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The National Catholic Bioethics Center
Giving Tuesday
December 3, 2019
© 2020 by The National Catholic Bioethics Center


The National Catholic Bioethics Center 

Serving the poor a hot meal for Thanksgiving was the generous act of one of our National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) staff persons. It is a corporal work of mercy to feed the hungry. Among the spiritual works of mercy is counselling the doubtful. The NCBC’s ethicists do the latter every day and stand ready to give emergency consultations, free of charge, 24 hours a day.

As we enter Advent, here is a story from my brief experience as president of the NCBC.

While in Baltimore for the pro-life and health care committee meetings of the US bishops in November, I had a fateful phone conversation. I was on duty as ethicist on call. I listened to an anguished voicemail message, not unlike hundreds of others we receive. This person reached out to the NCBC using our free ethical consultation service as he did not know what to do for his mom who faced a difficult passing into eternal life. I called back and ended up consoling him over the phone as he had just lost his aged mother to a painful death. He had wanted to do what was best for the woman that gave him life, but was genuinely uncertain of the correct path. He knew his mother would want to die as she lived, careful to follow the path Holy Mother Church has given to each of us. I was able to reassure him that he had indeed made the right choices in view of the Church’s teaching.

The most important moment in our entire existence is the moment of death. Our turning to God or away from Him at that moment determines our eternal destiny. Even the most hardened sinner can have a deathbed conversion, and the most faithful and pious person can give in to despair at the end. This is why praying for a good death is such a spiritual priority for ourselves and our loved ones.

Satan knows this well and unleashes every temptation and attack he can at the end. The culture of death is increasingly focused on making the last act on earth of a person suicide or euthanasia. Who stands in the breach to spiritually guide and guard people as they are dying? Faithful Catholics and the NCBC. We counsel the doubtful and comfort the sorrowful. Always we extend the mercy and compassion of the Church to our suffering brothers and sisters.

The NCBC is really struggling financially as we end 2019. Please help us on this Giving Tuesday to assist the thousands who call out to us thirsting and hungering for advice and comfort.


Joseph Meaney, Ph.D.