"Belgium's 15 year experiment with euthanasia has gone terribly wrong. This film is a dire warning for the rest of the world."
St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Parish Blog.
The Saskatoon Health Region will be able to accommodate requests for medical assistance in dying (MAID), despite a dozen of its facilities declaring a conscientious objection, board chair Mike Stensrud says.
“The Saskatoon Health Region is a large, multi-facility health care provider. So with being large, we have numerous options that will be made available.”
Among the objecting facilities is St. Paul’s Hospital, which has a 12-bed palliative care unit — the only such dedicated unit in the health region.
The other facilities include Bethany Pioneer Village, Central Haven Special Care Home, Circle Drive Special Care Home, Dalmeny Spruce Manor Special Care Home, Oliver Lodge, Rosthern Mennonite Nursing Home, Samaritan Place, Sherbrooke Community Centre, St. Ann’s Home, St. Joseph’s Home and Warman Mennonite Special Care Home.
The objections are noted in the health region’s MAID policy, which is expected to be presented to the board for approval Wednesday.
The policy recognizes that under the Regional Health Services Act, faith-based institutions are not required to provide health services that are not consistent with the fundamental principles of their faith.
Assessments may take place at faith-based institutions and eligible patients would be transferred to a non-objecting site, according to the submission from legal counsel Evert Van Olst, associate senior medical officer Dr. Robert Weiler and ethicist Dr. Qaiser Fahim.
“Under rare circumstances where a patient is too sick to be transferred discussion on options can occur,” they wrote.
Stensrud said there will never be large numbers of people opting for the service, and many of those who do will want to die in their own homes. MAID teams are able to travel there, he said.
Palliative care also has a role to play, he added.
“I think there’s some truth in the fact that if we do a good enough job with palliative care, most people won’t choose end of life options. But the courts are clear that the system needs to provide that option as well, and the Saskatoon Health Region is going to find a way to accommodate those things.”
Link to the article from the Saskatoon Star Phoenix on December 7th, 2016: http://thestarphoenix.com/health/seniors/st-pauls-files-objection-to-maid
Q.What are the symptoms of shingles?
A. Quick Answer
Shingles is a viral infection that affects a small portion of the body, resulting in pain, burning and numbness, followed by the appearance of a red rash after a few days.
The infection is due to the zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chicken pox. In order to develop shingles, the individual must have had chicken pox in the past. Once the body recovers from chicken pox, the virus remains dormant in the nerves, often for years. In many people, it never reactivates.
There is no cure for shingles but available medications help to reduce the length of the outbreak, especially if the individual takes them quickly after onset. Without medication, the pain of shingles can last for months and sometimes years. Doctors recommend a vaccine for individuals over age 60. In certain instances, the patient's doctor recommends the vaccine for individuals between 50 and 59.
When suffering from shingles, a cold compress or a cold shower helps to relieve the pain and itching of the blisters. Doctors offer prescription medication, including tricyclic antidepressants, numbing agents and narcotic pain medication to reduce the severe pain.
The rash eventually forms blisters that break open and itch. Some individuals also experience chills and fever, headaches and general achiness. The rash forms blisters that typically scab over in 7 to 10 days and clear up within 2 to 4 weeks.
A. Quick Answer
Shingles symptoms generally begin as pain, numbness or burning on one side of the sufferer's body. Pain is sometimes intense before the rash or blisters form. The rash eventually forms blisters that break open and itch. Some individuals also experience chills and fever, headaches and general achiness.
A. Full Answer
The rash usually takes several days to appear after the pain begins. The pain is severe, and sufferers sometimes mistake it for lung, heart or kidney problems. The rash usually appears as stripes that wrap around the patient's torso. The blisters that form usually crust over in a few days and flake away without leaving any scars. The rash sometimes appears on the sufferer's face. If it is near the eye, the patient should seek medical attention, as it can cause blindness.
If you suspect an outbreak of shingles, see a doctor immediately. It is a viral condition, and antiviral medications are available that help to reduce symptoms. For best relief, the patient should take these medications as early as possible in the outbreak. The medication helps to reduce the length and severity of the illness.
