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Comfort in Care at Life's End View Comments
By Dorothy Callahan

Hospice volunteers attend a 16-hour training course that outlines their caregiving roles. (Left to right) Education manager Mary Pugliese speaks to aides Anne Craige, Guilene Ham and Gina Lippolis.

“If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another.”

—Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

LIFE OFTEN leads you where you least expect to go and where you never imagine you’ll have the courage to prevail.

Looking back 32 years, Julia Quinlan reflects on the day when she and her husband, Joe, were caught in an emotional turmoil. They were trapped in a parents’ nightmare, unable to wake their daughter Karen Ann from the coma into which a tragic accident had plunged her five years earlier and prevent the certainty of her death. Yet through the shared pain Julia and Joe endured, a promise of peace, solace and comfort for others emerged as they worked to create a memorial for Karen Ann. Although the idea was in its organizational infancy in those days, a tiny,
spare hospital office in Newton, N.J., bore a small sign with a big name: Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice.

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Dorothy Callahan is a freelance writer from Hamburg, New Jersey. She has had numerous articles and short stories published in a variety of magazines.

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Alphonsus Rodriguez: Tragedy and challenge beset today’s saint early in life, but Alphonsus Rodriguez found happiness and contentment through simple service and prayer. 
<p>Born in Spain in 1533, Alphonsus inherited the family textile business at 23. Within the space of three years, his wife, daughter and mother died; meanwhile, business was poor. Alphonsus stepped back and reassessed his life. He sold the business and, with his young son, moved into his sisters’ home. There he learned the discipline of prayer and meditation. </p><p>Years later, at the death of his son, Alphonsus, almost 40 by then, sought to join the Jesuits. He was not helped by his poor education. He applied twice before being admitted. For 45 years he served as doorkeeper at the Jesuits’ college in Majorca. When not at his post, he was almost always at prayer, though he often encountered difficulties and temptations. </p><p>His holiness and prayerfulness attracted many to him, including St. Peter Claver, then a Jesuit seminarian. Alphonsus’s life as doorkeeper may have been humdrum, but he caught the attention of poet and fellow-Jesuit Gerard Manley Hopkins, who made him the subject of one of his poems. </p><p>Alphonsus died in 1617. He is the patron saint of Majorca.</p> American Catholic Blog People mess up, and it’s especially hard to watch as our children and other young people go down paths we know are likely to lead to heartbreak. Providing gentle guidance when it’s needed, and love even when that guidance isn’t followed, helps them to start fresh.

 
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