During the weekend of Nov. 12-14, Catholics and religious leaders across the nation will observe the ninth annual National Donor Sabbath. This special weekend raises awareness, through religious communities, of the urgent need for organ and tissue donation.
National Donor Sabbath is a time to celebrate those heroes who gave life through donation, while also rejoicing with those who have received the gift of life. Most especially, this observance reminds us that there are still many more who await the gift of life.
More than 86,000 people of all faiths are waiting for lifesaving organs on the national transplant waiting list. In Illinois alone, more than 4,500 patients are depending upon the kindness and generosity of strangers. They hope others will say "yes" to donation—and save their lives.
Last year, the Archdiocese of Chicago partnered with Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network to lend support to donation awareness efforts. We will continue to call attention to the spiritual and lifesaving benefits of donation through such national celebrations as National Donor Sabbath. After all, donation is an act of charity and love.
I ask you to join me in observing National Donor Sabbath by discussing our Church’s teachings and statements on donation and transplantation with your families, friends and co-workers. We remind all Catholics of our faith’s support for donation and transplantation as one of the highest expressions of human compassion and giving.
Please join Catholics and religious communities across the nation as they take part in this interfaith celebration of life and hope. The message is simple: Consider making the faith-based decision to give the gift of life.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.
Archbishop of Chicago