Long Term "Wellness" Programs, Rather than Expensive Interventions - The American healthcare system is facing extreme stress as the baby boomers begin their retirements. The only hope is for increased emphasis on wellness for everyone in and approaching their Medicare years.
Both carrots and sticks must be employed on both patients and providers to devise ways to get recipients to control their weight, their smoking, their unhealthy food choices while increasing their daily exercise.
Hospital should be encouraged to set up programs that give people a 1% cash rebate on all their “in patient” and “out patient” expenditures if they participate successfully in a long term hospital sponsored program. Paticipants should be required to come to hospital three times a week for exercise, weigh ins, and lectures on the evils of smoking and the virtues of a good diet.
The program would be modeled on the Phase III cardiac rehab program that cardiologist have installed at many hospitals. These long term programs are for people who have received cardiac stents and/or by pass surgery. The idea in these programs is charge the patients just enough to cover the cost of the exercise equipment and to provide a trained Physiologist or RN to monitor the patient’s exercise and weigh ins while certifying that they are proceeding on their plan for improvement.
Unfortunately many hospital managers are opting to cancel such programs as Phase III cardiac rehab. Their logic is tragically flawed. They believe that they should not be distracted by small programs that they define as being outside the core businesses of their institutions. They wish to focus on programs that bring in the bigger dollars without thinking of where America will need to be in 5 or 10 years. They are throwing away very useful programs just as GM gave preeminence in small car production to the Japanese and Koreans and focused on the big bucks in the GMC Denali and the Humvee. High oil prices have taught GM a lesson. Baby boomer retirements will teach America’s hospital managers a similar lesson as Washington eventually tries to figure a way to reduce the utilization rates of high cost interventions by promoting wellness instead. ........... (Prepared by Hugh Murray on 7/21/2008)
Dealing with Unwanted Attraction to a Member of the Opposite Sex - Situations crop up where a person is attracted to a member of the opposite sex, but where such attraction is totally inappropriate or even immoral. The married executive who is attracted to a young married secretary. The middle aged widow who is attracted to the neighbor’s eighteen year old son. These situations should be dealt with as follows:
(1) The person with the immoral or inappropriate attractions should begin by seeking God’s help through prayer. God has the ability to either change the situation or change the person’s feelings such that the strength of the feelings lessens or goes away.
(2) The person should avoid situations where they encounter the person who is the object of their attraction. The old saying “avoid the occasion of sin” had relevance when David looked too long and hard at Bathsheba; it has just as much relevance today.
(3) The person should remain particularly busy when the object of their attraction is in the vicinity. “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop” remains true in all times because man’s nature does not change.
(4) The person with the attractions might substitute wholesome attractions for the unwholesome. Think about enjoyable past experiences or achievements or old friends. Find new interests that can capture the imagination and fill the mind.
If these protective steps are not taken a person can become miserable thinking of unwholesome things or even worse act upon these feelings and endure the sting of rejection or worse cause injury and pain to one or more people. In some cases, multiple families can be torn up psychologically and financially as divorce lawyers extract their payments.
In closing it should be noted that state legislatures could eliminate some of the most horrendeous consequences of these unwholesome attractions run rampant. A revision to the "no fault" divorce law might be enacted requiring that no decree of divorce would become final until the youngest child of the divorcing couple becomes eighteen. ..........(prepared by Hugh Murray on 7/21/2008)
Benedict v Fellay, the Saga Enters a New Stage - The word from the Vatican is Pope Benedict is very upset with Bishop Fellay of the Society of St Puis X for not accepting his June ‘08 offer to re-admit the Society into full communion with Rome if the Society would drop its claim to possess a Magisterium (ie. teaching of the Catholic Faith) that is superior to that which is taught by the Vatican and to stop saying negative things about the Pope.
Fellay for his part is careful to point out that the difference is really over whether Enlightenment principles will be admitted to the Magisterium. Fellay points out that following Vatican II other religions were no longer referred to as “false”, that there was an increased emphasis on social and temporal problems with a corresponding de-emphasis on the eternal or supernatural, that these changes have manifested themselves in the practice of the faith in its most frequently received sacraments - penance is rarely received by the faithful today, belief in the real Presence in the Eucharist is declining. Fellay even complains about John Paul II’s use of the phrase “new ecclesiology” to describe the Church following Vatican II. Since a church’s eccelesiology is its organizing principles and since Catholic ecclesiology was established by none other than Jesus Christ, it is only correct, in the case of the Roman Church, to speak of a "refined" or "clarified" principle of Catholic ecclesiology. No one, not even a Pope, could ever say there is a “new” ecclesiology (i.e. new set of organizing principles).