The varicella zoster virus can only spread to a person who has never had chickenpox. If the virus infects a person, he develops chickenpox and not shingles. Once the body heals from the chickenpox, the virus remains dormant. Anyone who has had chickenpox has the potential to develop shingles; however, most with the condition are age 50 or older.
The risk for developing shingles increases with age. Disease, a weakened immune system or medications that depress the immune system, increase the chances of developing the disease.
A person typically only has shingles once in a lifetime, although in rare instances, it is possible to have the disease two or three times.
For readers interested in the PDF version, the document is available for downloading or viewing:
Statement on the Recommended Use of Herpes Zoster Vaccine (PDF document - 320 KB - 19 pages)Volume 36 • ACS-January 2010
What a shingles rash looks like. (Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Q. How can I protect myself from Shingles?
A. Quick Answer
The risk of getting Shingles increases with age. There is a vaccine called Zostavax which helps to prevent Shingles, and is offered after age 50. However, it is non-formulary drug which means a cost of $230.00 (as of November 14, 2016) to you in Saskatchewan.
You can call the Public Health Services International Travel Centre at 108-407 Ludlow St., Saskatoon for an appointment. Doctor’s prescription NOT needed. Call 306-655-4780.
The Prayer Shawl Ministry at St. Philip Neri Parish was a CWL initiative in 2005 and today the knitting group, which consists of CWL members and other parishioners, is still alive and well.
These Prayer Shawls are blessed and then distributed by the St. Philip Neri Parish Nurses, as a comfort and to console those suffering a loss or bereavement, to the ill or those recovering from an illness and to the elderly. The shawls can also be given at the birth of a new baby and other significant life celebrations.
Compassion and the love of knitting/crocheting have been combined into a prayerful ministry and spiritual practice, which reaches out to those in need of comfort and solace, as well as in celebration and joy.
The Ministry’s sole purpose is to give away the shawls. It is a gift freely given with no strings attached. The hope is that these shawls will literally wrap the recipients in prayer, providing hope, comfort and healing to those who need a reminder of God’s love for them, through the work of the hands off the knitters, and the prayers in their hearts.
The Prayer Shawl Ministry combines love for God and service to others in a tangible way by giving shawls to those who need comfort and prayer. Many prayers are knitted into each shawl. Knitting a Prayer Shawl helps and comforts not only the recipient, but the knitter as well.
The Knitting group meet at 2229 Haultain Ave @ 1pm each Monday and is always eager to have new members – experienced and inexperienced are encouraged to join. The group also welcomes knitters for other projects – e.g. slippers.
Knitting needles, patterns and crochet hooks are provided by the group.
The group also welcomes donations of wool which can be left at the Parish Nurses Office at St. Philip Neri.
If you are interested in joining or assisting the group in any way, please call:
Irene Hauser @ 306-343-1192. Prayer Shawl Ministry Coordinator.
Organ & Tissue Donation
The need for organs and tissue for transplants is great. Demand exceeds supply and you can help. You can make a living donation or a donation after death.
One organ can save up to 8 lives. One tissue donor can improve the lives of more than 75 people. Currently 90 people are waiting for a kidney transplant in Sask. Almost 70 people are waiting for a corneal transplant in Saskatchewan.
The oldest person to be an organ donor (kidney) in Canada was 93 YEARS OLD! Age doesn’t matter!!!
In 2015, there were 10 multi-organs and 45 corneal donors in Saskatchewan. One third of all Canadians who need a transplant will never receive one.
Note: In Saskatchewan, organ & tissue will NOT be donated without your family or next-of-kin’s consent, even if the organ and tissue donor sticker is on your health card. Talk to your family about your decision to donate.
