By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — All medical professionals (doctors, nurses, physical therapists and more) are invited to attend a White Mass at 9 a.m. Oct. 17 in Christ the King Chapel on the St. Ambrose University campus.
A breakfast with speaker Sister Mary Diana Dreger, OP, will follow in the Rogalski Center.
The events are sponsored by St. Thomas Aquinas Guild of the Quad Cities. The group is a chartered guild of the Catholic Medical Association and supports and educates Catholic health care professionals, said Dr. Timothy Millea, guild president. He also is a member of St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Davenport and an orthopedic physician.
Sr. Dreger, a practicing physician in Tennessee, will present Hope: In theory and (medical) practice. “Hope has taken on many secular meanings, perhaps obscuring its essence as a foundational theological virtue,” Sr. Dreger said in an email to Millea. “Yet the essence of hope is that it directs us toward the providential love of the all-powerful God. Pursuing medical practice as faith-filled Christians poses challenges today, which can erode our grounding in hope. The Lord himself, in his words and in those of his disciples, gives us all we need to persevere in prayer, be patient in suffering, and to rejoice in hope.”
Millea said he heard Sr. Dreger speak at a Catholic Medical Association conference. “She was a high school math teacher and didn’t go to medical school until after she had professed vows.” She conveys a good mix of theology and spirituality, he noted. “Sister is enlightening and has a lot of perspective with her background as a teacher, sister and physician.”
She entered the Dominican Sisters of the Congregation of Saint Cecilia in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1989 and professed final vows in 1996. As a sister, she graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 2001. She practices internal medicine at Holy Family Medical Center, an entity of St. Thomas Medical Partners in Nashville. Sr. Dreger also is on faculty at Vanderbilt as an assistant clinical professor of medicine and is currently working on a master’s in theology.
In 2006 she became active in the Catholic Medical Association, was a founding member of the Nashville Guild in 2008 and served as guild officer for six years. She became an advisor to the president and a member of the CMA board of directors at the national level in 2014. She frequently travels as a member of the CMA speakers’ bureau.
For more information about the Quad City guild, to attend the breakfast (reservations are required) or become a member, contact guild members at stthomasquinasguild.com.