Initiative for Palliative Care and Advance Care Planning

The Archdiocese of Boston Initiative for Palliative Care and Advance Care Planning was established in 2015. Its goal is to provide education, outreach and advocacy that will create an informed public about palliative care, a multidisciplinary approach to the care of the seriously ill which is patient-centered and family-oriented.  The program also supports, promotes and provides education about Advance Care Planning which allows people to discuss and make known their wishes for care in anticipation of a time when they cannot speak for themselves.  Most importantly, the Advance Care Planning component of the initiative provides information about how to designate a health care proxy or surrogate decision-maker who will be their voice when they can no longer make or articulate their health care decisions. 

New! Letter Samaritanus bonus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the care of persons in the critical and terminal phases of life

  • The Vatican has recently published a letter, approved by Pope Francis, in response to the growing number of activities and legislative proposals globally that support euthanasia and assisted suicide.
    In Massachusetts, a proposed bill to legalize Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) is currently under consideration.  Please see the website of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference ( for details and suggestions for action.

A Catholic Approach to Palliative Care - six-part video series with discussion guides

Resources that are focused on issues related to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Webinar: If Not Now...When? Advance Care Planning Conversations That We All Need to Have

We urge you to read these materials and share them with your families and friends.




MC Sullivan
Chief Health Care Ethicist
Office: 617-746-5734

Diane McCarthy
Parish Education Coordinator
Office: 617-746-5732

Suzanne Graul
Sr. Administrative Assistant
Office: 617-746-5738

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