For more information contact www.saskatoonhealthregion.ca or CanadianBloodServices.ca
“Senior’s Health and Continuing Care” are committed to the delivery of resident-directed and family centred care throughout the long term care homes in the Saskatoon Health Region. As part of that commitment, residents and family members are being invited to participate in a survey. The surveys ask about experiences with communication, care provision, food and mealtime experience, and activities. Surveys will take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. One survey is specific to residents and another is specific to family members.
Resident’s surveys are available in the long term care facilities and volunteers with specialized training will be available to assist those residents who wish to complete the survey.
If you would like a paper copy of the Family survey please contact the St. Philip Neri Parish office.
Both paper and electronic versions of the survey are available to both residents and family members. People with computer access are encouraged to complete the survey electronically at –
Paper versions of the Family Survey must be returned to the address on the survey by April 8th, 2016.
If you have questions about the survey, please contact Audra Remenda at 306-655-2312.
The Parish Nursing Ministry held their 3rd Men’s Breakfast on Saturday March 5th 2016.
The event was successful and the feedback from all the 28 men in attendance was very positive.
Following a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage, oatmeal bake and fresh fruit, everyone listened to personal stories and informative accounts of receiving the diagnosis of Prostate Cancer. The presentations given by Ian Mitchell and Art Battiste covered the need for early diagnosis, some of the treatments options available and the importance of Spiritual Community.
Ian is a parishioner at St.Philip Neri Parish and a retired teacher who firmly believes in education and wants to educate as many people as possible about Prostate Cancer.
Art is a Prostate cancer survivor and speaks at various events about the disease and the Prostate Cancer support group.
Their advice is to not be afraid to talk about it, get checked out, it's not just an old man issue, it's not a death sentence, and to include a support system. For more info about this event or about contacting the speakers, contact Ethna or Deb (Parish Nurses).
A BIG “Thank You” to everyone who donated wool, or money to be used for the purchase of wool, to the St. Philip Neri CWL Knitting group. The response was great! Our Parish admin. assistant, Desiree, posted a message on Facebook to all her friends which resulted in a very large box full of beautiful wool being mailed from her friend in Okotoks, Alberta. This wool will be used for Prayer Shawls to be distributed to those who are ill or in need of prayer and support from our Parish.
Join us on Saturday 5th March for Breakfast for Men of all ages.
Doors open at 08:30am and Breakfast is served at 0900am in the Welcome Area.
The food promises to be great, the discussion will be enlightening and hopefully you can make a few new friends.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the Glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31.
It’s been a little while since I last blogged, so the next few blogs will give an update on what has been happening with Parish Nursing at St. Philip Neri parish.
It certainly has been a busy and eventful year.
On 21st March 2015, 27 ladies who are involved with the “Love Your Neighbour Ministry” in our Parish, participated in the Food Safe – Level 1 course and received a certificate in “Safe Food Handling”. The event was organized by the Parish Nurses and training was provided by Russell Scott CIPHI – Food safety 1st.
The day was a great success and enjoyed by all who attended. The presenter made the class fun ably assisted by his 2 puppets – Sam and Ella, collectively known as “Salmonella”.
The “Love Your Neighbour Ministry” at St. Philip Neri parish prepare and serve lunches after funeral masses.
Below are some pictures of course participants.
My name is Ethna Martin and I am one of the Parish Nurses here at St. Philip Neri. I am also the Chairperson for the Canadian Association for Parish Nursing Ministry. At our annual conference in Ancaster, Ontario, held June 12th to 15th a major topic of conversation and discussion was Bill 52.
On June 5th 2014 Bill 52, termed as an Act respecting end of life Care, was adopted by a vote of 94 -22 by the members of Quebec’s National Assembly.
The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario has passed a resolution urging both the Ontario Provincial and the Federal Government to engage in formal public dialogue on end of life issues and dying with dignity, including discussions related to assisted suicide and/or euthanasia.
The Supreme Court of Canada will hear an appeal (Carter et al versus Canada), in October to consider whether Canada’s Criminal prohibition against assisted suicide is consistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The implications of this are significant and could be far reaching.
