—in an HPM setting—without the family realizing what was happening at the time. Consequently, we are hard-pressed to identify which hospice and palliative care programs can be trusted to care for—not to kill—the patients entrusted to them.
Dr. Farr A. Curlin, a palliative medicine specialist at Duke University, validates our concerns:
Many patients and their families don’t trust HPM and are resistant to it. I encounter such individuals in the hospital and in the community, among people of all walks of life and social strata but particularly among ethnic minorities and members of religious communities. These individuals tell stories about loved ones who declined slowly over time, fighting the good fight with the support and companionship of their family members and friends. When HPM professionals became involved in their care, their loved ones were put on powerful drugs, became unconscious and unresponsive, and were soon dead. These stories are clearly shared within communities and powerfully shape people’s perceptions of HPM, which many see as a sophisticated and seductive way of getting people to die.[1]
Dr. Curlin warns, “When the goal of HPM shifts from helping patients who are dying to helping patients die, practices that render patients unconscious or hasten their death no longer seem to be last-resort options [emphasis added].” [2]
We question whether the need for pain relief is best met by promoting HPM. We urge legislators to investigate and expose dangerous drug overdoses, starvation and dehydration, and other patient abuses that occur in HPM. Considering legislation that promotes HPM without first doing so is putting the cart before the horse.
Furthermore, it is no secret that hospice fraud is rampant. People who could live for years more are being pushed into hospice and palliative care programs, thereby lining the pockets of providers. When patients are deliberately killed in hospice and palliative care settings, these murders are covered up easily by deceitfully claiming a pure intention to ease pain and suffering. Why pour more taxpayers’ funds into this healthcare boondoggle when many (albeit not all) HPM providers are stealing from us and killing us while pretending to care?
If H.R. 647 becomes law, more people will be railroaded into being “helped to die”: people who are not otherwise near death—people YOU care about.
HPM education funded by the government is unlikely to be life-affirming.
The educational programs financed by government grants would likely be designed and taught by HPM leaders in league with Compassion and Choices and the Death with Dignity National Center (DDNC)—organizations that advocate for euthanasia and assisted suicide. Consider who these “educators” might be.
Dr. Timothy E. Quill, president of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM), is a board member of the DDNC. In 1991, the New England Journal of Medicine published Quill’s article about providing a lethal dose of drugs (illegally) to his patient Diane. [3] In 1997, he was the respondent in the U.S. Supreme Court case Vacco v. Quill, which challenged the ban on assisted suicide in New York. He argued that there is no difference between refusing lifesaving medical treatment and assisted suicide. In 2013, he was celebrated by his peers as one of several “Hospice and Palliative Medicine Visionaries,” which indicates that his frightful views are representative of many who practice HPM.
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) is the largest organization representing HPM programs and professionals in the United States. Moreover, reports Dr. Ralph A. Capone,
The NHPCO is the actual legal and corporate successor to the Euthanasia Society of America. The Euthanasia Society of America was successively known as the Society for the Right to Die, Choice in Dying, Partnership for Caring, and Last Acts Partnership before finally being absorbed into the NHPCO. This explains the contradiction between the publicly stated hospice mission and the reality in too many clinical settings. It appears that the NHPCO is intent on quietly subverting that life-affirming mission.[4]
When leaders in HPM are comfortable with deliberately ending patients’ lives, is hospice and palliative care safe for patients? These leaders must not be federally financed to educate others in the art of killing.
There is a real danger this Act will legalize euthanasia throughout the United States.
U.S. euthanasia advocates promote "medical aid in dying" (a euphemism for euthanasia and assisted suicide) as "palliative care." [5] Therefore, any federal legislation regarding HPM must define palliative care as excluding medical aid in dying. Also, a new “End of Life Options” bill in Delaware makes a legislative finding that “medical aid in dying” is “palliative care.” [6]
Attorney Margaret Dore, president of Choice is an Illusion, warns, “If this language becomes generally accepted, a proposed ‘Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act,’ which seeks to establish federal palliative care centers, will include medical aid in dying as palliative care. The Act will legalize euthanasia as traditionally defined in federal centers throughout the nation.” The Healthcare Advocacy and Leadership Organization concurs and finds this to be a compelling argument for opposing H.R. 647.

Call to Action!

Please register your strong objections to this bill ASAP by contacting the members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over H.R. 647. You may send a message to the Committee and/or to individual members. Their names and contact information can be found at: https://energycommerce.house.gov/about-ec/membership.

