By Kathy Fanger
Our January article, “This Year, Resolve to Plan Ahead,” stressed that end-of-life planning deserves your restful, intentional focus. Having plans in place, with your wishes known, avoids your loved ones having to guess what should be done, often in a crisis situation. You lift them of potential guilt, arguments and financial burdens.
What a generous gift of love! They will be so grateful to you… What better time than February, a month associated with love, to accomplish your Advance Directive, Estate Plans, burial property and communicating your desire for Catholic Funeral Services.
Do you have an Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD)?
An AHCD is a critical legal document which every person 18 years and older should complete. An AHCD allows you to control the types of medical procedures you want provided or withheld in the event of an incapacitating illness or injury when you cannot communicate for yourself. Medical treatments are never required.
An AHCD allows you to designate a person(s), or agent, who will make sure that your wishes are carried out. This person might be a completely different person than the one you choose to attend to your financial matters. Ask their permission. Without an AHCD, the courts or others may have the power over such decisions.
Educate yourself about Palliative Care medications used at end-of-life that keep people aware, but out of pain. Discover what artificial nutrition and hydration, CPR, other medical treatments, and the POLST are used for and when they are a bridge to restore health. Attend our workshop: Questions at End of Life – A Catholic Perspective. Your health care agent(s) may always contact a priest for guidance when faced with a difficult decision on your behalf.
Cindy Safe, former Executive Director and founding board member for Coda Alliance, has given Advance Directive workshops for the past 16 years. People often express that they don’t know how to begin the discussion with their loved ones.
Coda Alliance developed GoWish, a deck of 36 cards, that helps you prioritize your end-of-life wishes, such as, “to say goodbye to important people in my life,” “to prevent arguments by making sure my family knows what I want, “ “to be free from pain,” “to be kept clean.” You may add other faith-based ones: “to receive the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.” Play GoWish online or purchase a deck of cards (available in multiple languages at www.codaalliance.org) or at our workshop.
After your Advance Directive is completed, signed and witnessed, be sure to have conversations with your appointed agents and your loved ones about your end-of-life plans and give copies to your doctors, agents and family members. Read over and update every few years.
Catholic Cemeteries staff is happy to meet with you and assist you at no charge with your end-of-life plans – always in alignment with Catholic Church teachings. Make February your month to accomplish your legacy of love.
To receive our free Legacy Planning Guide – a comprehensive step-by-step booklet to document important end-of-life information, or make a free appointment, call (650) 428-3730 or visit www.ccdsj.org.
Planning a Catholic Funeral Mass
February 6, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Holy Family Parish – Community Center, 4848 Pearl Ave., San Jose
Presenter: Father Christopher Bennett
At this hands-on workshop, you will learn the basic elements of planning a funeral Mass or memorial service for you or a loved one. FatherBennett will share scripture readings and music selections that may have special meanings to you. Begin to document your wishes for participants and selections.
Anointing of the Sick Presentation followed by the Sacrament
February 16, 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Saint Joseph of Cupertino Parish Community Center
10110 N. DeAnza Blvd. Cupertino
Facilitator: Monsignor Joseph Milani
Learn about this comforting sacrament which gives strength and graces. Offered to baptized Catholics in need of healing i.e. preparing for surgery, serious/ongoing condition, frail in old age, suffering from depression. May be received more than once. You need not wait until death is imminent.
Parish Bereavement Ministers’ Training SPRING 2019
Bridging the Gap with Hispanic Communities*
February 21, 28, March 7, (Skip 14), 21, 28, April 4; make-up for one missed class on April 11, Classes 7 – 9 p.m.
The Chancery, Diocese of San Jose 1150 North First St. Suite 100, San Jose.
The ministry of consolation depends on faith, compassion and prayerful presence. This in-depth training and enrichment series is for parish staff, clergy and volunteers. Focus includes the grief process, effective communication, and models of parish consolation programs. *Course materials provided in English and Spanish. RSVP by February 14 to (650) 428-3730 x510, firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOLACE – Soul + Grief
Monthly Drop-in Grief Support Group grounded in spirituality and faith
February 27, 7 – 9 p.m (4th Wednesday each month)
O’Connor Hospital Chapel, 2105 Forest Ave., San Jose.
Parking in the back lot, right of main entrance.
Facilitator: Candee Lucas, M.A. Pastoral Ministries. We hope to create a sacred space for you to share your grieving. No RSVP necessary. Free. Sponsored by Catholic Cemeteries and O’Connor Hospital.