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Little Sisters reflect on ‘Samaritanus bonus’ and our care of the dying

by Chaz Muth, CNS

WASHINGTON — Much attention was given to church teaching on assisted suicide and euthanasia when the Vatican released its Sept. 22 letter “‘Samaritanus bonus,’ on the Care of Persons in the Critical and Terminal Phases of Life,” but Sr. Maureen Weiss focused on the document’s guidance on accompanying the dying, a key component to her vocation.

Sr. Maureen entered religious life in 1968, took her final vows as woman religious with the Little Sisters of the Poor in 1978, became a nurse, and in a community that cares for the elderly poor, she has accompanied hundreds of men and women at the end of their earthly lives.

“The church wants people not to be abandoned during this moment,” she told Catholic News Service shortly after the 25-page letter “‘Samaritanus bonus'” was released by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. “We accompany a baby at birth and at baptism. My community makes sure we’re carrying them to eternity. That is the journey of our life.” CONTINUE READING

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