Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cancer, Dying, Death, Faith and Life: a Catholic Experience

A few minutes ago I put the words 'catholic hospice' in's search box - no quotes. I got 15 hits. The third was "The Art of Serenity: A Journey of Faith," a video documentary.

I've seen "Art of Serenity." I think I'd have a high opinion of it, even if I didn't know two of the people involved. Video journal entries and interviews compress three years of experience into an hour:
"There was no support groups, no place to turn, no one understood. When Kelly was diagnosed with a rare and deadly form of cancer, she and her husband Aaron, both in their early twenties, felt utterly alone. They set out to change that by documenting their preparation for the life to come and Aaron's life that follows. 'There is Life After Death, and not just for those who die' - Aaron McWilliams The Art of Serenity: A Journey of Faith takes us through the grief and into the blessings of a new life as Aaron discovers again the blissful life of a newly wed while taking Sara, his new wife, on a 5,000 mile journey around the country to tell her the story of his past."
("The Art of Serenity: A Journey of Faith" Product description on

Art of Serenity's Pretty Good, Actually

Aaron McWilliams is my son-in-law, Sara my daughter. Naturally, I'm interested in what they do. I'm also not the sort of person to say something is 'splendid' when it's not.

Earlier this year I saw some of the source material that Oasis Productions had to work with. Kelly and Aaron kept a video journal to record her experiences as a young woman with terminal cancer. Oasis Productions combined that journal with interviews and other material gathered during that 5,000 mile trip.

I thought they had good material to work with.

More recently, I saw the finished product.

In my opinion, it's a moving and informative account of people who encountered death and life: and dealt with both as practicing Catholics.

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.