It is obvious that Fellay and Benedict are miles apart. Fellay wants a pre-Vatican II church that stands apart from the world and says “we love the world” but the world is wrong. Benedict wants a Church that respects the old customs but is willing to meet the the world half way and trust in the Holy Spirit that the Faith won’t lose its way (or be irredeemably compromised) in the encounter.
The two organizations will operate in proximity, like a small moon circling a large planet. The planet’s tides and orbit slightly altered by the moon; the moon existence totally dependent on the planet it never touches. There are space ships that travel back and forth carrying people and things. Informed commentators say there is no hope that the moon will ever attract enough people and stuff from the planet to reverse their roles in this rotating system. Commentators are always right - or are they?
Fr. Benedict Groeschel, of EWTN, has noted that young people inclined toward the religious life are today attracted to conservative, traditional situations. The Society of St. Pius X offers a very conservative, very tradition version of Catholicism. If might terrify folks in the Vatican if they see more and more young Catholics get on the space ship to see what life is like on that alluring moon.
........................(prepared by Hugh Murray on 7/21/2008)
About the Lack of Wealth in the Black Community - Commentators are more and more remarking on the fact that although the wage gap between comparably educated blacks and whites has closed, the wealth gap remains very wide. Some economists estimate the gap at six fold. This means that if a typical white family headed by a college educated person arrives at age 55 with a net worth of $200,000, then a typical black family headed by a college educated person arrives at age 55 with a net worth of $33,000.
Why did such a gap come into existence? What does it portend for social policy going forward?
There are the cultural differences between blacks and whites. Whites have for generations known about the virtue of saving. Blacks have only had something to save in the last couple of generations. There is the issue of inheritance. Even a small inheritance $10,000 or $20,000 can be a real help in putting together a $250,000 nest egg for a rainy day. Blacks have, for the most part, lacked these inheritances that serve as incentives. Finally there is the costs that face the responsible black heading a household. These grow out of the black community’s pathologies. The irresponsible young black men that deal drugs, vandalize, impregnate young girls, commit crime, etc. These young men can catch others up in their nets of antisocial behavior, and the responsible black head of household finds they have to hire lawyers, abortionists, repair contractors to bring order out of the chaos. The head of any household has to guide and protect the children of the household. The costs of sheparding two or three young black children through from age 8 to age 25 can wipe out any attempt at savings.
What does this mean for the future? Perhaps there is going to have to be more compulsion for working age people to save. This compulsion will probably be accompanied by heavier restrictions on the ability to withdraw retirement savings before 59 1/2. These changes will assure that both blacks and whites will arrive at retirement age with greater and more equal amounts of savings........................(prepared by Hugh Murray on 7/20/2008)
When Obama Loses, Blacks will Blame White Racism - The polls show that Obama is fading. Political pundits had been quietly predicting that this movement toward McCain would occur. The logic is pretty compelling.
Obama has several unavoidable problems with his resume’: his government experience is very shallow, his overall work experience is not that of a first class lawyer (it is more that of a second class social worker), Michelle Obama is a “loose cannon” and probably a racist as well, his pastor is worse than his wife, and his patrons in Chicago politics (from whom he received massive campaign contributions and a sweetheart deal on a home he could not afford) are being investigated and one is already going to jail. Obama stands on social issues are too liberal for most Americans. He wants to provide universal health care for everyone in America (including all illegal immigrants). He also feels that babies born alive after a botched late term abortion should be left in the corner without food or water to die of dehydration and starvation.
But Obama has some advantages. He is running to replace an incumbent Republican President who has less than 30% popularity. This indicates that the American people are desperate to get a different President and all things being equal they would prefer a Democrat. Obama has the additional advantage of being an articulate black. The American people are desperate for a way to put all this racial tension behind them. Some voters are likely to vote for Obama thinking it’s a “short cut” way to solve the racial problem. (Of course, there is no short cut. America’s racial situation was cast into chaos by the handling of the Civil War and its aftermath. Some social scientists have argued that it is so bad in America that it might require a 500 year process government promoted racial inter-marriage to undo the damage done by the mistakes made between 1861 and the present.) Obama would be helped if his Republican opponent was strongly aligned with the failed incumbent, unfortunately McCain is a first class maverick who is hard to classify .
All this leaves a American electorate wanting to elect a black President but seeing, in the end, that Obama is just too far beyond acceptability.
