September 20, 2018 // Diocese

White Masses celebrate health care professionals’ faith, career calling

Medical care for unborn and newly born children will be the topic for the White Mass dinner Oct. 18 in Fort Wayne, while the White Mass on Sept. 26 in South Bend will unite health care workers in prayer.

Dr. Brandon Brown

The White Mass brings together health care personnel to celebrate their calling to care for the mind, body and spirit of individuals, said Sister Laureen M. Painter, vice president of mission integration, ministry formation, ethics and spiritual care at Saint Joseph Health System in the South Bend area.

Healing also comes to health care workers when people come together to pray with them and for them, said Sister Laureen, who helped organize the South Bend-area White Mass and dinner.

The South Bend-area White Mass will take place at 6 p.m. Sept. 26 at St. Pius X Church, 52553 Fir Road in Granger. It will be followed by a dinner at St. Pius X, sponsored by Saint Joseph Health System. There is no speaker this year.

The Mass is open to all people, but the dinner is for physicians, clinicians and other health care professionals, Sister Laureen said. Dinner reservations are due by Sept. 19 by emailing Karen.King@sjrmc.com.

“We are very much appreciative of St. Pius X, which has worked with us every year,” Sister Laureen said. Along with an easily accessible location, the parish’s choir and instrumentalists are outstanding, she said.

The Fort Wayne White Mass will take place at 6 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 1122 S. Clinton St. Dinner will follow at 7:30 p.m. at nearby St. Mary, Mother of God Church, 1101 S. Lafayette St.

Dinner reservations are $15 per person and can be made by calling 260-222-6978 or by going to fortwayne.cathmed.org. Dinner is free for students and those in religious life. The event is organized by the Dr. Jerome Lejeune Medical Guild of Northeast Indiana.

The speaker for the Fort Wayne White Mass dinner will be Dr. Brandon P. Brown, who will discuss fetal medicine and “Caring for the Least Among Us.”

An assistant professor of radiology and imaging sciences at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, Brown also teaches bioethics at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and is a founding member of the Fetal Center at Riley Children’s Health hospital in Indianapolis. His work as a fetal and pediatric radiologist focuses on the perinatal period, which includes the time before and just after birth — a topic about which he spoke in May on the “Faith in Action” program on Catholic Radio Indy, 89.1 and 90.0-FM in Indianapolis. To listen to a podcast of the program, go to http://podcast.catholicradioindy.org/ and enter “Brandon Brown” in the search box.

Ultrasound and MRI imaging technology now allows doctors to better assess a baby’s health while the child is in the mother’s uterus, Brown said on the radio show. Medical teams also prepare in advance to do surgery, if needed, immediately after a baby’s birth, he said. Some surgeries also can be done while the child still is in the womb.

By investing their time and effort to save a baby in the womb, medical specialists and staff “are giving a validity to that developing life and we are saying this is a life worthy of our care,” Brown said.

He also believes fetal medicine supports the child’s parents and caregivers, who may need to make major sacrifices to care for a disabled child after birth, he told Catholic Radio Indy.

“I see our task as not just advocating for generic human life everywhere but to really support those who are on the frontline caring for the weakest and most vulnerable among us,” he stated.

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