10/6/14 SEE NEW UPDATES HERE: https://fatherjerabek.com/2014/10/06/catholic-doctor-in-liberia-updates/
If you’ve already read this post, be sure to scroll down for important updates!
I received word today that a good Catholic doctor, who has a sister who is a Sister here in my diocese, has just arrived in Liberia, where he will be helping to fight against the Ebola epidemic by providing care, training, and other support. His name is Dr. Tim Flanigan and practices as an infectious disease doctor, normally in Rhode Island. Dr. Flanigan, who is also a Permanent Deacon, leaves his wife and five children behind here in the U.S., and they are understandably nervous. Yet a number of factors have come together in the past days to indicate that he is embarking upon the Lord’s work. So we need to pray for Dr. Flanigan, for those he will help, for his family back home, and that all involved will have what they need.
Would you join me in praying for this intention?
This article in the excellent National Catholic Register is an interview that he did with Joan Frawley Desmond just three days ago, explaining more about his mission. Also, his family has set up a blog here.
A big part of what Dr. Flanigan will be doing is to educate on how to prevent the transmission of this deadly disease. For example, when I was talking with his Sister-sister on the phone this evening, she was telling me about how normal it is, at a funeral, for the grieving spouse to embrace the deceased’s body one last time before the casket is closed. Yet in the case of an Ebola victim, this very normal embrace can be deadly, for the grieving person could contract the same disease that took the life of his or her spouse. So education is needed for funerary workers, clergy, and others who might be in a position to help conduct dignified funerals for the victims but with proper health controls in place. That is just one example of the many ways that the spread of this disease can be checked.
One of the organizations that Dr. Flanigan will be working with is St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. They are in need of your financial support – you can give through Paypal using the “Donate” button on the right side of their site (scroll down a bit – or click this link to go directly to the donate page). With the proper equipment and basic protective measures, such as masks and gloves, they can do a lot to stop the spread of this deadly virus.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1. Follow Dr. Flanigan’s blog (click here) to get updates on what is happening in Liberia and the work that he is doing;
2. Read this article to understand the scope of his mission and the challenges he faces;
3. Pray for all who are working to help stop this deadly disease;
4. Pray for their family and friends who worry for their safety;
5. Pray for all those whose lives this disease has already claimed, that they may rest in peace;
6. Donate to this Catholic hospital that is on the “front lines” and needs our support.
Thank you for your prayers and support!
Sister brought to my attention two religious orders that are doing yeoman’s work in Liberia, in connection with the mission that Dr. Flanigan is helping with. Donations can be made directly to these religious also, with the added benefit that they are incorporated in the United States and so you can gain the tax benefit as well. I will leave the link for the Catholic hospital above, but please consider supporting these Franciscan and Salesian Missionaries also:
1. Salesian Missionaries – be sure to pray especially for Sister Barbara – here is a link to their donation page. [It says in fine print at the bottom that they are a 501 (c)(3)].
2. Bernardine Franciscan Sisters – scroll down on this page for the address to which you can mail your gift – and be sure also to pray for these Sisters, who are helping in Liberia as well.
This seems like a good opportunity to review the Memorare, a prayer all should know!
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known
that anyone who fled to thy protection,
implored thy help, or sought thy intercession
was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee,
O Virgin of virgins, my mother!
To thee do I come, before thee I stand,
sinful and sorrowful.
O mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions,
but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
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