How Franciscan Sister Presents at Singapore Gynecology Conference

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January 07, 2020

Franciscan Sister Renee Mirkes who serves as an ethicist at Pope Paul VI Institute, Omaha, Nebraska, shares on the experience of sharing a presentation at Gynecology 2019 in Singapore.

Last April I responded to a call for papers from a healthcare organization, Allied Academies, on the topic, “cutting edge issues in OB/Gyn” (women’s healthcare). Hmph, I thought to myself: ‘I think NaProTechnology and the FertilityCare System are genuinely cutting edge, so why not submit a paper on that?’ Four months later I received word that my paper was accepted for a presentation at Gynecology 2019, a conference the Allied Academies was sponsoring in Singapore. I was quite excited, but since the sponsoring organization only paid for room and board and conference fees, but not for transportation I told the Lord I would only say ‘yes’ if I were able to raise the money for the very long round trip plane ticket (24-hour travel time).

After three or four generous donors paid for the ticket, I was on the way. I was told two weeks prior to the conference that my paper was chosen as a keynote address, so that added a bit more pressure to everything. But on Founder’s Day, November 9th, I flew with my Guardian Angel, the Foundresses and the throng of Saints surrounding me; arrived safely; delivered the lecture with gusto, and received quite a few positive comments afterwards from the physicians attending, most of whom were Asian and Middle Eastern.

I was invited to a marvelous Chinese dinner the evening before the conference by Dr. John Hui and his wife Geraldine (third and fourth from the left) who did the training in Omaha in NPT. The restaurant was just beautiful, nestled next to the Port of Singapore which I understand is the busiest port in the world. I was thrilled to be with the Hui’s again and with Andy (fifth from the left), our FertilityCare practitioner who also trained with us. The Hui’s invited Father David, a Dominican moral theologian at the seminary in Singapore (second from the left) so I could meet him and talk over moral issues. What an experience in the city/state/island of Singapore where the East meets West—a land of only 300,000 Catholics who are reportedly very devout. Singaporians are kind, very attentive to tourists’ needs and very polite. They could teach Westerners a thing or two about civility in public discourse. God bless Singapore!

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