Moments of Mercy: Advanced Directives and End-of-Life Decisions

You might be someone who likes to plan ahead, or perhaps you’re intrigued by ethical and moral decisions as they apply to real-life situations. Maybe you’re the caretaker for a loved one who’s increasingly challenged by health problems, and things just don’t seem to be getting any easier. Here’s something to keep in mind: Having a discussion and learning about Catholic teaching on end-of-life decisions and then accessing available resources does not mean giving up on yourself or someone else. It’s a practical, prayerful and thoughtful way to begin a conversation, a way to explore faith and to build deeper understandings with our loved ones. When we take the time to learn how the church can guide us, have prayerful connections to Our Lord and share our wishes with our loved ones, stress diminishes and peace grows even in the most difficult times.

Fr. Peter Murray, SJ and Janet Schirripa, MSW, will present a workshop on Advanced Directives on Saturday, February 4th at 10 a.m. in the Lewis Room. Our diocese has put great effort into designing a resource for families that walks you through our faith teaching and its practical application to real-life situations. We’ll explore topics such as benefit and burden, ordinary and extraordinary care, Catholic teaching on suffering, and our abilities to alleviate much of it. You’ll come with a bunch of questions, and, truthfully, you will likely leave with different questions, but you’ll be better equipped to have conversations, advocate, clarify and plan within a framework that’s true to our faith.

To register for this workshop, you’ll need to reserve your spot, as resources are limited. Connect with Janet at or 919-865-5704.

“[The Church] helps us make morally sound and compassionate decisions about the course of our health, even as it helps us prepare for death. By suffering, dying, and rising, Jesus gave the mystery of human suffering and death a profound and salvific meaning. St. Paul reminds us, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3: 2-3).To this end, I offer [these guidelines] as a way of providing helpful and comforting guidance to assist you in those decisions you and your loved ones must make.” – Bishop Burbidge (Comfort and Compassion: A Catholic Declaration on Life and Death)