Additionally this will leave American blacks wanting to blame someone or something for the defeat, for the rejection of this attractive, articulate black. The scape goat will be white racism.
Black Americans will not hear the pundits who say: Obama lost because of his pastor, or his wife, or his Chicago friends, or his weak resume’, or his ultra stand on social issues, or ..... or ...... or. No, black Americans will see only white racism at work and the reaction could be very mean, even very violent. The white majority must be prepared to respond with great patience as their black neighbors “act out”.
This will be another situation where the results will look terribly skewed. Exactly what Madison counseled against when he condemned the politics of sections and factions. Lincoln was elected with 39% of the popular vote without even appearing on any ballot in the southern states. Obama will probably be defeated with less than 1/3 rd of the white vote but with over 90% of the black vote. Violence oftentimes comes out of these skewed situations. With prayer and patience America will survive. But race relations will probably suffer another huge set back just as they have half a dozen times since the racial chaos began in 1861.
(prepared by Hugh Murray on Aug. 25,2008)
Greed and Arrogance Showers Economic Woe Upon the U.S. - America is experiencing the consequences of several interlaced episodes of greed and arrogance run rampant. Consider these facts from the perspective of the average blue collar working person.
1) Plant closings, many in small American towns, triggered several unfortunate consequences. These plants were moved to places, like China, where capital had to be spent replicating facilities already present in America and putting in new transportation facilities. Commodities, like copper, where used in abundance and these rose on world markets making things more expensive everywhere including the US. Once manufacturing began in China, raw materials and finished goods had to handled and hauled to and from China using a lot more fuel and driving up the price of gasoline and diesel. Of course, workers in the small towns that lost plants were now forced to seek work in the nearest city. Many chose to keep their children in their familiar small town environments which necessitated long commutes. Again causing sharp increases the demand for fuel. The fact is that many entrepreneurs who moved plants to China decided to give consumers only a small part of the lower costs, putting the bulk of the savings in their own pockets. Finally, the cost advantage of going to China was suppose to be quickly eliminated as China developed the many “cost increasing” benefits for its people (e.g. labor unions, occupational safety rules, environmental rules, etc.); of course, these things have not materialized in China because China remains an authoritarian, “one party” state. In sum, the greed of certain business people, who had no doubt made massive political contributions, dealt a body blow to thousands of labor intensive manufacturing facilities and millions of workers all across this great country.
2) The sub prime loans was a beautiful palliative for the distressed “under employed” blue collar workers mentioned above. Having taken their manufacturing jobs away, the wizards of Wall Street decided to give low end workers “a break” by giving them home loans they could not afford. This strategy gave the economy the patina of health by putting millions to work erecting homes for people who had no long run ability to pay. But the “wizards” didn’t stop there, rather than bundling this paper up and selling it locally they decided to sell the vast majority of it to foreigners. In order to get the "foreign suckers" to buy, the wizards bribed rating agencies to slap a AAA rating on the bundles thus hiding the "smell". Now the stuff is going bad and the foreigners are naturally upset. Not surprisingly they are now reluctant to buy US government debt. This little “wizardly” stunt is likely to effect the federal governments ability to finance and re-finance the growing mountain federal debt.
3) The growth of the federal debt was beginning to come under control as the Republican Congress and Pres. Clinton teamed up to cut the deficit with higher taxes and constraints on spending. Then came “W” with his tax cuts, his excessive interest in war, and his attraction to a completely new drug entitlement for seniors. The truth about the war is not completely out, but it appears the Bush administration, from its opening days, before 9-11, was looking for a way to get control of Iraq and particularly its huge oil reserves. Cheney had meetings in the first weeks with oil people, the results of these meetings have never been disclosed, but it is known that maps of Iraq figured prominently in their conversations. Later after 9-11 Bush was anxious to find a rational for invading Iraq. British intelligence people were asked for help by coming up with facts or provocations that could be trumped to rationalize a war. Fortunately a British diplomat, named Manning, attended meetings in the White House and recorded these Bush attempts. Vincent Bugliosi, the famous prosecutor from Southern California, has written a book The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder . In this book he points out that Bush knew there was no reason for war with Iraq and further he organized lies to get the country into the war knowing that Americans would be killed. Bugliosi claims that a murderer does not have to “pull the trigger” that causes death all he has to do is organize things in such a way that any reasonable person would expect that people would get killed. So what was Bush's motive in going to war and wasting 12 billion a month and thousands of lives. The answers seems to lie in the Cheney meetings held in the early weeks of the administration. Certain American businessmen were greedy and wanted Iraqi oil to develop and exploit. Of course, they never expected the hornets nest they encountered. Iraqi oil pipelines have regularly been the target of bombings. Instead of getting an increased flow of oil for the world market, America has had to ship millions of gallons of fuel into Iraq to transport troops around and keep them in some sort of quasi-livable environment when they aren’t running around in tanks and Hummers. All in all the Iraq affair has “net- net” greatly reduced the supply of oil worldwide thus increasing costs for Americans who drive to work. Greed has struck the working man once again.