In Feb 2014, the B.C. Court ruled in favour of protecting vulnerable people at risk of significant abuse by way of withholding normal feeding and food in the case of Bentley versus Maplewood Seniors Care Society.
Disability Rights Advocate, Amy Hasbronek states – “People with disabilities, chronic illness and seniors are negatively affected by assisted suicide and euthanasia because it leads to the impression that their lives are lacking in meaning and value as compared to other Canadians.”
As Registered Nurses and members of CAPNM we believe in the sanctity of life.
Our life is a gift from God.
We believe in respect for the dignity of life, regardless of age physical infirmity or cognitive status.
We must also ensure that human life is not valued by economic considerations.
There was a presentation titled “Why euthanasia and assisted suicide are a bad idea” and is hosted by the Saskatoon Catholic Physicians Guild. The presentation was at 7pm, on June 24th in the Welcome area at St. Paul’s Co-Cathedral on Spadina Crescent.
As stated in the Catholic Organization for life and Family, “We would urge you to become witnesses in word and deed. We must be fearless in speaking with our family members and colleagues at work on the subject of euthanasia. We must also make ourselves more available to walk with and support the vulnerable people God places in our path. Our main inspiration for defending the life and dignity of each person is in the words of Jesus; “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of those who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40)
There is also a petition insert in today’s Parish Bulletin, to the Right Honourable Peter MacKay urging him to bring an injunction against the Quebec euthanasia bill 52 and by asking the court to strike down the bill as unconstitutional. There is information in the insert if you wish to sign the online petition.
We would also, as Parish Nurses, encourage you to speak to each other and together, as families, about Advanced Health Care Directives or Living Wills.
These can be obtained from the Parish Nurses here at St. Philip Neri and both Deb and I are available to explain and help complete the forms.
Thank you for your attention.
Follow Up to the discussion “Why Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide Are Bad Ideas” ~ A group of 10 concerned parishioners and 2 Parish Nurses from St. Philip Neri parish attended the above presentation/workshop at St. Paul’s Co-Cathedral on Tuesday, June 24. The workshop was given by the Saskatoon Catholic Physician Guild and addressed urgent questions regarding euthanasia and assisted suicide and the legalizing of both in Quebec (Bill 52). For more information on Bill 52 please go to the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition website: or the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) website: www.colf.ca.
High Blood Pressure
What is “Blood Pressure?” – Blood pressure is the force or pressure on the artery walls as your blood circulates in your body.
The top number or Diastolic indicates when the heart is contracting and pumping the blood.
The bottom number or Systolic indicates when the heart is relaxing and filling with blood.
Most people’s blood pressure measures less than 140/90. Anything higher than these numbers is considered by Health Canada as “high” blood pressure. If you have diabetes your blood pressure is considered “high” if it is equal to or greater than 130/80.
If not treated, high blood pressure can lead to serious problems like heart attack and stroke.
Most people with “High” blood pressure do not have any symptoms. It is important to have a routine physical completed by your doctor. While some high risk factors cannot be controlled – like age and family history – you can reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure by eating a healthy diet low in sodium, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, and quitting smoking.
If you have concerns about your blood pressure or any other health issue, please come see and talk to one of the Parish Nurses.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Proverbs 4: 23
This is the first time either of us has ever blogged but it has been suggested to that we need to enter the new millineum. Not knowing what we had to do or even really knowing what a blog was, it was thought we could start with “A day in the life of a Parish Nurse”.
We, Parish Nurses, may be in the office or out working in the community. Part of the office duties include answering phone calls re: health issues, attending to the prayer chain, ensuring the chain is up to date and used as a reference to follow the progress of the sick. We follow through on the meals ministry and ensure contact with the volunteers providing the meals and the recipients of the meal ministry, whether it is at times of illness, surgery, trauma or birth of a new babe. Another very important issue, required by law is that the parish nurse, who is also a Registered Nurse, is obliged to chart on the people she is involved with in her PN role. After office time, the Parish Nurse will visit people in hospital, in their homes, in nursing homes and even the carpark at Tim Horton’s!
