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July 10, 2019, Adrian, Michigan – For some people, universal health care might be a complex issue that is brought up during election years. But for Johnathon S. Ross, a Toledo physician and a Past President of Physicians for a National Health Program, it is a civil rights issue, a right for all people.

Dr. Ross gave a presentation on universal health care June 24, 2019, at Weber Retreat and Conference Center. He outlined the history of efforts in the United States to enact universal health care and spoke of the deteriorating access that many Americans have to health care, the financial burdens when the cost of health care rises or when facing a catastrophic illness while uninsured or underinsured, and the danger of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which would leave 50 million people uninsured.

Drawing on his Christian roots, Dr. Ross spoke of the incident in which Jesus cast out the money-changers in the temple in Matthew 21:12-14. “The metaphor is that we’ve got the money-changers in the temple of medicine,” he said. “People who never look a sick person in the eyes are the ones who are in charge of writing off health care.” In many cases, he added, physicians have also been seduced by the lure of more money. 

Dr. Ross spoke passionately of the need for the United States to continue to work on offering affordable health care to all people in the country. He quoted the Golden Rule in the Christian tradition – and similar principles in other religious faiths – that call on people not to do to others what they would not want to have done to themselves. “So the question is, when we have our friends, neighbors, comrades, children, aunts, grandmas, and grandpas who are uninsured, why are we doing that to them?” he asked. 

For more information on the issue, visit the website for Physicians for a National Health Program.

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June 12, 2019 – While some might believe that mysticism and action are opposite calls in the Christian life, a retreat offered at Weber Retreat and Conference Center connects mysticism directly with activism. Discovering Mysticism in our Call to Action is from 7:00 p.m. Monday, June 24, 2019 through 11:00 a.m. Friday, June 28, 2019.

The retreat focuses on the root of three contemporary mystics that led them to take action: Dorothy Day, a convert to Catholicism, went on to found the Catholic Worker Movement. Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan, SJ, was an anti-war activist, opposing the war in Vietnam and founding the anti-nuclear weapons and pacifist movement, Plowshares. Thea Bowman, an African-American Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, was empowered by her faith to resist oppression and racism.

Discovering Mysticism is led by three spiritual leaders. Sister Arlene Kosmatka, OP, a spiritual director, has been studying mystics since posing the question in her master’s thesis: Is everyone called to be a mystic? Patrick Henry, PhD, Professor of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, has written and spoken widely on the Holocaust and written an article on Daniel Berrigan. C. Vanessa White is Assistant Professor of Spirituality and Ministry at Catholic Theological Union and a member of the faculty at the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana, where Sister Thea Bowman was a founding faculty member.

The cost – which includes meals and snacks – is $220 for commuters, $320 per person double occupancy, and $420 single occupancy. Registration is required and is available here. Registrations may also be made by contacting Weber Center at 517-266-4000 or webercenter@adriandominicans.org. Limited scholarships are available.

Weber Center is on the campus of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Motherhouse, 1257 E. Siena Heights Drive, Adrian. Enter the Eastern-most driveway of the complex and follow the signs to Weber Center. For information, call Weber Center at 517-266-4000.



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