4) Finally there is the “we’ll educate our way out of this mess” myth. President Bush has decided to promote a “no child left behind program” that has redirected billions of dollars toward the least educable students in America. These students have limited ability to thrive in school. What they desperately need is a “labor intensive” factory job where they might work, protected by a union and safety laws for a lifetime, getting enough money to support a family, perhaps with some raises, perhaps with a promotion to lead man. But the money that might have protected that low skill job, from being shipped to China, is being wasted on a no child left behind effort that doesn’t work and, in the end, forces educators to “cook the results” so it appears to be succeeding. The other side of this disgraceful effort is the lack of teacher attention that might have gone to gifted students who are truly going to help America improve through education. It might be easier if God created every child with the same IQ, but he didn’t. America’s leaders must accept these God given differences and arrange society so all people have a chance to contribute, to grow at their own pace, and thus feel good about themselves and their place in society.
This essay has only scratched the surface. It does not discuss the loss of professional and service jobs to India. It does not discuss the incestuous relationships between politicians and big money. It does not discuss the excessive risk that has underlaid investing and banking generally. All these and more need a through airing.
.............(prepared by Hugh Murray on Aug. 25, 2008
McCain/Palin Will Win Big, But in the End America Will Be a Big Loser - The McCain campaign has pulled off a campaign coup picking Gov. Palin to be his running mate. She helps with the mountain vote, the small town vote, the pro-life vote, the women vote, the "parents of disabled children" vote, the gun owners vote, and the religious right vote. The 3 to 5 point boost she provides in these critical areas will be a big help. The Palin boost will be solidified as the voters begin to internalize the many problems with Obama. He brings a confused upbringing with not one but three irresponsible parents - a father, a step father, and a mother all of whom were seeking maturity themselves while trying to raise him. Obama’s wife is a ticking time bomb likely to loose a few boomerangs before November. The Obama voting record has too many indecisive “present” votes (160 while serving as a State Senator) to demonstrate the decisive decision-making ability required of a President. It is likely that before it is all over McCain will get 54% of the popular vote and 70% of the electoral vote.
The American people will express their remorse for letting “W’s” party retain the While House by punishing Republican Congressmen, Governors, Senators and State Legislators.
After the election the disaster begins. McCain’s principle foreign policy advisor is Sen. Joe Lieberman who is as pro-Israel as anyone in the Congress. With “W”, America’s foreign policy was the Mideast first. All other areas of the globe were off America’s radar screen. In the Mideast, America is not interested in talking to anyone but Israel. As for the rest of the Mideast, they get either an invasion or the threat of an invasion. Under McCain threats will be backed up by a larger Army. If McCain falls sick or dies, NRA member Palin promises to be as hawkish as McCain. (Perhaps another Thatcher in the making?)
On the domestic front, the McCain administration is likely to stick to their “no tax increase” pledge. The consequence of an aggressively robust foreign policy backed by armed intervention with no offsetting tax increases is another major step toward national insolvency.
America use to hang back and let others make the initial commitment to “good causes”. More recently America has been in the forefront defining the “good cause” agenda. Even more recently America has been prepared to go it “essentially alone” in these futile efforts to change people’s deeply held beliefs and practices.
Under McCain there is almost no possibility that America will pull in its horns and act like a responsible member of the community of nations. America use to be the pleasant tough guy who was rarely enraged but became the determining factor once engaged in the fight. Today it acts like a misguided bully getting into unnecessary fights and, what's worse, using weapons inappropriate for the situations.
Americans forget this country was created with two oceans to protect it from day to day interest in the politics of the other hemisphere. True America is a continental power so it is strong, but because of its natural isolation its people and leaders are not naturally familiar with those across the sea. That explains and justifies American reluctance to enter to quickly into foreign disputes. Because American leaders are less well informed on foreign matters they can be swayed to positions, that are sometimes against American's long term interest, by lobbyists in Washington who represent foreign governments or factions. AIPAC is the most prominent current example of this kind of lobbyist, but it is certainly not the only such example; the Chinese, the Japanese, the Taiwanese, and the Saudis all come to mind.