We are a bridge between the medical community and the parish community. We serve the whole person- body, mind and spirit.
We are here to advocate for you, to act as a referral source, counsel and to pray with you. If available, we will accompany you to Doctors appointments and if unable to do so, we will try to find a volunteer to go with you. We will bring you a prayer shawl which has been knit or crocheted by a member of the Parish Knitting group so you can wrap it around yourself and know that your fellow parishioners are praying for and supporting you in you time of need. We are also here to educate and hopefully this “blogging business” will be a “good tool”. We are even learning all of the new lingo. Aren’t you proud of us?
An A.E.D. (Artificial External Defibrillator) has been donated by a parishioner to St. Philip Neri Parish. An A.E.D. is used to treat victims of sudden cardiac arrest, who are not responsive and not breathing properly. The defibrillator delivers a shock to the heart and can be used with CPR, as needed, until emergency professionals arrive.
After all Masses on March 8/9, the parish nurses will show a 15 minute DVD in the Sun Room. This DVD explains what an A.E.D. machine is and how and when to use it. This is not a training session but is an attempt to familiarize parishioners with the A.E.D. Research has shown that a child of 10 years old can use an A.E.D. if needed. If you are interested in learning more about the A.E.D. we would encourage you to please take this opportunity to view the DVD or contact the parish nurses (306-343-0325) to arrange to view the DVD at a later date.
It has been our privilege to bring glory to The Lord. May others see His Light shining through us and be drawn through His goodness.
Thank you to Fr. April. Without his guidance and his blessing on this second year, this mandate would not have taken place. We thank our Parish Pastoral Council for their confidence in us to carry forward the Youth Mission for the second of a three year commitment. We thank the wonderful and giving parish community for ALL the contributions bestowed on us to carry forward. We thank you for your prayers, gracious words and love that carried us through. Mahsi Cho to Fr. Wes and our sister parish 'Our Lady of Providence RC Mission Church' together with all the kind people of Fort Providence, North West Territories for your friendship and the willingness to all grow spiritually by sharing the love of God with us.
Even though we were awakened to a slower pace of life that is different, ultimately we are all trying to accomplish the same fundamentals such as liturgy, faith formation, sacramental prep, building & maintenance, youth ministry, all the basics that it takes to run a viable parish.
Fr. Wes participated in an audio conference based out of
We have learned that a mission trip allows you to be engaged with the community through service and outreach. This, along with our Faith, personal commitment and energy, is something we bring back in our hearts to share with our own faith community.
As we walk the road of ministry together, we are eternally grateful to God that he has chosen us to be one of his people.
Parish Mission ~ your servants in Christ, Debra and Randy
September 29, 2013
The temperature is a cool 7 degrees with a light wind blowing off the
Sunday morning mass was celebrated at 11:30 a.m. in the small church. Fr. Wes started with one decade of the rosary as people continued to arrive by foot, atv and truck. All the pews were filled and extra chairs were needed. The children were seated at the long table behind us at the back of the small church where they coloured the scripture image. At the end of the Gospel Father held the coloured pictures up to the congregation, displaying the children’s handy work for all to see.
Instead of giving a homily, Fr. Wes asked us both to speak on our own reflections and what the Gospel meant to us and our mission in
When mass ended and Father gave us his final blessing and his invitation to return next year, we were able to visit and give our thanks to each church member individually. Saying farewell to the elders was extremely difficult, knowing that some might not be with us next year. Their loving embraces were heart-warming and we could feel the difference in how they were opening up to us after only our second year. Mass was bitter sweet because after the celebration, we knew this would be the last time we would see all the warm and caring people of
Parish Mission ~ your servants in Christ, Debra and Randy
A well known priest once said "if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans". As was the case with the
On instructions from Fr. Wes, we renovated the back end of the small church. As a result of the new furnace being installed, the cold storage area needed a sealable door installed to keep the new heat in. The old confessional was removed to allow for greater storage capacity and the church underwent a major reorganization with help from two pastoral parish elders.
