• Stop assisted suicide

    Homily on Assisted Suicide by Archbishop Jose H. Gomez on November 9, 2015

    [Download here in pdf format -ENGLISH]  [Download here in pdf format – SPANISH]

    Pope Francis’ visit to the United States has everyone talking about his worldview and his  encouragement that each person get involved to combat what he calls the “throw-away  culture.”

    In a throw-away culture, the Pope tells us, we throw things away — we get rid of them — if  they aren’t immediately useful or if they have no value to us. That includes people. Especially  people who are a burden or an inconvenience — like the sick and the elderly and the disabled.

    This mentality of the “throw-away” culture is one of the roots of “euthanasia” and “physician  assisted suicide.” With euthanasia and assisted suicide, society basically says that some  people’s lives just aren’t worth living and they would be better off dead.

    The California Legislature has passed, in special session, AB 2x-15, that would allow patients  who are terminally ill and no longer want to live, to kill themselves through a lethal  prescription.  At this time, Californians have filed a referendum to overturn this law and ban  assisted suicide.

    This bill is bad public policy, and it is opposed by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the bishops  of California, and the leading organizations of doctors and nurses in the state. It’s also opposed  by persons with disabilities and by those who work to provide health care to the poor.

    As Catholics, we have a long tradition of helping people — the poor, the old, the sick. And as  Catholics, we need to be people of compassion and people of mercy.


    Pope Francis tells us: “Human life is always sacred, valuable

    and inviolable. As such it must be  loved, defended and cared for.”

    That’s our duty as Catholics and as neighbors and family members. We need to treat every life  as sacred and important and valuable. We need to love people — especially those who are  poor and sick and who can’t take care of themselves. We need to love these people, defend  their dignity and take care of them.

    So we have to reject assisted suicide — which tells us that some lives are not important and  not worthy of being cared for.  We have to reject assisted suicide — which says we should kill  patients rather than comfort them and ease their suffering and pain.

    We all know that people in chronic pain and people with terminal illness often feel lonely,  depressed and feel that they are a burden to their loved ones and friends.

    Our reaction can’t be to kill them. And we can’t call that “compassion.” No, instead, we have to  walk with them, accompany them.

    There are good medical and pastoral solutions available for both chronic pain and depression.  Our duty as neighbors and as Catholics is to promote these solutions and to help people to

    1 find those solutions. We have to help them to get the treatment

    , the palliative care they need  for their pain.

    If we permit assisted suicide we are sending the wrong signal — not just to the dying and the  chronically ill.  If we allow assisted suicide, we are telling anyone who is weak, dependent,  vulnerable or poor that they are a burden and that it would be better if they just went away.  We are saying that death is better than compassion to those who cannot defend themselves.

    Doctors often report that the “decisions” made by dying patients are not actually their own  idea. Often patients are influenced or manipulated by family members, no matter how well  meaning.

    In Oregon, where assisted suicide is legal, there was a case of a doctor who refused to give  suicide pills to a patient. The doctor felt the patient was being pressured into suicide by an  aggressive daughter who was tired of taking care of her mother. So this doctor refused. But  the daughter just took her mother to another doctor. And he wrote the prescription for the  suicide pills. The mother took the pills and was killed.

    There are also financial and economic pressures driving assisted suicide.


    There is another story from Oregon, about a cancer patient named Barbara Wagner. Her  insurance company told her it would not pay for the drug she needed to treat her cancer —  but said it would pay for the pills she needed for assisted suicide.

    This is what it means to legalize assisted suicide. This is not what we want for our families and  our elderly here in California.

    So two things: First, we need to keep working to stop assisted sui

    cide in California.  There are  people outside of Mass today with petition forms that you can sign to qualify the referendum  for the ballot in 2016.

    Also, educate yourselves and your family on end of life teaching.  You can do that through the  website the Archdiocese set up: www.ahardpill.org.

    And second, we have to build a culture of compassion. We have to be more patient, more  caring with those who are sick and frail and elderly. Just because people stop being healthy  doesn’t mean they lose their dignity or their rights to be helped.

    As Catholics, we always have to be witnesses to the God of life and the God of

    creation. We  have to love life and take care of life — especially those lives that need special care and  attention.

    As Pope Francis reminds us: “A society truly welcomes life when it recognizes that it is also  precious in old age, in disability, in serious illness and even when it is fading; when it teaches  that the call to human fulfillment does not exclude suffering; indeed, when it teaches its  members to see in the sick and suffering a gift for the entire community, a presence that  summons them to solidarity and responsibility. This is the Gospel of life which … you are  called to spread.”


    Petition Instructions

  • Day of Community Service

    Other Documents..
    Other Community Service Activities – Otras Actividades Comunitarias
    Food Pantry Wish list 2015
    Alimentos que se necesita para nuestro Pantry 2015

    St. Dominic Savio Parish
    Day of Community Service
    Please join us on
    Saturday, December 5, 2015
    7:15 am to 12:00 noon

    Following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, Pastor Chinh Nguyen invites us to join him in volunteering at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank assembling food packages for over 22,000 low income seniors, women with infants, and children in L. A. County. The food packages we’ll prepare, consist of items like canned fruit & vegetables, rice, cereal and other non-perishable items.

    By giving just a little of your time, we make a big difference in our community.

    Savio will graciously provide (2) buses to transport the first 100 volunteers to and from the Los Angeles Food Bank.

    To volunteer please follow the directions below….

    All volunteers must pre-register no later than November 30, 2015.

    Volunteers must be 14 years or older (sorry, no exceptions)

    Volunteers must wear closed-toe shoes.

    1. Volunteers must register on-line at http://www.lafoodbank.org/volunteer-opportunities.aspx?c1=get-involved&c2=volunteer
    2. Click on group
    3. Type in St. Dominic Savio under search
    4. Click on Register for this event
    5. Type in sdsp1205 (for password)
    6. Fill in your information and hit submit request
    7. You will receive confirmation via email from LA Food Bank
    8. Bring your confirmation to board bus & to enter LA Food Bank

    Bus will depart Savio immediately following 7:15 am Mass to

    Los Angeles Regional Food Bank

    2825 E. 54th Street
    Vernon, CA 90058

    Questions please contact Mary Ellen Carlson – Event Coordinator

    Thank you and God bless you.