With the forgoing in mind, one might wish for America to lose, or at least be fought to a draw, and then be forced to leave Iraq and Afghanistan. Somehow the “war hawks” and Likudnicks in Washington have to learn that America’s taste for war is ultimately very limited and that the Pentagon’s assets are not to be squandered pursuing ill-considered “pipe” dreams. ....................... (prepared by Hugh Murray on 9/4/2008)
Hospitals that Need more Heart Surgery Patients, Already Have a Ready Supply - Today many hospitals are feeling the pinch as doctors perform more procedures in their offices or alternately treat conditions with modern drugs. This trend has left hospitals with empty beds and under utilized surgical facilities.
Many of these hospitals have creative administrators. These leaders have been reading the medical literature. They’ve learned that many patients, participating in long term cardiac rehabilitation programs, generally called Phase III rehab, will stop exercising if they are required to arrange their own rehab programs.
Researchers have shown that group support with minimal medical supervision can be a powerful inducement for many to stay committed to their three times a week exercise program. (See (1) European Heart Journal 2003; 24(13) pages 1273 to 1278, (2) Circ J 2008 ; 72 pages 1230 - 1234 or PMID: 18654005 by E. Seki et al of the Dept. of Cardiovascular Medicine, Juntendo Univ., (3) Database Support for Cardiac Rehabilitation by V. M. Jelinck, Medical Journal of Australia - 15 Mar 2004, Vol 180; pages 261-262, and (4) Chapter 28 of the Yale University Heart Book by Barry Zaret MD entitled Cardiac Rehabilitation pages 349 to 358.) If group support with minimal medical supervision is withdrawn, at least 1/3 of these patients will sink into a sedentary lifestyle. In short order, they will see their medical indicators deteriorate (e.g. pulse, blood pressures, HDL, LDL, cardiac capacity, blood sugar control, pulmonary capacity, peripheral circulation, etc.). Additional interventions and surgeries will naturally follow.
These facts are music to the ears of an administrator trying to figure a way to increase utilization of his heart surgery department. To create 50, 100 or more additional candidates for “in patient” surgery, all he has to do, is to close the hospital’s existing Phase III program. This closure throws these older adults out to seek their own solutions. Some try the YMCA, some buy home equipment but the common detrimental blow is the destruction of the mutual support that grows up in any group that has come together to deal with a common problem. Think of an AA group or Over Eater’s Anonymous group. These organizations, like Phase III rehab, help people in a group setting deal with their problem over an extended period of time.
Since Phase III is generally a patient pay program (with no insurance), the administrators also know that these people are a little better off financially and therefore likely to have Medicare Supplement Insurance to augment their basic Medicare coverage. This means these patients when they arrive for their stents or by-pass will be “full” pay rather than “partial” pay patients. That’s the difference between a small profit and a big loss for the hospital.
There is another aspect to a Phase III termination. Phase III programs use the same equipment as the 12 week Phase II program that is mandatory following initial heart surgery. Generally Phase III programs are conducted in the same facilities as Phase II programs to get full utilization of the building, equipment and staff. This creates an affinity between Phase II and Phase III participants, and it also creates a chance for Phase III “rehabers” to educate the Phase II “rehabers” about the importance of group support and regular exercise. So even if some Phase II participants can’t afford $50 to $100 per month to become an official Phase III “rehabers”, they benefit from the peer to peer education. If they are able to become official Phase III “rehabers”all the better for them and for the rest of the Phase III group. By terminating the Phase III program the administrators destroy any chance for the peer to peer education to occur. They also kill any chance for Phase III recruitment of a Phase II “rehaber”. All in all, it increases the chance that more Phase II participants will be returning more quickly for additional heart procedures.
All this is helpful for the hospital’s bottom line. But there is a public relations nightmare lurking here if the decision is not covered over with high sounding statements about why the program has to be terminated. Letters announcing the closure decision must contain statements such as: “because Phase III just isn’t part of the hospital’s core mission”, or “because we just lose too much money on each participant and on the overall program as well”. They never point out that the cost for one whole year for one hundred (100) Phase III participants is about the same as the cost of one by-pass surgery. The key for the administrator is to avoid any hard numbers or any facts that can be double checked. Let people talk; maybe have a meeting where people can let off steam, but keep the “close down” date firm, and don’t let your sympathies be swayed by the many true stories that attest to the value of the program. The administrator must keep those additional future “in patient” surgeries foremost in his mind. The hospital’s bottom line is far more important than the continued good health of a hundred Phase III participants! ..................(prepared by Hugh Murray on 9/8/2008.)
