Prophetic Witness: Accompaniment
The Art of Dying and Stories of Sickness, Suffering and Death
About the Event
The medieval ars moriendi, the Christian art of dying, assisted individuals and communities to live in preparation for sudden death. As with all arts and crafts, it was learned in study, from mentors, and through experience. Excellence in the art was shared in stories. In our death-denying, death-defying, and death-controlled culture with its belief in technology as the answer to all our needs and wants, disciples of Christ face new challenges.
In this reflection, we will utilize the power of stories and narrative knowing to provide meaning, context and perspective for an art of dying for our time. Rooted in the Gospel stories of Jesus’ life, suffering, death and resurrection, we will explore experiences of patients, families and caregivers who are living the challenges of a good death in the post-Christian and highly technology-dependent world in which we live. Aware of the vulnerability inherent in illness and dependence, we will re-claim the duty of all the baptized to care for the suffering in our midst.
This free lecture, the introductory event of the Hayes Centre’s offerings for 2018-19 academic year, is made possible with the support of The Patrick Power Foundation, Morrow Foundation, Atlantic School of Theology, and other generous individuals.
About Dr. Nuala Kenny
Sister Dr. Nuala Kenny, a member of the Sisters of Charity, is a graduate of Mount Saint Vincent University (BA) and Dalhousie University (MD) with post-graduate training in pediatrics. After holding leadership posts in medical education in Toronto and Kingston, Ontario, Dr. Kenny returned to Halifax in 1988 to assume the position of Professor and Head of the Department of Pediatrics and Chief at the IWK. In 1995, she became the founding Chair of the Department of Bioethics at Dalhousie’s Faculty of Medicine.
The recipient of seven Honorary Doctorates, Dr. Kenny was also appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1999 for her numerous contributions to child health and medical education. A prolific author with over 180 papers and four books, Dr. Kenny is nationally recognized as an educator and physician ethicist and travels extensively as a distinguished lecturer. Her new book Rediscovering The Art of Dying (2017) addresses the ultimate medicalization of human suffering.
About the Hayes Institute
Atlantic School of Theology’s Hayes Institute honours a man of many accomplishments. Archbishop James M. Hayes, former Bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Halifax. Archbishop Hayes is known first as a Pastor of Souls. His profound commitment to bring pastoral care to the suffering was central to his ministry. He brings deep respect for the sufferer, and for the one that is the Source of Life. Patients and medical personnel alike tell of his compassion and care for people of every faith and for those who have none. James Hayes embodied the essence of God’s love for those who experience soul-level anguish.