Also contact the Republican Members of the House who co-sponsored the PCHETA bill last Congress, especially if they represent you, and urge them not to sponsor H.R. 647. These House members are:
Rep. Schweikert, David [R-AZ-6]; Rep. Young, Don [R-AK-At Large]; Rep. Cook, Paul [R-CA-8]; Rep. LaMalfa, Doug [R-CA-1]; Rep. Lamborn, Doug [R-CO-5]; Rep. Tipton, Scott [R-CO-3]; Rep. Mast, Brian [R-FL-18]; Rep. Posey, Bill [R-FL-8]; Rep. Rutherford, John [R-FL-4]; Rep. Allen, Rick [R-GA-12]; Rep. Collins, Doug [R-GA-9]; Rep. Ferguson, Drew [R-GA-3]; Rep. Hice, Jody B. [R-GA-10]; Rep. Scott, Austin [R-GA-8]; Rep. Simpson, Michael [R-ID-2]; Rep. Bost, Mike [R-IL-12]; Rep. Davis, Rodney [R-IL-13]; Rep. LaHood, Darin [R-IL-18]; Rep. Marshall, Roger W. [R-KS-1]; Rep. Barr, Andy [R-KY-6]; Rep. Comer, James [R-KY-1]; Rep. Rogers, Harold [R-KY-5]; Rep. Emmer, Tom [R-MN-6]; Rep. Kelly, Trent [R-MS-1]; Rep. Palazzo, Steven M. [R-MS-4]; Rep. Smith, Jason [R-MO-8]; Rep. Bacon, Don [R-NE-2]; Rep. Fortenberry, Jeff [R-NE-1]; Rep. Amodei, Mark E. [R-NV-2]; Rep. Smith, Christopher H. [R-NJ-4]; Rep. Katko, John [R-NY-24]; Rep. King, Peter T. [R-NY-2]; Rep. Reed, Tom [R - NY- 23]; Rep. Stefanik, Elise M. [R-NY-21]; Rep. Zeldin, Lee M. [R-NY-1]; Rep. Rouzer, David [R-NC-7]; Rep. Chabot, Steve [R-OH-1]; Rep. Gibbs, Bob [R-OH-7]; Rep. Joyce, David P. [R-OH-14]; Rep. Stivers, Steve [R-OH-15]; Rep. Turner, Michael [R-OH-10]; Rep. Fitzpatrick, Brian [R-PA-8]; Rep. Smucker, Lloyd [R-PA-16]; Rep. Thompson, Glenn [R-PA-15]; Rep. Wilson, Joe [R-SC-2]; Rep. Kustoff, David [R-TN-8]; Rep. Roe, Phil [R-TN-1]; Rep. Conaway, Michael [R-TX-11]; Rep. Marchant, Kenny [R-TX-24]; Rep. McCaul, Michael [R-TX-10]; Rep. Thornberry, Mac [R-TX-13];  Rep. Stewart, Chris [R-UT-2]; Rep. Wittman, Robert J. [R-VA-1]; Rep. Herrera Beutler, Jaime [R-WA-3]; Rep. Newhouse, Dan [R-WA-4]; Rep. Mooney, Alexander [R-WV-2]; Rep. Gallagher, Mike [R-WI-8]; Rep. Sensenbrenner, J. [R-WI-5.
Thank you.

Definitions:
“Euthanasia” is traditionally defined as an action (e.g., administration of a lethal agent) or an omission (e.g., denial of food and fluids and/or usual medications or care) that causes another person’s death. 
“Assisted suicide” means that a person provides the means or information for another person to commit suicide.
NOTES
1. Farr A. Curlin, MD, “Hospice and Palliative Medicine’s Attempt at an Art of Dying,” in Dying in the Twenty-First Century: Toward a New Ethical Framework for the Art of Dying Well, ed. Lydia Dugdale, MD (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2015), 48https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/dying-twenty-first-century
2. Ibid., 58.
3. Timothy E. Quill, MD, “Death and Dignity – A Case of Individualized Decision Making,” New England Journal of Medicine 324 (March 7, 1991): 691‒694,https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199103073241010.
4. Ralph Capone, MD, FACP, et al., “The Rise of Stealth Euthanasia: Imposed Death Disguised as Pain Relief,” Ethics & Medics 38, no. 6 (June 2013), https://www.hospicepatients.org/capone-stevens-grimstad-panzer-ncbc-em-june2013-the-rise-of-stealth-euthanasia.pdf.
Hospice Patients Alliance, “From Euthanasia Society of Amer ica to National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (1938–Present),” http://www.hospicepatients.org/euthanasia-soc-of-america-to-natl-hosp-and-palliative-care-org.pdf.
6. The Delaware End of Life Options bill (draft date January 4, 2019; seehttps://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/2019-end-of-life-options-act-no-number-yet.pdf) states, “WHEREAS, the integration of medical aid in dying into the standard for end-of-life care has improved quality of services by providing an additional palliative care option to terminally ill individuals [emphasis added].”