Fr. James Martin, S.J. Comments on the Ugandan Martyrs - Chapter 15 of Fr. Martin’s book My Life with the Saints is entitled Who Trusts in God: The Ugandan Martyrs. He opens this chapter with a Swahili Proverb which reads Who trusts in God lacks nothing. This proverb truly catches the spiritual commitment that these martyrs exhibited.
But before getting into those details, the story should begin with Fr. Martin’s introduction to the region. Fr. Martin was assigned by his order to spend two years in a Nairobi slum helping poor people. He learned that many of these people, particularly the women, had wonderful sewing and craft making skills. He began to encourage the women to make things for sale and to his surprise they were soon doing a brisk business from their slum facility. It was decided that a more formal store would be more appropriate, so a place was acquired on the border between the slum and a better adjacent neighborhood. The immediate challenge was finding an appropriate name for the store.
Some of the ladies were refugees from Ida Amin’s Uganda and they wanted to name the store after one of the saints who had died at the hand of an Ugandan King in 1886. The other ladies were native Kenyan and they opted for naming the facility after a local nun who had just been beatified. The controversy was ended when all agreed to call the shop by the single word “Mikono” (which means “hands” in Swahili).
Fr. Martin left this controversy with a distinct desire to learn more about these Ugandan Martyrs. Over the coming weeks, he found time to read the history of white exploration and the arrival of missionaries in Uganda. This process occurred late in the 19th century from 1860 to 1990. (Although white explores , Christian and Muslim, had acquired detail knowledge of Africa’s costal areas several centuries earlier, its interior was a mystery because of disease, topography, and brutal practices such as cannibalism.) In the 1860s missionaries of both the Catholic and Anglican Churches arrived in what is today Uganda. The kindly king Mutesa allowed his subjects to convert to any of the new religions, Islam, Protestantism or Catholicism, but he remained loyal to the old native religion. In 1884 the old king died and his son Mwanga took over.
The new king was upset because the new religions had lessened his subjects willingness to obey him without question. In Jan 1885 he had three Anglican converts dismembered and burned. In Oct he attack and killed everyone in a caravan carrying Anglican Bishop James Harrington. When a Catholic advisor to the king, Joseph Mukasa, protested against Harrington’s killing, he too was beheaded thus becoming the first of the Catholic Ugandan martyrs.
Charles Lwanga, another Catholic at court, saw this and became quite alarmed. He had been giving several of the royal pages training in the Catholic faith. He quickly rushed these catechumens over to the Catholic mission where a White Father in residence baptized them. The youngest was Kizito, a page of fourteen.
King Mwanga was particularly enraged because he had a pronounced preference for sexual activity with adolescent boys. With Christian ideas spreading in his court, these young men both Anglican and Catholic were resisting his advances. Mwanga met with his senior advisors and gained agreement that something must be done to bring order back to the court, so on May 26 1886 the king asked the Christians there to deny their faith or face death.. Ten Anglicans and sixteen Catholics refused to deny Christ. They were sentenced to be burned at the stake on June 3 at a place called Namugongo near the shores of Lake Victoria. Before the sentences were carried out the numbers of those to be burned had swelled to 22 Catholics and 23 Anglicans.
The victims went to their deaths saying such things as “you are burning me but it is as if you are pouring water over my body” or “my God...my God” or Good bye friends We are on our way”.
Christian activity in the kingdom stopped, the priests and ministers from Europe fled, and did not return until Mwanga’s death. Upon their return they discovered the number of Christians had increased by over 500 souls through the secret activity of indigenous Christians.
In 1964 Paul VI visited, Namugongo and in honor of his visit a rather large Church was constructed with a tall steeple. This Church stands today. Near it is a simple Anglican chapel and on the Anglican grounds is a circular walled pit under a thatched roof.. In this wall are sculptures of bodies stacked one upon the other, dressed for emulation with dried staves attached around their bodies, and staring up at the visitors.
Fr. Martin recounts his visit to Namugongo and his reaction in particular to the Anglican memorial. He then shares a few words about how he went back to Nairobi and started to display memorabilia and holy cards representing the awful event itself and some of the saints that died so gruesomely at Namugongo. He has developed a particular devotion to Saint Kizito, the fourteen year old that was martyred. .................. (prepared by Hugh Murray on 9/15/2008).
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