Saturday, July 16, 2011

Where have all the Crucifixes gone?

July 16,2011
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
    When I go to a hospital without a cross it scares me. It scares me even to see a hospital without a cross such as the new one at Ile- a-la- Crosse. When I was scheduled to go for eye surgery at Victoria Hospital my fear of the place was only lesser than my fear of going blind. There were moments however when the fear of the hospital was greater than the fear of my cloudy vision. As expected there were no crucifix on the walls. I did not know that when I buy antibiotics by my dentist’s direction that ever form stated so and every staff would read it and read it out loud over and over again. So what is wrong with the world knowing that I had a prescription for antibiotics when I went to the dentist across the city? It is a violation of privacy that is what is wrong. It is frightening that people don’t even understand that privacy used to be something to be respected and protected. I had to answer the same dumb questions every twenty  yards. “ What is your name?” To my knowledge there is only one other Gay Caswell and he is a retired banker in Esterhazy. I am not he.
    Victoria is an abortion hospital. It pushes abortion on native people disproportionately to the point the word eugenics is not out of line. In the past, when I was in the bathroom one of our students was given depo provera in the delivery room without her, her parents in absentia  or my permission.  She was a minor. I have written many letters protesting this. Since the doctor who did it has been given the Order of Canada no reply was warranted according to the hospital and her. We have marched around the hospital in trepidation saying rosaries. To be in Victoria Hospital was to us being inside enemy territory. I was no more going to have general anaesthethics  ( being knocked out) than I was going to sign blank permission slips. The doctors  and staff didn’t deserve my attitude. But that is the nature of war.
    Which leads me to St.Paul’s Hospital. St. Paul’s has been the constant in our lives. It is where five of our children were born. For at least three of those children they would not be alive if it wasn’t for St.Paul’s different ethics than those of the other two Saskatoon hospitals. There was always a crucifix in my room and a holy picture. I wasn’t a Catholic but that was the brand name symbol of protection. I wasn’t going to be sterilised, my baby wasn’t going to be killed and neither was anyone elses. Recently when we were visiting a neighbour in a ward that needs all the spiritual help it can get there were no crucifix.
    In 1985 a nurse Toni Davidson was running for the Tories( allegedly). She was explaining to a prolife leader how St.Paul’s is going to be amalgamated and the crucifixes are going to be removed. She didn’t win.  But the NDP did most of her goals. The crucifixes however stayed up. So why under a SaskParty ( non- socialist) government are the crosses removed?  Who made this decision? Why do government dollars mean an attack on the  Faith? Did anyone really make the decision or did some unhappy Catholic use it as an excuse to get rid of that which reminds her or him of spiritual short comings? Most importantly when are they going to be put them  back? Much of Victoria, Royal University, City Hospital not only offends me but causes me trauma. So who cares? No one goes putting up crucifixes and holy pictures so I feel safe just in case I walk through the doors.So why does St. Paul’s have their safe symbols down? The sick and staff need Jesus, Jesus suffering for their redemption and healing, on a cross, in every room.  Fight for it and carry a crucifix and tack when you go visiting at St. Paul’s. Gay