Admitted to Hospice and Palliative Care without Consent





Admitted to Hospice and Palliative Care without Consent

By Dorothy Knightly
My husband, William F. Knightly Jr., died on April 26, 2017, from untreated sepsis, which he contracted at a New Hampshire hospital while under the “care” of a hospice and palliative care specialist.
In early February 2017, my husband had lung and lymph node biopsies with negative results. The oncologist said they didn’t know if he had kidney cancer and wouldn’t know unless they took out his kidney. William refused. If there was nothing wrong with it, he said, they would take it out for nothing. The oncologist wasn’t happy. His whole demeanor changed toward my husband and me.
After having the biopsies, William started getting weak. The oncologist prescribed Cipro (an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections). He had all the side effects listed for Cipro, but the doctor overlooked them and just assumed that my husband was dying of lung cancer.



Hospitalized by deception
We refused when the doctor asked if William wanted to be admitted to hospice care. My husband told the doctor that he didn’t want to die; he wanted treatment. The doctor responded that my husband would be admitted to the hospital for a short time to get his strength back and his pain controlled.
On March 16, 2017, my husband walked into the hospital on his own two feet and was admitted, at which time he was given Dilaudid (a pain-control medication) intravenously. The next day, William told me that a man visited him. We weren’t told this man was a hospice and palliative care (HPC) physician who was there to handle William’s pain medication. The doctor started him on 15 milligrams of MS Contin (extended-release morphine) twice a day and 15 milligrams of morphine every four hours if needed for breakthrough pain. Without his knowledge or consent, William had been admitted to hospice.
Insidious secrecy, serious abuse, and life-threatening neglect
Frequent lab tests were performed. Sepsis (a life-threatening blood infection) and other illnesses were found, but at that time, we weren’t informed about them, and William wasn’t given any treatment for these illnesses.
In the hospital, my husband was diagnosed with cancer of the lung, kidney, and spine. During the first week there, he walked with a walker, ate, drank, talked, joked, and even played the harmonica with our two-year-old granddaughter.
The HPC doctor kept increasing the dosage of oral morphine until it was up to 225 milligrams daily. He was given morphine every four hours for breakthrough pain and extended-release morphine every eight hours. I’m positive of this because, after my husband died, I reviewed every page of his medical records.
During the second week, William stopped walking, eating, and talking. All he did was sleep. My family and I pleaded for a feeding tube because he kept losing weight, but our request was refused. They told us that it would require surgery and that he couldn’t have surgery.
On March 23, against my husband’s wishes, he received five rounds of radiation on his spine for the supposed tumors on his L3 vertebra. After his death, I reviewed his medical records. They did not indicate that he had any tumors, but did show he had spinal stenosis and a fractured spine in five places. Again, we weren’t informed about these conditions, and he received no treatment for them.
The staff wasn’t supposed to wake my husband to give him pain pills, but they woke him anyway. When he refused pain medications during the night, he was finally lucid enough to tell me that he had to get out of there—because they were trying to kill him. He was right.
I complained to one of the nurses that my husband was being given too much morphine. She agreed, then told me they were having a meeting and would discuss it. After the meeting, the morphine dosage was lowered slightly, but he kept sleeping and was very weak.
On April 6, the hospital finally agreed to discharge William. He was in much worse shape than when he was admitted. While the palliative care doctor was in his room, the hospitalist came to see William. The hospitalist woke him and asked if he was in pain. My husband answered, “I don’t know.” The hospitalist got angry and said, “If he doesn’t know if he’s in pain, he isn’t. He’s being overmedicated. I’m taking over his medication right now.” The palliative care doctor left the room. We never saw him again.
Obsessed with death
My husband went home that day in an ambulance. He had pressure ulcers (bedsores) on his lower back, and I think he was still suffering from sepsis, one symptom of which is diarrhea. On the second day he was home, after being prescribed Marinol (a drug used to relieve nausea and vomiting), William started eating again. He seemed to be doing well, even though he couldn’t walk because he was weak from the morphine still in his system.
We opted for home health care. The home health care nurse was supposed to be the only nurse he would see. We very explicitly stated that we did not want hospice nurses because all they talk about is death. Nevertheless, they sent an HPC nurse-practitioner (NP) without telling us who she was. My husband didn’t want to die, but, true to form, all she talked about for three straight days was death. It sent my husband over the edge. On April 18, I thought William had a stroke. I didn’t find out until I read his medical file, after his death, that he had suffered a heart attack—not a stroke.
