EWTN Asks Students, Faculty and Benedictines: What Does It Mean to Die Well?

To cover the subject of what it means to die well, EWTN sent a crew to Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. (See it by scrolling down or clicking here.)

Why Benedictine?

“St. Benedict did invite his followers to keep death daily before their eyes, so the Benedictine monks on campus at St. Benedict’s Abbey continue their namesake’s tradition of praying every day for a happy death,” said Alan Holdren, who reported a series on death for the channel.

He interviewed students such as Kate Cailteux who said that, when our time comes, “We have to have the courage to say thank you for this beautiful suffering; thank you for this beautiful death.” Cailteux maintains a website where she discusses her life with quadriplegic cerebral palsy, the congenital neurological disability that she was born with that affects all four of her extremities.

The show also interviewed Philosophy Chair Dr. Jean Rioux who compared our destination in eternity with our finite time on earth, and theologian Dr. Mariele Courtois who, along with National Catholic Bioethics head Joseph Meaney, spoke about the bioethics of death and the Ars moriendi, the art of dying well.

Alumnus Benedictines Father Jeremy Heppler and Sister Loretta McGuire spoke about the need to be forthright about death from the point of view of a parish priest and in a nursing home.

Brother Leven Harton, an alumnus who is now the prior of St. Benedict’s Abbey, summed up the piece by saying “For the Christian of course, death won’t be the end. It will be a new beginning for us. So we keep that new beginning in our hearts every day, before ourselves as a meditation. I think that’s why Saint Benedict is such a good Patron for a happy death.”

See the presentation here or below.

Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is honored to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. Benedictine College is dedicated to transforming culture in America through its mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.