The powerful experiences, compelling stories, and well-meaning people I have discovered and met in my life are my driving forces to writing and blogging.
Because of my previous work in healthcare, I found healthcare ministry particularly accessible. I have accompanied several individuals and families on their life journeys, especially towards the end of life. I found people’s hardships and struggles in confronting health crises daunting. Those encounters prompted me to begin this blog to reach out and encourage as many families as possible to talk about things that matter in their lives, including their values and healthcare preferences and wishes. That was the reason why I picked the blog title, Helping Families Project. I wrote brief articles on how to confront our mortality and clarify some ethical issues about end-of-life care in the light of the Church’s teachings–this is one area of healthcare where families and even healthcare staff find confusing. I simply wanted to help educate and inform.
I feel hesitant to adopt the title, “blogger” and live up to the promise that a “blogger” seems to convey. I am not a writer, nor trained to be one.
I had reached the inevitable when the COVID pandemic plagued us, which lead to the closing of establishments and churches. Since we have no other efficient ways to reach our parishioners than through live streaming or social media, I wrote brief articles that usually reflect the Gospel message at particular Masses. This practice prompted me to expound the coverage of this blog to include spiritual reflections and simple inspiring thoughts in the hopes of shedding light on the difficult times. I also added the Personal Notes section for some interesting personal stories and thoughts. And Yes! I have received positive feedback that lowers my sense of inadequacy.
At this time of apprehension, we need a community for support and a venue to express and share our thoughts, feelings, and experiences. I then considered using this blog to be a medium where readers can also share stories and any helpful pieces of wisdom and information to lift our spirits amid difficult times. I envision this blog as an online community where we can interact with each other to form stronger families and communities. This blog is not a self-help site or a session for therapy. This blog is simply a means for sharing our compelling stories, thoughts, and experiences so others won’t feel alone.
That’s the brief story on how this blog evolved. I believe that I can run this simple project, desiring that it may bring life-changing lessons to you (and to me as well). I ask you to please let me know if you wanted to make suggestions, corrections or express opposing views on certain articles. I will consider your input, and make the necessary changes, if needed.
I hope you find this blog inspiring and enjoyable! God bless you!
Fr. Dennis Gonzales is a priest of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Florida. He worked as a medical-surgical and hospice nurse in Washington, DC before entering the seminary. He also completed an internship program in Clinical Pastoral Education at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, where he ministered to terminally- ill patients who participated in clinical trials. Aside from his parish ministry, he volunteers as a hospital chaplain and lends support to the sick and their families, as well as the healthcare staff who care for them. Fr. Dennis completed a Master of Divinity from St. Vincent de Paul Seminary in Florida, and an MA in Bioethics from Loyola University Chicago through a grant from the Bernard A. Egan Foundation.
You may reach Fr. Dennis at 561 832 3757, firstname.lastname@example.org, or at St. Ann’s Catholic Church, 310 N Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401.
Disclaimer: The contents or views of each article in this blog is solely of the blogger. Its purpose is to share thoughts, experiences and stories in the hopes that they can inspire someone else. No contents on this blog should ever be used as a form of a therapy or as a substitute for direct medical or legal advice. Readers are encouraged to seek the counsel and recommendation of a qualified professional for their specific cases. Every reasonable effort has been made to express full acknowledgment and validation of the use of resource materials in presenting this blog. The blogger regrets any errors or omissions, which will be corrected upon notification, using this e-mail address: email@example.com