Before the NP arrived that day, my son and I were visiting with my husband. He was talking and happy. Here is what we witnessed: The NP mentioned the HPC doctor’s name. My husband threw up his arms and tried to yell. The NP saw him have the heart attack, but she did nothing except suggest giving him Haldol for agitation. I wouldn’t let her. I told her he was fine until she came in ranting about death. When she left, he lay there with his mouth wide open and his eyes half shut. I called his primary care physician and told her what happened.
The home health care nurse phoned that night to tell us the NP was no longer allowed to come to our house and that she would be there the next day.
More hospital horrors
When the nurse arrived on April 19, she saw that William was dehydrated, so she called 911. An ambulance took him back to the hospital. In the emergency room, we were informed that he only had a couple of hours to live. Still, no one said anything about a heart attack or sepsis. They kept saying he was dying of cancer.
William was moved to the ICU that evening. They didn’t want to give him an IV, but I insisted. After doing blood work, they said he had an infection. They weren’t sure what or where it was, so they put him on IV antibiotics. The antibiotics were stopped that evening without our permission. We thought the infection had been caught in time and treated. Why else would they discontinue lifesaving antibiotics?
His hemoglobin count was 7.5. If it went down to seven, they said he could get a blood transfusion. Also, his white blood cell count was extremely high (24,000), so they took him off the saline and gave him dextrose (sugar). He then became responsive. He shook his head for yes and no and held my hand.
On the next morning, he was moved to a room on the fifth floor and given a saline IV again. He lay there with his mouth wide open and his eyes half shut, unable to drink or talk. I requested a CAT scan to see if he’d had a stroke. I also requested more blood tests because I thought he might need a transfusion. The hospitalist denied my request: “Why waste the blood on him when someone bleeding to death could use it more?”
I arranged to transfer William to a cancer hospital. Two physicians were waiting for him there, but the hospitalist refused to give him a referral. Next, they wanted to put him on a morphine drip. I refused. My husband was responsive enough to shake his head no. He also refused the flu shot they tried to give him. He was afraid they were going to kill him.
I stayed with him 24/7, holding his hand. We both feared for his life. He was responsive until the day before his death. On Wednesday, April 26, my husband finally gave up and died, with his family present and me still holding his hand.
After examining his medical file, I found out he had a urinary tract infection that wasn’t treated. Also, the hospital’s vice president of patient affairs told me my husband did not have kidney cancer. In fact, his medical records didn’t indicate that there was anything wrong with his kidneys. His file did reveal that he’d suffered a heart attack. The undertaker, who had a copy of William’s death certificate, told me that my husband had died of sepsis—not cancer.
I sent documentation concerning William’s death to the New Hampshire Medical Board. After going through his paperwork, they found that, even though we did not want a do not resuscitate (DNR) order and there was no signed DNR in his medical records, my husband was ILLEGALLY given DNR status—that is, no attempt was made to resuscitate him.
An urgent warning
Our loved ones are dying because hospice and palliative care providers are getting away with illegal euthanasia. That is, patients’ lives are being intentionally ended by denial of lifesaving and life-sustaining medical treatment, and instead are being drugged into oblivion. This needs to end. People must be warned so they can protect their loved ones. I’m telling my painful story to help expose the horrific and increasingly common practice of stealth euthanasia* to a mostly unsuspecting public.
*Stealth euthanasia” means deliberately hastening a patient’s death while pretending to provide appropriate treatment and care. Actions and omissions intended to cause death are disguised or hidden from those who may object, such as concerned family members.
Editor’s note: When a person (patient) is in the hospital and/or receiving hospice and/or palliative care, it is wise for the patient, family, medical power of attorney agent (proxy), or legal guardian to frequently check the patient’s medical records. Look for new medication orders or dosage changes, discontinuation of usual medications (such as blood pressure medications, insulin, etc.; results of lab tests and other medical tests; and secret DNR orders.
Trust your gut. If you are uneasy or suspicious about something that you’re being told, or that is being done or not being done to the patient, ask doctors and nurses questions and request honest answers. If you don’t understand what medical personnel are saying, ask them to explain in terms you can understand. If you’re still concerned, seek a second opinion. In a situation where a patient’s life is in danger, legal assistance may be necessary. Email feedback@halorganization.com for more information or help.
HALO’s “Drugs Commonly Used in Hospice and Palliative Care” fact sheet is a useful guide for patients and their medical decision makers who have questions about medications, their side effects, or pain control in general. It may be downloaded at https://halorganization.com/pdf/drug-sheet.pdf.


