In 1998, when I was miraculously healed of terminal breast cancer, I made a vow with the Giver of Life to reach out to patients of the same predicament.
To fulfill the spiritual commitment, there was my intense desire to work with a group dedicated to this sacred mission. My dream has become a reality in the Madre de Amor Hospice.
How truly blessed are the volunteers who witness daily miracles unfold before their eyes!
The unique role of a hospice is very sensitive but a challenge-filled vocation. In the words of Dr. Josefina Magno, the volunteer is the “very heart of the hospice.” She travels with the patient as well as members of the family into the lonely world of pain and suffering and the eventually of death.
As the patient goes through the Good Friday of his life – carrying the cross through the different stages of dying: denial anger, bargaining, depression and finally graceful acceptance – one is transported to a higher plain of living where each day becomes the celebration of life and its blessings. Each patient whose death is swallowed in victory rises to the glorious dawn to Easter.
If there is an area in the hospice approach to the care of the dying, the spiritual dimension is of paramount importance.
Summoned by God in this task are His direct representatives on earth, the anointed priests who are trained in ministry to the dying. So invaluable is their involvement in the spiritual realm of hospice as we witness the dramatic transformation of patients after receiving the sacraments.
To each single patient whom we have touched and gave us back in full measure the gift of deep respect for life, its small miracles, blessings, beauty and wonder, may your legacy of living and dying in wisdom and dignity bind us in hospice service for the greater glory of God.
Teresita C. Gonzales
Cancer Survivor/Hospice Volunteer
Associate Editor, “Hospice Stories”
Editor in chief, “Sharing Hospice”