When you receive a serious diagnosis

When you receive a serious diagnosis

Talking to health care professionals and your family about your end-of-life wishes.


Although our prayers for healing may not result in a cure, we can be confident that our petition for the healing presence of Christ will be answered. It is Christ’s faithful presence that brings hope and peace, even during times of affliction.

The experience of the risen Christ also led believers to a renewed understanding of God. It showed them that God can be found present in the suffering one, even in one undergoing a shameful and horrific death by crucifixion. God is not distant or aloof from suffering; rather in the person of Christ, who was truly human and truly divine, God came to show suffering from the inside.

Saint Augustine taught the enduring bond between Christ and the church and the way that believers really participate in the life of Christ. He taught that when the church prays, it is the whole Christ, head and body, who utters these prayers. Augustine affirms

“when we hear his voice, we must hearken to it as coming from both head and body; for whatever he suffered, we too suffered in him, and whatever we suffer, he too suffers in us…”

Adapted from “Prayer and Hope in Times of Suffering” Fr. Robin Ryan, CP, PhD, Health Progress, Catholic Health Association of the United States 

How to talk to your Doctor

Embracing Our Dying

Who will speak for you?

Prepare:  Medical Decisions Guide

Catholic Health Care