Following is an account of Dr Freddie Loh’s sharing of the FIAMC Congress at Lourdes recently.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Here is a brief summary of the 23rd FIAMC’s Lourdes Congress that was recently successfully concluded. Prior to the Congress the FIAMC Exco. Committee meeting was held and Dr. Peter Au-Yeong and Dr. Edna Monzon graciously agreed to represent Dr. Buichi Ishijima and myself at short notice as we were unable to attend in time.Dr. Peter Au-Yeong read the AFCMA’s President report prepared by me.
AFCMA was well represented at the Congress. The following show the country and their no. of representatives:
(1) Indonesia 24 headed by Dr. Ignatius and Dr. Albert Hendarta(the Organising Chairman of the 15th AFCMA Congress in Bali in 2012)
(2)Malaysia 13 headed by Dr. Frederick Yap
(3)Singapore 11 headed by Dr. John Lee and Father Gino
(4)Hong Kong 4 headed by Dr. Peter Au-yeong
(5)Phillipines 2 headed by Dr. Edna Monzon and
(6) India 4 headed by Father Dr. Stephen Fernandes
(7)Vietnam 1 rep.by Dr. Pham Chi Lan
(8)Myanmar by Dr. May Thu Lynn (our new AFCMA member)
Also present was Dr. Eamonn from Australia who represented Oceana.
The Theme of the Congress was “Our Faith As Physicians” with 4 sub-themes viz. God the Creator, Jesus Christ Suffering and Healing, the Spirit of Life, and The Church, The Body of Christ.There was also a session on Pro-Life.
The Congress was officially declared open by His Excellency Mgr. Zymunt ZIMOWSKI President of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Health Care on 6 May 2010.
Besides the Scientific Program we also had other activities as this was also our pilgrimage to Lourdes. We had masses at the Grotto (where our Lady appeared to St. Bernadette),Rosary Basilica and the underground Basilica St. Pius X.We walked along with the others at the Marian Procession carrying candles at night and also the Eucharistic Procession,Adoration and Blessing of the Sick. We drank the holy water from the “Taps” of Lourdes and carriedthe water home in bottles in the figurine of our Lady to be given to our relatives and friends. Some members were fortunate to be able to have their “Bath”.
Here are some excerpts from a few of the speakers during the Congress:
(1)Dr. Richard Watson(USA)who spoke on ‘Should Christian Physicians incorporate prayer as part of therapy?’said that prayer must be for the truly Catholic Doctor at the very core of the doctor-patient relationship.Every time we come into contact with a patient the interface reflects, ‘Chritus Medicus’-Christ the Divine Physician our Healer and Savior interfaces with ‘Christus Patiens’Christ the Patient, our Redeemer who sufferred for us and saved us by His wounds.
(2) Father Dr. Stephen Fernandez(India) spoke on ‘Life in the Spirit and the Challenging Mission of Medical Professionals’. He said that evetyoneis called to meet the Lord in a life experience and bear witness to Him through personal testimony and through their works of faith and justice.We can never live a full Christian Life without experiencing the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.The Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles at Pentecost and transformed their lives.Dr. Stephen then spoke onthe many challengesthat medical professionals are facing in Asia and esp. in India viz. 3.1 million people in India are living with Aids/Hiv, the resurgence of tuberculosis,etc..
(3) Dr. Nicola NAPOLI (Rome) spoke on new therapeutic approacheswith adult stem cells for regenerative medicine.He said that a major task of contemporary medicine is restoration of human tissues and organs lost to diseaseand trauma.Many approaches to tissue engineering have been hindered by factors such as rejectionby the immune system, limited blood supply or morbidity of the donor site. An interesting development has been the discovery of harvesting adipose derived stem cells. This brings new hope as adipose tissue can be easily harvested in adults and can represent an abundant source of therapeutic cells.
Finally at the General Assembly Dr. Simon Castellvi was re-elected as President of FIAMC. Our own Dr. John Lee (Singapore) was also re-elected as Vice- President of FIAMC for another term of 4 years. Bombay has been selected to host the next FIAMC Congress.
In Jesue Christ,
Dr. Freddie Loh