My eyes were opened the other day at the Natural Family Planning seminar for clergy we had at Saint Joseph Seminary especially with the introduction of a new center for women's health in midtown Manhattan. The Gianna Center is an incredible development --even a gift of the Holy Spirit-- for the Church not only in New York, the Tri-State area but indeed for the entire United States. In fact, the brand new center is due to be launched on November 23, 2009 two blocks from Grand Central Station.
Looking at the Gianna Center you will find a wholistic (comprehensive) approach to women's healthcare. Their approach in working with issues of reproduction is to intensely pay attention to a woman's cycle to correct problems without suppressing or destroying the ability to naturally conceive a child. The medical approach here is to work for high effectiveness that respects the dignity of person, adhering to Christ and the Church, and giving a healthy alternative to IVF (which is against all these things).
Gianna will provide a full spectrum of obstetrics and family practice medicine. It will also be a center for medical ethics that is faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Likewise, it will teach the methods of Natural Family Planning and NaProTechnology.
The Gianna Center is the convergence in medicine of faith and reason. It brings together the heart of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ today: God loves us so much that He wants us to be in relationship with Him through His Son in the Holy Spirit living in happiness. In speaking of the heart I am not indicating the subjective feelings of the person that may be as variable as there are people in the world. But what I am suggesting here is that the heart is the locus of our affection for reality as it is presented to us and not as what we want it to be. Another words, we need to deal with the God-given reality that we have in front of us, it is the condition of our happiness desired for us by God. Dealing with reality in this way is the same way we have to deal with the size of the foot we have at the end of our leg: we can't alter its size because it is given. The reality in this case is the cooperating with God in bringing human life into this world as God has intended it to happen.
Hence, putting (keeping?) faith and reason together was the work of Pope John Paul II and it is the current work of Pope Benedict XVI. It is the daily work of the members of groups like Communion & Liberation and Opus Dei aiming as Luigi Giussani said in the Religious Sense, toward "the sense of responsibility toward destiny." AND in my opinion the work of the Gianna Center brings together faith and reason because it has the affection for human reality as it is presented to the world because it is God-given.
The Gianna Center is the brainchild of Joan Nolan and Dr. Anne Mielnik. Of course, no project worthy of mention is done in a vacuum. It's ably assisted by Dr. Kyle Beiter, Jamey Johnston and Jena McFadden and co-funded by Saint Vincent's Hospital and the John Paul II Center.
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