Sunday, November 4, 2018

An Epidemic, A Crisis, A State of Emergency: The ALTO Response

Over and over, we hear that there is an opiod epidemic, an opiod crisis and/or an opiod state of emergency.  News reports seem quick to blame providers for this.  However, they offer few reports about solutions to controlling the very real pain that patients experience without being prescribed highly-addictive opiates.

The Emergency Department at St. Joseph's University Medical Center, Paterson, NJ -- the busiest Emergency Department in the State of New Jersey -- is the first in the United States to pilot the "Alternatives to Opiates" (ALTO) program to give providers options they can use to effectively alleviate pain without resorting to highly addictive medication. 

From the website:  "Launched in January 2016 in the Emergency Department at St. Joseph's University Medical Center, the Alternatives to Opiates (ALTO) program utilizes protocols that primarily target five common conditions:  renal colic, sciatica, headaches, musculoskeletal pain and extremity fractures. . . . Initial results of the St. Joseph's ALTO program are very promising. Up to 75% of patients have achieved adequate pain relief with alternative therapies and there has been a decrease in opiod use by 50% since the inception of the program."

Click here for more information about this program.  Congratulations to St. Joseph's Health (a sponsored work of the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station, NJ) for its innovative response to this crisis.  May God bless your mission to "sustain and improve both individual and community health, with a special concern for those who are poor, vulnerable and underserved."

Friday, October 26, 2018

Migrant Caravan and Catholic Social Teaching

Click here to read the America Magazine article by J.D. Long-Garcia, "The migrant caravan through the eyes of Catholic Social Teaching."  This article is a timely reminder about the principles of Catholic Social teaching on immigration:  People have the right to migrate to sustain their lives and the lives of their families; a country has the right to regulate its borders and to control immigration; a country must regulate its borders with justice and mercy.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Annunciation House

Are you familiar with Annunciation House?  As a house of hospitality located in El Paso, Texas -- very close to the U.S./Mexico border -- Annunciation House provides basic services and accompaniment to the poorest of the poor, especially migrants and refugees.  Annunciation House has been accepting upwards of 750 refugees per week, and they are planning to serve a huge number of refugees who are currently in Border Patrol custody. 

This week, Annunciation House will be renting two small hotels for use as temporary hospitality centers.  The use of these hotels will allow them to increase their hospitality capacity to 1,100 per week.  They are currently recruiting volunteers for intakes, travel arrangements, transportation, clothing bank, and other needs. They are looking for donations of hygiene items, new underwear, winter coats, among other items. 

For more information, please visit their website or email them at or call them at (915) 545-4509.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

ALICE Report

Are you familiar with the United Way's ALICE Report for New Jersey?  ALICE -- an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed -- refers to households with incomes above the poverty level but who struggle to afford basic household necessities.  This year's ALICE Report (available here) was released last week.  It is worth noting that, in 2016, over 1.2 million households in New Jersey -- 38.5 percent -- could not afford basic needs such as housing, child care, food, transportation, health care and technology.  This is a 15% increase as compared with 2010. Additionally, the basic cost of living increased 28% between 2010 and 2016.  See the ALICE Report to delve more deeply into these and other statistics. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Sunday's Canonizations

On Sunday, October 14, six "Blesseds" will be canonized in Rome:

Archbishop Oscar Romero,

Pope Paul VI,

Maria Katharine Kasper, founder of the Institute of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ,

Nazaria Ignazia de Santa Teresa de Jesus, founder of the Congregation of the Missionary Crusaders of the Church

Francesco Spinelli, diocesan priest and founder of the Sisters Adorers of the Most Holy Sacrament

Vincenzo Romano, diocesan priest. 

So much information is available about these soon-to-be canonized saints.  Follow the links above to learn more about them.  Also, remember that we have previously recommended the "People of God" series from Liturgical Press, which includes biographies on Pope Paul VI, Oscar Romero and Rutilio Grande (who figures prominently in Romero's story). 

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

October Issue of Stop Trafficking

The October issue of the Stop Trafficking newsletter -- highlighting how financial institutions, hospitals, hotels/motels and housing needs both foster and prevent human trafficking -- is available here

Monday, October 1, 2018

Praying for the Synod

Let us remember to pray for the Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment from October 3-28.  Click here to visit the web page for the Synod.  Here is a prayer for young people and the Synod.