Hayes Symposium: Living through Death

May 9, 10, and 11, 2016
Location: Various (Please see the schedule for details)

Registration is required


About the Hayes Symposium Presenters

Promo Materials

 May 9 - Dying

  • 1:30 pm - Dying and the Importance of Story
    Presenters: Dr. Alyda Faber, Marianne Arab, the Rev. David McGinley, Carole Langille
  • 7:00 pm - Dying in a Death Defying World (Public Lecture in the McNally Theatre, Saint Mary's University - Free Admission)
    Presenter: Dr. Nuala Kenny

May 10 - Death

  • 9:30 am - The Mystery of Suffering and a Good Death
    Presenter: Dr. Nuala Kenny
  • 1:30 pm - Legal Assisted Dying: Duty and Dilemma
    Presenter: Susan Chisholm

May 11 - Bereavement

  • 9:30 am - God Comes to us Disguised as our Life
    Presenter: Dr. Beverly Musgrave
  • 1:30 pm - The Dynamic Reality of Death in a Small Community
    Presenters: the Rev. Dr. Larry Noseworthy, Sara Jewell, the Rev. Dr. Linda Yates, Roy Ellis

The Hayes Symposium is a learning opportunity for the ongoing professional development of health care providers, spiritual care practitioners, and those interested in broadening their understanding of dying, death and bereavement in our changing world. The scope and magnitude of present changes is unparalleled, particularly in relation to our aging population. Featured keynote speakers include: Dr. Nuala Kenny, Dr. Beverly Musgrave, and Susan Chisholm.

The annual Hayes Symposium honours a man of many accomplishments: Archbishop James M. Hayes, former Bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Halifax. While he served as a dynamic and progressive bishop, those who know Archbishop Hayes intimately recognize him first and foremost as a Pastor of Souls. His profound commitment to bring pastoral care to the suffering has been central to his ministry. He brings deep respect for the sufferer, and for the one who 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 embodies the very essence of God’s love for those who experience soul-level anguish. Read more about Archbishop Hayes in this Bio.

This year’s symposium will explore dying, death, and bereavement in our changing context. In Canada, there are more persons over age 65 than under 15. By 2026, seniors will comprise 1 out of 5 in the population. Life expectancy for men is 82 years and for women, 85 years. Currently, the fastest growing segment of the population is persons over 85 years of age − we are unprepared for this unprecedented shift in population dynamics. 

The health and social implications are compounded by the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision to remove the Criminal Code prohibition on assisted suicide for competent adults who have a grievous (and irremediable) medical condition causing intolerable suffering. This decision will impact our understanding of human suffering, palliative care, trauma, and loss. AST recognizes that the science of Pastoral Theology needs to adapt to a new reality.

The 2016 Hayes Symposium begins a venture that promises to call upon the wisdom of local health care providers, researchers, theorists, and theologians to explore the far edges of dying, death, and bereavement. AST invites and welcomes you to be part of the conversation.