.- The youngest daughter of St. Gianna Molla will join Cardinal Raymond L. Burke in addressing a Kansas City conference on Catholic end-of-life care on July 23.
Dr. Gianna Emanuela Molla’s mother was declared a saint in 2004 by the Catholic Church and is known for her heroism in choosing a risky operation to save her daughter’s life when she was two months pregnant. The conference marks the first visit to the U.S. for St. Gianna’s daughter.
The conference, titled “Being Faithful, Even Unto Death,” will address medical issues surrounding those suffering and those at the end of their lives. The St. Gianna Physician’s Guild organized the conference.
“With the help of Cardinal Burke, we have assembled experts in all areas of medicine, law, and the Catholic Church to analyze and explain the proper and obligatory way to provide Catholic care to the most vulnerable and those who are dying,” said Thomas McKenna, the guild’s founder and president.
The day-long conference is of special interest to physicians, nurses, hospital directors, hospice care providers, attorneys and others who provide care and counsel for the disabled and the dying as well as their families.
“This conference promises to provide an insightful and inspiring analysis which will greatly assist Catholics confronting the ‘Culture of Death.’ I encourage all to attend,” said Cardinal Burke, who is head of the Vatican’s highest ecclesiastical court.
Cardinal Burke will speak on the “mystery” of human suffering and dying in his keynote address, while Dr. Molla will discuss the spirituality, life and legacy of her mother.
Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City and Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph will also attend the event.
Other speakers include geriatric specialist Dr. Austin Welsh, Thomas More Society executive director Peter Breen, Bobby Schindler and Suzanne Vitadamo.
Schindler and Vitadamo are both siblings of Teri Schiavo, the severely disabled woman who was deprived of nutrition and hydration by court order in Florida in 2005. They are the founders of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network.
Cardinal Burke will celebrate a special Sunday Mass at 9 a.m. on July 24 in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City, Missouri. A reception open to the public will follow at the nearby Catholic Center, where Gianna Emanuela will also speak.
More information about the conference is available at: www.defendingnaturaldeath.org.