SEEING CHRIST IN ILLNESS AND POVERTY By: Barbie Lu Young

health careLife’s crosses are a universal reality. Man is not spared from the crosses and trials of life. We all suffer in one form or another, whether rich or poor, young or old. However, the patients of Rizal Medical Center are worse off than most because of the two crosses of sickness and poverty that they have to carry.

We, the volunteers of the Health Care Ministry, try as much as possible, to meet their temporal needs by giving free medicines, as well as meet their spiritual needs by instructing them on sound doctrinal values. Helping them to offer their pain to God and to sanctify it, and making sure that they receive the sacraments are two of the main points that we always emphasize. It is usually difficult for them to understand the redeeming value of their sicknesses because most of them can hardly make ends meet, let alone deal with the difficulties of sickness. But, we continue to enlighten them to particularly bear illnesses gracefully and to realize that the sick are God’s favored children.

Six months ago, a mother, burdened with the birth of a baby girl with a tumor in the middle of her face, abandoned said baby because she could not handle the disgrace of the abnormality of her child in addition to her abject poverty and state of penury. In this baby, we see the infant Jesus, born in a manger among the animals, because no home or inn would take Him in. Likewise, in the sick and the poor, we see Christ Himself imploring us to take Him and them into our hearts. He wants you and me to be a “Simon of Cyrene,” to help the sick and the poor carry their crosses, as He says to us: “As you did it to one of the least of these brethren, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40)

If the Lord moves you to help alleviate the crosses of poverty and sickness that our brethren have to bear and in so doing, emulate Simon of Cyrene, kindly course your donations to the parish office and please indicate that it is for Rizal Medical Center, care of the Health Care Ministry.

Mind and Body Link to Illness By Dr. Dido Gustillo Villasor, Phd.

Dr. Dido Villasor became deeply aware about the mind and body-link to illness at 21, when she accompanied a beloved aunt who was terminally ill with cancer to UCLA as part of her new treatment program. While there, she interacted with other patient participants. Unaware, she developed feelings for the disease and stress, now found common among caregivers.

Health, Wellness and Healing


Contrary to common belief, health is not just the absence of disease. Health involves a sense of wellness or feeling ok. Health and wellness happen when there is a balance between the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of a person. The physical dimension involves using the five senses to interact with the world. The mental involves learning about one’s condition/ problems, weighing the pro and cons in decision-making. The emotional dimension evaluates one’s feelings and places value on what one is going through. The spiritual dimension gives meaning/purpose to one’s life and situation in the context of something bigger than oneself. Each of us uniquely combines these four dimensions to create boundaries (separateness) that help us interpret and deal with our circumstances.

The body or our physical dimension is our biological make up or genetic inheritance. As early as 1940’s Alfred Adler, MD talked of an “organ of weakness” where life conditions may impact a predisposed organ. Today, in regular check-ups, doctors routinely ask if hypertension, diabetes, heart or cancer run in one’s family. Another biologically determined marker is temperament, modified by psychosocial conditions.

Psychosocial conditions (family, education, experiences, religion, random/unpredictable events) contribute to the development of one’s attitude, beliefs and values. These directly influences how one thinks, feels, acts and determine the quality of life, work, relationship with the self, others and something bigger than the self.

Unexpected events/conditions can be stressful and can alter one’s assumption about the world, the self and others. For example, when one loses his/her job on short notice, this alters the entire life of the self, and family. One can view this as a challenge or set back feeling anxiety, helplessness or hopelessness. The body however reacts to a perceived threat of one’s well-being. The body releases hormones to prepare for “fight or flight.”

Gerald O’ Collins (1988) listed triggers that can affect the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance within the person: namely Death, Sickness, Betrayal, Exile, sense of Failure, Yearning for more. These triggers impact individuals in different ways depending on the personality type. The Type A personality is someone more competitive, aggressive, multi-tasker, and a perfectionist who may take a challenge, fight, seek out different solutions, insist on their way. A Type B personality tends to be more laid back, may go into denial, minimize the condition, and seeks help at the last minute. The Type C personality tend to be anxious, non-confrontational, repressed anger, hostility, worries a lot.

Author Carolyn Myss in her book “Why people Don’t Heal and How they Can” (1988) talks about “Woundology” where a person hangs on to the past wounds (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) and these define who they are and how they cope with life. Forgiveness of the Self is primary in order to forgive the other person and contribute to one’s physical health. There is always an on-going exchange of the mental, and physical, emotional and spiritual factors of a person whenever Stress or Crisis happens. Those who cannot cope or refuse to seek help have difficulty experiencing healing.

Health, Wellness, and healing require being CONSCIOUS of what is going on outside as well as inside of oneself. Second, it requires making a CHOICE on how to live one’s life. Finally, it underscores TAKING RESPONSIBILITY for the choices one makes.

52100

5
What do these numbers represent?
Last September 5, 2015, the Health Care Ministry sponsored a seminar entitled, “FOLLOW YOUR HEART.” The guest speakers were Dr. Aurelia Leus, Dr. Milagros Yamamoto and Dr. Andrew Prieto.

