St. Catherine of Siena Lecture in Catholic Health Care Ethics

January 15, 2015

On Friday, January 9th, Br. Ignatius Perkins, O.P., Ph.D., RN, KHS., FAAN, FNYAM, FRSM, ANEF, Dean of Nursing at Aquinas College in Nashville, TN and holder of the St. Catherine of Siena Endowed Chair in Catholic Health Care Ethics at the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. delivered his annual lecture to the students of the Province of St. Joseph. In his talk, entitled “Listen to Me: An Invitation to Care and to Heal,” Br. Ignatius bemoaned the current state of medical care for emphasizing science, technology, and economics at the expense of care of the human person.  Moreover, he lamented how pervasive moral relativism has eroded many people’s sense of human dignity and freedom.  In particular, he noted that the lost, the least, and the last can often be overlooked, ignored, even denigrated.  Therefore, he exhorted the student friars to imitate St. Dominic’s compassion for and willingness to listen to those on the margins of society.  Furthermore, he encouraged them to draw inspiration from the order’s 800-year tradition of preaching, so that they might transform society with an authentic, Christian vision of the human person. Br. Ignatius has served the Province of St. Joseph in a variety of assignments since making profession as a cooperator brother in 1961.  He was the founding director of the Dominican Friars’ health care ministry in New York City and is currently professor and dean of nursing at Aquinas College, where he directs the Center for the Study of Human Dignity and Ethics in Health Care.  He is the first to hold the St. Catherine of Siena Endowed Chair in Catholic Health Care Ethics, which was established to ensure that religious and lay students at the PFIC are well equipped to confront contemporary challenges in the field of health care.  

Image: Aquinas College

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