“So I would tell them about the Church’s theological thinking on family planning, natural and artificial contraception, the role of the conscience, but then they would get the practicalities of methods of NFP from the nurse in the parish. I would add, “Vatican II raises the importance of a fully informed conscience. What you two, then, decide is between you and God, and nothing to do with the priest!”
“Pope Francis is robbing the Catholic Church of some amazing pastors, by compounding internalised homophobia – self-hatred – in those who are gay and ordained, whilst simultaneously justifying on-going institutional prejudice and discrimination.”
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“Despite such a serious topic, there was some great laughter throughout, which always helps to break the ice, dispel myths, challenge and overcome taboos!”
“It was a horrible feeling knowing I would not be able to celebrate Midnight Mass as an ordained priest, but I was determined to go to Mass somewhere…”
It was a horrible feeling knowing I would not be able to celebrate Midnight Mass as an ordained priest, but I was determined to go to Mass somewhere … Christmas eve 1989
Similar to Damian’s story, Cosmo was a patient on the same ward, in and out with every new opportunistic infection or tumour his HIV could lay its grubby hands on. In the end he developed severe Kaposi’s sarcoma, with the classic bodily marks, from the tip of his nose, then dotted all over his body, just like the actor Tom Hanks on Philadeplphia (1993). Caring for Cosmo provided us all with ample opportunities for practicing the 6 Cs of nursing care, before they were ever spelled out to us, or systematised, as a model.
There are four stories I’d love to share with you about Cosmo (obviously not his real name). I always say it was him who helped me jump from a ‘D’ grade staff nurse’s post, to an ‘H’ grade (a modern day band 5 to 8) in only 7 months after returning to nursing from a…
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Like something from a Romeo and Juliette tale, of star-crossed lovers, ‘the end’ was just so tragic, all round.
No sooner had Annie left for England, than Trevor started “stepping out” with another young woman: Elsie Cook, also born about 1907. … When Elsie was five months pregnant, Trevor asked her father for Elsie’s hand in marriage. The father consented, and that evening the young man and his new fiance went out for an evening stroll at the near-by district of Llanwonno.
Elsie and Trevor died in 1928, in very different circumstances, both aged 21; their mothers remained friends for life and supported each other in the grief.
You can read more now, and I promise, lots of related family stories to follow.