With Debra and I staying in the rectory while Fr. Wes stayed in Behchoko waiting to administer last rites, we became Father's emissaries. We were lay presiders at evening masses, held council with some of the elders, were parish secretaries, official church bell ringers, and provided transportation to and from mass.
Upon Fr. Wes' return, Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) was held in the rectory. Along with a delicious potluck of traditional food consisting of fish, buffalo, bannock and burgers we had an extremely productive meeting. We hoped we were able to provide energy, resources, and input. Throughout the evening it was abundantly clear that we all shared the love of God through ministry.
We were so pumped up, Fr. Wes, Debra and myself brainstormed until 2:00 a.m. Fr. Wes summarized the effects last year’s mission team had on the community, the anticipation of the arrival of this year’s mission team and together we formed a new outline for next year.
Parish Mission ~ your servants in Christ, Debra and Randy
With the Pope calling Bishop Murray Chatlain to be the new Archbishop of Keewatin-LePas, Father Wieslaw Szatanski, OMI, also received a new position. Fr. Wes was pastor to seven communities in the NWT; Fort Simpson, Fort Laird, Trout Lake, Wrigley, Jean Marie River, Nahanni Butte, and Fort Providence. He was logging 150,000 kilometers a year.
His promotion now involves two parishes. The hamlet of
Two hours further north of
The parish mission house built in 1958 needed a second opinion on whether the building should be repaired or torn down. He asked this of Randy. While we were there we were fortunate to witness the Dené hand games as well as fellowship with the local people.
At Sunday morning’s mass at St. Michael's parish, Fr. Wes celebrated 9 baptisms. It was also for us both, a renewal of our own baptismal promises. The music ministry choir consisted of three Dené elders. They have been singing for 40 years at St. Michael's. Their angelic voices could have been coming from the gates of heaven. Alleluia! Alleluia!
Parish Mission ~ your Servants in Christ, Randy & Debra
Originally, Old Fort Providence was a supply centre operated by the
This present day community of
The community grew around the mission school and a large farm. Both are long gone, but what remains is a fine old church. Our Lady of Fort Providence church is a major landmark situated on the bank of the river and widely photographed.
Locally, it is simply known as 'the big church'! It is used throughout the warm months for mass and all ministry gatherings. Fellowship is hosted outside where delicious bannock and tea are enjoyed along with the beautiful views of the river flowing by. No timbits and coffee here!
The big church is astronomically expensive to heat through the entire winter. With the St. Philip Neri donation from 2012, the faith community was able to purchase fuel (propane) for Christmas mass and the numerous funerals, many of them being for elders.
With temperatures changing, it was Parish Council's decision to move this Sunday's mass to 'the small church'. This church was the one the 2012 youth mission stained and painted. It was a project that is still talked about by the community to this day. As I sit here writing and looking out the rectory window, I glance over at the steeple, and am most appreciative that Randy does not have to rebuild the scaffolding for me to climb up there and repaint it. This year the work has moved inside the small church and we have been working up a storm!
Nightly mass is held here at 7:00 pm when Fr. Wes is in residence. He lets the community know by ringing the church bell at 6:30 pm for five minutes.
Parish Mission ~ your Servants in Christ Randy & Debra
Two blogs in one!
Friday, September 20, 2013, our mission started early at 5:00 am with cool temperatures of 3 degrees and a full trailer.
As we headed out on the Yellowhead highway to
After logging 1150 kilometers, Manning Alberta was our first nights rest stop. Thankful for a safe journey so far.
Welcome to the Northwest Territories
Traveling along uncrowded highways, we are welcomed to the
As the kilometers rolled by, and the deafening silence of the wilderness assaults our senses, we are reminded that it is in silence that God speaks to us and clarity merges.
As we approached the turn off to
After 1992 kilometers
Thank you Lord for getting us here safely.
Your servants in Christ,
Randy & Debra
"Belgium's 15 year experiment with euthanasia has gone terribly wrong. This film is a dire warning for the rest of the world."