St. John Paul II Dwelling






St. John Paul II Dwelling


This article was adapted from an article by Andy Rieger that was originally published in The Norman Transcript, November 25, 2018.
At age 91, Ruth tires easily, but is comforted by soothing music and a volunteer’s warm touch. She smiles as Sr. Maria retells the story of the two German shepherds, Rosie and Paul, who also call the St. John Paul II Dwelling their temporary home. The 8,000 square foot home, nestled on eight wooded acres just east of Interstate Highway 35 outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, opened this fall with two residents who had similar diagnoses. In the final stages of life, both needed a place where dignity, prayer and compassion are in good supply. As I look on, Charlie, age 97, from Boley, gets a private piano concert from a teenage volunteer. “Both of them (Ruth and Charlie) are doing better since they got here,” Sr. Maria reports. “The whole idea of this is of community, of the Gospel, and solidarity. It’s about joining them on their final journey.”
Upon first visiting the home on South Eastern (Moore, Oklahoma), “I prayed, ‘God, this is far too nice for me. Give me something simple,’” Sr. Maria recalls. “But God said, ‘Maybe too nice for you, but not for the people who will live here.’” The two-story home, complete with a chapel, cottage and barn, is the third operated by the nonprofit Gospel of Life Disciples+Dwellings.
Sr. Maria of the Trinity founded the Gospel of Life Association after arriving in Oklahoma City from Minnesota five years ago. The first Gospel of Life Dwelling is near St. James parish in the southern part of Oklahoma City. A similar home is operated in Grand Prairie, Texas. Volunteers, called LifeGuards, take shifts around the clock with the residents.
The St. John Paul II Dwelling’s bedrooms are named for the five nearby Catholic parishes that have stepped up to support the ministry. A donor helped purchase the home from the Babb family. Dirk and Anne Babb raised 15 children there. Many of their children were adopted and had special needs. The home has seven bedrooms, a large kitchen, study, office, music room and television room. Visitors are welcomed with a porch swing. Fundraisers are planned in the farm’s former dairy barn. And soon, there will be horses and a pair of milk cows, Ruth and Esther. The LifeGuards cook, clean, play games, garden, sing and play the piano, and make the environment into the home it was built to be. Sr. Maria explains, “It’s a place where we can walk with them at the end of their life.”
The needs are many and include donations to help pay the bills and install an elevator, and volunteers to serve as “LifeGuards” (caregivers) to further the ministry. With more volunteers, more residents can be served. The calls are already coming in.
Please note: The nonprofit Gospel of Life Disciples+Dwellings relies completely on the generosity of others to support and sustain the ministry. Would you consider helping? Visit www.gospeloflifedisciples.org/volunteer to discover different ways to give of your time, and go to www.gospeloflifedisciples.org/donate to make a one-time or recurring donation. God bless you!
Sister Maria of the Trinity serves on HALO’s Board of Advisors.


LIFE-AFFIRMING INVESTING ADVICE




LIFE-AFFIRMING INVESTING ADVICE


For those who invest in religious/socially responsible funds, we offer the following advice from one of our members.
Take the time to read through the businesses/corporations in which the fund is investing. When I noticed the name of a company that provides a service for Planned Parenthood, I contacted the person listed on the fund's site. I provided the name of the offending company and documentation for my claim. The next day, I received confirmation that the company would be dropped from their investment portfolio. Religious/socially responsible investment firms should welcome the information, since it helps them meet their mission.

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