Faith in Action Blog
Members of the Life Legal Defense Foundation, including Vice President for Legal Affairs Katie Short (’80, left) and President Paul Blewett (’85, right)
In a Riverside, California, courtroom last week, a legal team led by two Thomas Aquinas College graduates delivered a blow to the state’s new assisted-suicide law.
Attorneys from the Life Legal Defense Foundation — whose vice president for legal affairs is Katie Short (’80) and whose president is Paul Blewett (’85) — sought an injunction against California’s End of Life Option Act, which went into effect in June. The attorneys argued that granting doctors the power to help kill their patients deprives sick and vulnerable Californians of the constitutional rights to due process and equal protection.
Although Life Legal did not obtain its sought-after injunction, it achieved an important victory nonetheless. In his ruling, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia granted that the six physicians and the nationwide medical group that Life Legal represents have standing to challenge the law, and that their case is “ripe” — that is, the End of Life Option Act may cause actual (not just hypothetical) harm to those it affects. As a result, Judge Ottolia rejected the state’s attempt to block Life Legal’s lawsuit, thereby allowing the challenge of this unjust law to continue.
Please pray for Mrs. Short, Mr. Blewett, Life Legal, and their continued success!
A recent NBC News report describes how a contingent of California Highway Patrolmen has traveled to Cleveland to help local authorities ensure safety at this week’s Republican National Convention. Among the special-response team members chosen for this operation is a graduate of the College, Officer Rex Mohun (’90), who was recently named Officer of the Year for Ventura County.
Due to security concerns, the CHP has disclosed neither the number of officers it has dispatched nor the nature of their assignment. Yet given political tensions surrounding the presidential campaign, the ongoing threat of terrorism, and the recent outburst of violence against police officers that has plagued the nation, the security risks are significant.
Officer Mohun’s wife, Serena (Gimm ’87) reports that his family is praying the Prayer to St. Michael for his safety. Let us all join them in this prayer, for Officer Mohun and for law-enforcement officials everywhere:
St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
This coming Saturday, the Most Rev. Paul J. Bradley, Bishop of Kalamazoo, Michigan, will ordain two members of the Thomas Aquinas College Class of 2013 to the transitional diaconate: Jeffrey Hanley and Maximilian Nightingale. Kalamazoo natives, Messrs. Hanley and Nightingale both entered the seminary shortly after their graduation and have studied at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. By God’s grace, these classmates will be ordained to the priesthood in 2017.
Please pray for these two young, courageous servants of God!
Please pray for the eternal repose of Zach Cheeley (’08), who passed away suddenly yesterday. Below is a message, received via one of Zach's classmates, from his parents:
“Today our beloved Zach was taken from this life to the next. After experiencing cardiac arrest early Thursday a.m., Zach was without oxygen for an unknown period of time: no pulse, no breathing. He experienced severe & irreparable brain damage as a result. 911 responded & he was revived after 20 minutes of CPR, so we're thankful for their efforts. We held out hope that things might turn around until the EEG revealed Saturday a.m. that there was no cortex brain activity at all & only minimal brain stem activity. So we removed the ventilator today after the organ transplant team was in place to take what Zach had signed on to donate, all this with unanimous family support. He passed peacefully at 12:35 p.m. today surrounded by his family that he loved so much. Zach was a rare breed & definitely a person who marched to his own drum.
“I can't begin to describe the sadness that I feel ... for losing him so young ... But, I trust an omniscient, omnipotent, sovereign Lord who loves Zach even more than I do.”
Eternal rest, grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.
On June 6, 1991 — the Solemnity of St. Norbert — Rev. Francis Michael Gloudeman, O.Praem. (’84), received the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Twenty-five years later, this Norbertine priest of St. Michael’s Abbey in Silverado, California, is celebrating his Silver Jubilee. Thanks be to God!
Please pray for Fr. Francis, that God may continue to bless him in his service of Christ and His church.
Hui Paul Thomas Liu (’03) has been ill for some time. Lillian Cao Young (’06) received the following message from him this morning:
I just woke up because I felt I could not breathe. I think this is serious. Could you please ask the TAC friends to pray for me. Thanks.
There is no official diagnosis, but Hui’s health has been slowly declining since he first became ill two years ago while he was in religious formation with the Missionaries of Charity in Mexico City. The Missionaries of Charity first sent him to Georgetown University hospital, and then to China for treatment. Lillian visited him in Shanghai at the end of November. She said that he is very peaceful and seems to have his mind wholly on God and the next life.
Please pray for Hui that he will obtain a diagnosis and be restored to good health.
Please pray for Michelle (Firmin ’97) Halpin, who sends along the following request:
“I’d like to request continued prayers for my health and my family. That this cancer treatment may be effective on my Stage 4 cancer, for minimal side effects, and for my oldest child, who is discerning college plans during this difficult time for our family. We are asking for a miracle through the intercession of Fr. John Hardon, S.J., whose cause for canonization is being brought forward. We would appreciate prayers to Fr. Hardon from those who wish to join us in our prayers. Thanks!”
Please pray for the soul of Loraine (Ivers ’81) Hoonhout, who, following a years-long struggle with liver cancer, passed away peacefully in her sleep on the morning of Saturday, March 5.
Please also pray for the consolation of her family, including her beloved husband of 30 years, Ronald; their three children, Clare (’08), Peter, and Lisa Davis; her 3-month old grandson, Christopher Davis; her two brothers, Jim and Harry; and her four sisters, all of whom are graduates of the College: Maureen Coughlin (’79), Marian Hartzell (’82), Jessica Langley (’85), and Sr. Maria Basiléa (Margaretha ’88).
The Rosary and funeral Mass for Mrs. Hoonhout will take place this Saturday, March 12, at St. Louise de Marillac Parish in Covina, California. The Rosary will begin at 8:45 a.m., and the Mass at 9:30 a.m. Burial will follow at Holy Cross cemetery in Pomona, after which there will be a reception; details are forthcoming.
May her soul, and those of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Matthew Reiser (’00), a graduate of the College and the husband of Sharon (Raskob ’99), passed away suddenly last week on the Feast of the Presentation. His funeral will take place at the College, with a Rosary vigil the evening preceding. Below are the details:
Friday, February 12
6:00-7:00 p.m. Visitation
7:00 p.m. Recitation of the Rosary
Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel
Saturday, February 13
10:00 a.m. Funeral Mass
Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel
Interment will take place at Pearce Brothers Santa Paula Cemetery, after which there will be a luncheon reception in St. Joseph Commons.
Please pray for the repose of Matt’s soul, for Sharon’s consolation, and for the consolation of the Reiser and Raskob families. If you would like to help defray the cost of funeral arrangements, you can contribute to a fund set up for that purpose.
Please keep in your prayers two graduates of the College who are struggling with cancer. Carole Schabow (’82) is undergoing surgery next Friday for uterine cancer. And Loraine (Ivers ’81) Hoonhout reports that her cancer has advanced. She writes, “I am truly grateful for all the prayers I have received in the past from our wonderful TAC community and for God’s goodness.”