By Barbara Bartlein
From the time I was four years old, I announced to anyone who asked, “When
I grow up, I’m going to be a nurse.” My parents tried
to nurture this dream. They would surprise me with little nurse’s
kits. Contained in a small plastic case latched at the top was all
the equipment needed to be a nurse: a thermometer permanently marked
to 98.6, a pill bottle filled with candy (which would be gone in
two hours), a stethoscope that didn’t work and, best of all,
I loved that syringe. I would spend hours filling it up with water
and “injecting” my little sister. I would “inject”
the family dog and a very reluctant cat. No other single function
represented nursing to me as well as giving injections. To me, giving
shots was the epitome of what nurses do.
You can imagine my excitement, therefore, when we reached the part
of my nurses’ training where we learned injections. I studied
the techniques carefully and practiced on peaches. I practiced so
much that the fruit at my house had little water blisters all over
that looked like scabies. I participated in the “return demonstration”
with my fellow nursing students. I always claimed that my partner’s
injection was painless so that she would make a similar claim when
it was my turn.
The following week, I began my emergency room rotation at Penrose
Hospital in Colorado Springs. One day, a handsome, tanned construction
worker was admitted with a large laceration on his right arm. About
six feet, five inches tall, 250 pounds, he had huge muscles and
a grin to match. “I just sliced this a little with some sheet
metal, Ma’am,” he reported. He lay on the exam table
while the doctor sutured him with a dozen stitches. He listened
intently while the doctor gave instructions for wound care.
And then the magical moment occurred. The doctor turned to me and
said, “Nurse Bartlein, would you please give this gentleman
a tetanus shot?” My big chance! A real injection on a real
patient. I practically floated on air as I scrambled to the refrigerator
and took out the tetanus vaccine. I carefully drew up the prescribed
amount and returned to the patient. I meticulously swabbed the site
with an alcohol wipe and then expertly darted that needle deep into
the deltoid muscle. I aspirated as taught and slowly injected the
With a grin, the construction worker said, “Thank you, Ma’am”
and stood up. I winked at him, and he winked at me. He stood there
for a minute and promptly crumpled to the floor unconscious. Oh,
my God, I killed him! My first injection and I killed the patient.
My impulse was to run out the door as far into the mountains as
possible. Forget about being a nurse, forget about injections, I’ll
live off the land. No one will ever find me.
Everyone else came running and slowly helped the patient to his
feet. The doctor could see that I was quite shaken. He reassured
me with a smile and said, “Don’t worry, he’s fine.
The big ones always faint!”
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OF THE SAINTS
BLESSED JUNIPERO SERRA
Blessed Junipero Serra was born in Petra, Spain, on November 24, 1713. The boy became a student at the Franciscan school in Palma
St. Otto lived in the twelfth century. He was born in Swabia, present-day Bavaria.
St. Thomas was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. His name in the Syriac language means "twin."
ST. ELIZABETH OF PORTUGAL
St. Elizabeth, a Spanish princess, was born in 1271. She married King Denis of Portugal at the age of twelve.
ST. ANTHONY MARY ZACCARIA
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria was born in Italy in 1502. While he was still young, his father died.
ST. MARIA GORETTI
St. Maria Goretti was born in 1890. Her father died when she and the other five children in her family were small. At twelve, Maria was already very pretty.
BLESSED ROGER DICKENSON, BLESSED RALPH MILNER AND BLESSED LAWRENCE HUMPHREY
These three martyrs lived in England during the time of Church persecution by Queen Elizabeth I.
BLESSED EUGENE III
Blessed Eugene III was born near Pisa, Italy, in the twelfth century. He was baptized Peter.
ST. FELICITY AND HER SEVEN SONS.
St. Felicity was a noble Christian woman of Rome. She lived during the second century.
St. Benedict was born in 480. He was from a rich Italian family. His life was full of adventure and wonderful deeds.
ST. JOHN GAULBERT
St. John Gaulbert was born in Florence, Italy, at the end of the tenth century. He and his father were devastated when John's only brother, Hugh, was murdered.
ST. HENRY II.
St. Henry II was born in 972. He became the duke of Bavaria in 995. One night he had an unusual vision. St. Wolfgang, who had been his beloved teacher when he was a boy, appeared to him.
BLESSED KATERI TEKAKWITHA
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha was born in Auriesville, New York, in 1656. Her mother was a Christian Algonquin. Her father was a non-Christian Mohawk chief.
St. was born in 1221 in Tuscany, Italy, and was baptized John.
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
This feast was instituted by the Carmelites between 1376 and 1386 under the title "Commemoratio B. Marif Virg.
ST. LEO IV.
St. Leo IV lived in the ninth century. He was a Roman by birth and spent his life in that city. Leo was educated in the Benedictine monastery near St. Peter's Basilica.
St. Frederick lived in ninth-century Utrecht, in the central part of the Netherlands. When he was ordained a priest, Bishop Ricfried put him in charge of instructing converts.
St. Macrina was the first child of St. Basil the Elder and St. Emmelia.
St. Charbel was born to a poor Maronite Family on May 8, 1828 in a mountain village of Biqa-Kafra, Lebanon.
ST. LAWRENCE OF BRINDISI.
St. Lawrence was born Caesar Rossi in Brindisi, Italy, in 1559. Brindisi was part of the Kingdom of Naples, Italy.
ST. MARY MAGDALENE.
St. Mary Magdalene was from Magdala near the Sea of Galilee. Some people identify her as a well-known sinner when she first saw Our Lord.
ST. BRIDGET OF SWEDEN.
St. Bridget was born in Sweden in 1303. From the time she was a child, she was greatly devoted to the passion of Jesus.
ST. BORIS AND ST. GLEB
St. Boris and St. Gleb, the brothers, were born toward the end of the tenth century.
ST. JAMES THE GREATER
St. James was a fisherman like his father Zebedee and his brother John.
ST. JOACHIM AND ST. ANNE
St. Anne and St. Joachim are the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
St. Pantaleon came from Nicomedia, near the Black Sea, in Asia. He lived in the fourth century.
St. Martha was the sister of Mary and Lazarus.
ST. PETER CHRYSOLOGUS
St. Peter Chrysologus was born in the small town of Imola, Italy.
ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA
St. Ignatius, the famous founder of the Jesuits, was born in 1491.
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
of the Relics of the Passion
for Holy Relics)
Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven,
submit himself to John’s baptism? John preached a
baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke
3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of
the “baptism” of Jesus bloody death upon the
cross. Jesus’ baptism is the acceptance and the beginning
of his mission as God’s suffering Servant (Isaiah
52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among
sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father’s
will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death
for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust
and submission to God?