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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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Philip Neri: Philip Neri was a sign of contradiction, combining popularity with piety against the background of a corrupt Rome and a disinterested clergy, the whole post-Renaissance malaise. 
<p>At an early age, he abandoned the chance to become a businessman, moved to Rome from Florence and devoted his life and individuality to God. After three years of philosophy and theology studies, he gave up any thought of ordination. The next 13 years were spent in a vocation unusual at the time—that of a layperson actively engaged in prayer and the apostolate. </p><p>As the Council of Trent (1545-63) was reforming the Church on a doctrinal level, Philip’s appealing personality was winning him friends from all levels of society, from beggars to cardinals. He rapidly gathered around himself a group of laypersons won over by his audacious spirituality. Initially they met as an informal prayer and discussion group, and also served poor people in Rome. </p><p>At the urging of his confessor, he was ordained a priest and soon became an outstanding confessor, gifted with the knack of piercing the pretenses and illusions of others, though always in a charitable manner and often with a joke. He arranged talks, discussions and prayers for his penitents in a room above the church. He sometimes led “excursions” to other churches, often with music and a picnic on the way. </p><p>Some of his followers became priests and lived together in community. This was the beginning of the Oratory, the religious institute he founded. A feature of their life was a daily afternoon service of four informal talks, with vernacular hymns and prayers. Giovanni Palestrina was one of Philip’s followers, and composed music for the services. </p><p>The Oratory was finally approved after suffering through a period of accusations of being an assembly of heretics, where laypersons preached and sang vernacular hymns! (Cardinal Newman founded the first English-speaking house of the Oratory three centuries later.) </p><p>Philip’s advice was sought by many of the prominent figures of his day. He is one of the influential figures of the Counter-Reformation, mainly for converting to personal holiness many of the influential people within the Church itself. His characteristic virtues were humility and gaiety.</p> American Catholic Blog We need do no more than we are doing at present; that is, to love divine Providence and abandon ourselves in his arms and heart.<br />—St. Padre Pio

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