Bp Ricken: Faith and end-of-life decisions

Recently I had the opportunity to be in communication with Jen Bolen, the mother of Jerika Bolen. Jerika is a 14-year old girl from Appleton who has type 2 spinal muscular atrophy, a terminal condition that is slowly shutting down the motor nerves of her body. Jerika’s mother and grandmother have cared for her with so much love since she was diagnosed as a small child.

This summer, we learned of her condition through news reports after she decided to enter hospice and embark into a summer of doing many of the things she has always wanted to do. She plans to remove the ventilator that helps her to breathe toward the end of summer. We pray for the Holy Spirit to offer guidance, comfort and wisdom to the Bolen family as they journey together through August.

This situation makes us pause and reflect on how our faith plays an active role in our decisions regarding end of life. The Catholic Church has always been deeply rooted in its belief that all life is sacred, social and eternal. Death is a natural part of life, a very special part that brings us into final union with our Creator for eternity.
continue at The Compass

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