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“I believe that each and every life is not perfect. Every person has something they wish was different. But every life is worth it. Every life is worth fighting for. Every life is worth living.” — Chet McDoniel

Chet McDoniel and Dr. Jim McDoniel are shown at the Chattanoogans for Life banquet on Oct. 16. Photo by Paul Schulz

Chet McDoniel and Dr. Jim McDoniel are shown at the Chattanoogans for Life banquet on Oct. 16.
Photo by Paul Schulz

By Paul Schulz

On Jan. 5, 1980, Chet McDoniel emerged from his mother Judy’s womb breech, with shortened legs and no arms.

“My parents tell me that immediately after my birth, I was placed in a corner of the room after having the customary post-birth suction, etc, done,” Mr. McDoniel said. “I was left alone in that corner and, for lack of a better way to put it, I was given a chance to die. A doctor made the decision that my life may not be worth living. That doctor decided that if my body was as mangled on the inside as it was on the outside, I would be better off dead.

“Having lived a wonderful life, including getting married, getting pregnant and seeing the birth of two baby girls, running two businesses, and most importantly, serving my God, I wonder what that same doctor would think now. We cannot use our own judgment in matters where only God should reign.”

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Bishop Richard F. Stika addresses parishioners attending Ministries Day on Oct. 18 at Sacred Heart School. Photo by Bill Brewer

Bishop Richard F. Stika addresses parishioners attending Ministries Day on Oct. 18 at Sacred Heart School.
Photo by Bill Brewer

More than 200 parishioners from around the Diocese of Knoxville took part Oct. 18 in Ministries Day, a daylong event where diocesan ministry leaders gather with fellow Catholics from the various churches to share ideas on how to more effectively spread the faith.

Thirty presentations in English and Spanish were held for parishioners, with each presentation concentrating on some aspect of Catholic family life and offering thought-provoking material on the family in the new evangelization.

“Many people commented that they didn’t want the day to end, and that the seven or eight choices offered in the four breakout sessions were outstanding and that it was difficult to choose among them,” said Sister Mary Timothea Elliott, RSM, director of the diocese’s Office of Christian Formation.

“Ministries Day is always an important day for the diocese because it brings people together from all parts of the diocese for enrichment in our common faith. Some presentations provide stimulating ideas for leadership in various parish ministries; others deepen spirituality; and all of them provide opportunity to meet and exchange ideas and reflections with people concerned with the same questions and issues,” Sister Timothea added.

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Diocesan News

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