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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Where in the World is Doctor Haas?

The President of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, Dr. John Haas, has had quite a busy month! He wanted to write a little bit about his recent travels. We have posted his piece below:

Just a quick note to keep you all informed of recent activities!

The National Catholic Bioethics Center had its board meeting in San Diego on the weekend of June 8th and 9th.  Our board meetings always coincide with the bishops’ meetings since we have many bishops on the board.  It is a good way to make sure they can all attend! The meeting went well and the board members asked me to extend their deep gratitude to the entire NCBC staff for all our work – and their continued astonishment that we are able to accomplish so much with our limited resources in terms of money and personnel. 

Sunday, the 9th, I attended the meeting of the Pro-Life Activities Secretariat which is now chaired by Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston.

A significant part of the meeting was the discussion of a paper which will appear in the next issue of our Quarterly.  The paper deals with the modes of action of a drug known Levonorgestrel and its use in rape protocols and as “emergency contraception.” On Monday a number of theologians and philosophers addressed the bishops at a seminar organized by the Doctrine Committee on the Principle of Material Cooperation which would have relevance for compliance or non-compliance with the Contraceptive/Abortifacient Mandate of the Department of Health and Human Services. Those serving on the panel were Dr. Ronald Hamel of the Catholic Health Association, Dr. Daniel Sulmasy of the University of Chicago Medical School, Father Daniel Mindling, Academic Dean at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Dr. John Berkman of Regis College of the University of Toronto with me representing The National Catholic Bioethics Center.

On the 13th, I headed to New York City for a reception at the French Consulate for the launch of the Jerome Lejeune Foundation -- USA.  The National Catholic Bioethics Center has been collaborating closely with the Jerome Lejeune Foundation -- Paris, and helped with the start-up of the Foundation in this country.  There was a gala that Thursday evening in New York to introduce our work in the United States. Jerome Lejeune, who has been officially declared a Servant of God, was the French geneticist who discovered the cause of Down syndrome. The French and American foundations, named for Dr. Lejeune, assist those who live with genetically-caused intelligence disabilities through grants for research, care and advocacy on their behalf.

I currently serve as the Chairman of the Board of the U.S. foundation. There had been a board meeting of the foundation just before the reception.

A Harpist playing for the gala
at the French Consulate

 Birthe Lejeune, widow of Jerome Lejeune, was present at the event. 

Dr. Haas's view of Madame Lejeune as she addresses guests at the reception with
Mark Bradford, current President of the Jerome Lejeune Foundation -- USA
and former Executive Vice President of the NCBC

Madame Lejeune, center, speaks to those present at the gala.
Standing by, from left: Yvonne Maddox, Deputy Director of the
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development;
Father Andrew Heintz (an early proponent of the Lejeune -- USA branch);
Bernard Faro, Deputy Consul General for the French Consulate;
Mark Bradford, President of the Lejeune Foundation -- USA

NCBC President, Dr. John Haas, stands with Rhianna Quinn Roddy,
principal event planner for the gala.

It is a joy to be with those involved with the French foundation, and it was wonderful to spend time with Thierry de Lavillejegu, Director General of the Lejeune Foundation -- France; Madame Lejeune; and Jean-Marc Guilloux, founder and original executive director of the Jerome Lejeune Foundation --USA. Mr. Guilloux is now the Treasurer of the Board for the U.S. branch of the foundation.

From Left: Thierry de Lavillejegu, Director General of the Lejeune Foundation in France;
Madame Lejeune; and Jean-Marc Guilloux, founder and original
executive director of the Lejeune Foundation -- USA.

If you would like to see more photographs  from the gala, you can view them on the photo page of the French Consulate, HERE


My next trip will be to Tennessee! I will be speaking in Memphis on the 27th of June as part of the programming for the Memphis Fortnight for Freedom. The talk is open to the public, and will be at 7 PM. You can learn more about the event HERE.

Please pray for me during my travels, and please continue to pray for and support the work of The National Catholic Bioethics Center.

May God bless you always,

John M. Haas
The National Catholic Bioethics Center

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