Cardiovascular disease is a range of diseases affecting the heart and blood vessels. It affects all ages, including women and children. CVD is primarily caused by atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the build-up of plaque of bad cholesterol in your blood vessels. It blocks blood flow to the heart causing heart attack and to the brain causing fatal stroke. Heart attack and stroke can occur without warning. CVD is due to risk factors that you can control—unhealthy diet including too fatty, too salty, or too sweet foods, lack of exercise and sedentary lifestyle, smoking (both first hand and second hand), and stress.

Obesity is linked to heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Heart disease starts during childhood because of the bad habits we acquire while we are young. Children who are overweight are more likely to be obese when they are adults. Children who are exposed to parents who smoke are three times more likely to smoke. Since heart disease has its roots in childhood, prevention should start in the young.

To reduce the risk of having heart disease, the Philippine Hear Association is promoting the 52100 lifestyle: 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, 2 hours maximum of screen time (TV and computer), 1 hour of moderate physical activity, 0 to sugary, sweetened beverages, 0 to smoking. Eat right, watch less TV, move more, don’t smoke. Jump start your heart. Do the 52100 daily!

Health Care Ministry/ Hospital Committee By Chuchi Quevedo

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It is our privilege to bring the love of God and the love of San Antonio parishioners to the indigent patients in the Rizal Medical Center (RMC) located near C5, along Shaw Blvd Extension. Since 2004, the Health Care Ministry members have become a channel through which patients and their watchers are able to feel the love of God in a very concrete way: through our weekly visits, we are able to extend Pastoral Care Service — listening to the concerns of the patients and relatives. We also extend medical assistance in cases where the patients cannot afford to buy medicines or antibiotics, nor go through much needed diagnostic tests for lack of funds. We sometimes provide non-medical assistance, providing food for the watcher when necessary and transportation money for home conduction of discharged patients who are invalid and with no watcher.

Many of our parishioners who have the resources are willing to help, but do not have the time to go to the hospital. By donating to the San Antonio Parish, their love is freely delivered to the indigent patients.

The patients are pre-screened by the social workers of RMC, to ensure that the patient is qualified. A short background of the family and patient is provided in writing, and a picture is also taken by us. We scrutinize the prescriptions and make sure that the medicines are procured by us from a nearby pharmacy, and then delivered to the patient, to be administered by the nurse on the same day. We walk an extra mile to ensure that your donation goes to the proper person and that not a centavo is wasted.

In 2014, we disbursed P400K to 127 patients, with only 4 mortality, and 124 discharged, with improvement.

THE HEALTH CARE MINISTRY OF SANTUARIO DE SAN ANTONIO PARISH By Pia Gomez-Chuidian

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We all know about the importance of good health. In order for us to know and understand what goes on in our bodies as well as how our mind and heart functions, it is important to keep up with the different ways in which we can take better care of ourselves. Being physically well, as well as emotionally healthy, is of prime importance not only for ourselves but also for our loved ones. All of us come from a family and most of us take care of our family in the best way possible. This can only be achieved if we are aware of what really goes on inside us as well as how our emotions play an important part to staying well and maintaining a healthy life style.

We at the Health Care Ministry provide educational as well as practical talks for our parishioners, among other services, in order to help each person create a productive, healthy and fulfilling life style. Our second talk for this year was on STRESS: A Journey to Emotional Wellness. Each and every person undergoes stress in many different ways. The talk zeroed in on the How to understand stress. What are the factors in our life that contribute to stress? What are the different types of stress/stressors? How can we cope and what life skills can we practice in order to deal effectively with stress in order to provide not only physical but also emotional balance and well-being?

Our speaker Ms. Milagros R. Reyes, PhD. is a licensed Psychological Counselor in areas of Marriage and Family, Addictions After Care, Co-dependency, Stress Management, Career Counseling, Job Consultant, etc. She is also a certified training facilitator for the Central Bank of the Philippines since 2005 and a certified consultant trainer in Human Organizational Development for Inter Care Health Care Services since 1997 as well as other civic and church organizations, local and multinational businesses.

HEALTH CARE MINISTRY NEWS by Barbie Young


The Health Care Ministry had its first activity of the year—a recollection in Taal, Batangas, last January 13, 2015. The group visited some old, ancestral homes at Taal Town, The Heritage Town, which showcased our Filipino heritage. However, the visit to the Taal Basilica of St. Martin de Tours and the Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay were the highlights of the day. After a boodle-style lunch at one of the local eateries, Fr. Jesus Galindo gave his reflections on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines pastoral message for 2015 as The Year of the Poor. The recollection was very timely since the topic coincided with the Holy Father, Pope Francis’ constant reminder during his recent visit that “the great biblical tradition enjoins on all peoples the duty to hear the voice of the poor, and bids us to break the bonds of injustice and oppression which give rise to glaring and scandalous social inequalities.”

(Source: americamagazine.org)