The Catholic Physicians' Guild of Boston

The Guild of Saint Luke of the Archdiocese of Boston is an organization of Catholic physicians of the Archdiocese who meet several times each year to discuss issues of moral and ethical significance in healthcare.  It serves as a resource to its members for knowledge in these areas, as well as providing a forum for discussion and a source of spiritual sustenance. We help our members to grow in faith, maintain ethical integrity, and provide excellence in health care in accordance with the teachings of the Church. Consider joining our organization.

The Illuminated Manuscript shown above (right) is the first letter of the first word "Quoniam" of the Gospel of St. Luke as depicted in the Book of Kells at Trinity Library in Dublin, Ireland.

Download a Membership Application here... (PDF)

Constitution and Organization

When founded in the early part of this century, the Guild voted on a Constitution and By-Laws.   Over the years this has been expanded, changed and amended.  It is currently being studied by a committee which  will be bringing forth a recommendation on how much of the original should be retained and what new parts should be added.

History of the Guild: Beginnings

In 1910, William Cardinal O'Connell gathered several of the most prominent Catholic doctors of that time in his living room in downtown Boston. The records of that meeting, and subsequent ones, are hand-written in leather-bound journals in the Archives of the Archdiocese. The Cardinal spoke of the value of a Guild of Catholic physicians and appointed three of those doctors as officers, charging them to initiate and promote such an organization. He also appointed a Chaplain to offer guidance and counsel.

Early History

This effort kept the Guild alive and running for the next six decades. The archives are replete with reports of this thriving organization over the years. Noted among its accomplishments were black-tie dinners and dancing at the Statler, large scientific meetings at St. Elizabeth's and membership figures in the 400's and 500's. In the early 1970's, membership began to diminish and meeting attendance declined. By 1975, even the White Masses were discontinued and the Guild became dormant.

Later History

In 1989 and 1990, physicians were inquiring about what had happened to their Guild. With the enthusiastic support of Cardinal Law, it was revitalized. Currently, there are over 150 members and it is continuing to grow. It is our goal to recapture and surpass the membership numbers of the earlier years.

In 2019, our Guild is now a chartered member of the Catholic Medical Association and a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization under the umbrella of the Archdiocese of Boston and the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Annual Events

The White Mass: Each October on or near the feast of St. Luke, our patron saint, the Guild of Saint Luke hosts a program featuring Mass celebrated by His Eminence, a reception and dinner, followed by a speaker of national or local prominence. His Eminence, Sean Cardinal O'Malley, O.F.M., and his predecessor, His Eminence Bernard Cardinal Law, have been most supportive of this endeavor. Generally, this event has the greatest attendance of physicians, and their spouses and is very popular with the Medical Students as well. It is a grand opportunity for them to see that Catholicism and Medicine are perfectly compatible entities, and complement each other well.

Past speakers have included:

  1990 - Edmund Pelligrino, M.D.
  1991 - John O. Pastore, M.D.
  1992 - Barbara P. Rockett, M.D.
  1993 - Rev. Msgr. Timothy J. Moran
  1994 - Rev. Richard J. Neuhaus
  1995 - Peter Cataldo, Ph.D.
  1996 - Edwin H. Cassem, S.J., M.D.
  1997 - Peter Kreeft, Ph.D
  1998 - Most Rev. Joseph Serge Miot
  1999 - Daniel P. Sulmasy, OFM., M.D.
  2000 - Gerald P. Corcoran, M.D.
  2001 - Rev. Germain Kopaczynski, OFM. Conv.
  2002 - Joseph Doolin, M.D.
  2003 - Mary Ann Glendon, J.D.
  2004 - Diane Irving, Ph.D.
  2005 - Eugene Diamond, M.D.
  2006 - Rev. Richard J. Neuhaus (in collaboration with the Catholic Medical Association)
  2007 - Rev. Msgr. William P. Fay, Ph.D.
  2008 - Ralph de la Torre, M.D.
  2009 - Very Rev. Myles N. Sheehan, S.J., M.D.
  2010 - Alessandro de Francisis, M.D.
  2011 - John M. Hass, Ph.D., S.T.L., M.Div. (Centennial Celebration)
  2012 - Panel Discussion on Physician Assisted Suicide
    - Moderator: Rev. William Dunn, M.D.
    - Panelists: John Harrington, M.D., Gilbert R. Lavoie, M.D., Jacob Joseph, M.D.
  2013 - Mother Olga
  2014 - The Honorable Ken Hackett, United States Ambassador to the Holy See and former president of Catholic Relief Services (in collaboration with the Catholic Lawyers Guild)
  2015 - Rev. Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco, O.P., Ph.D., S.T.D., Associate Professor of Biology, Providence College, RI.
  2016 - Dr. Jim O'Connell, President of Boston Healthcare for the Homeless.
  2017 - Rev. Bryan Hehir, Archdiocese Secretary for Health & Social Services and Parker Gilbert Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life, Harvard Kennedy School.
  2018 - Prof. John Garvey, 15th president of The Catholic University of America.
  2019 - Rev. Joseph White, Director of the Archdiocesan Addiction Recovery Pastoral Support Services.
  2021 - John Brehany Ph.D., STL, Executive Vice President of the National Catholic Bioethics Center.
  2022 - Ms. Megan Gilbert, Catholic Relief Services Regional Communications Officer for Europe, Middle East and Central Asia, Special Focus on Ukraine War and Humanitarian Crisis.
  2023 - Dr. Craig Treptow, M.D., President of the Catholic Medical Association.

Select past recipients of The St. Martin de Porres Award presented by the Guild of St. Luke:

  - Gerald Corcoran, M.D. (presented a statue of the Saint by Cardinal Law)
  - John O. Pastore, M.D. (Nobel Laureate in Medicine)
  - Carl Brennan, M.D. (Savanah, GA)
  - Joanne Angelo, M.D.
  - Roger Jean Charles, M.D.
  - D'Ambrosio, M.D. (Deacon)
  - Joseph Murray, M.D. (Nobel Laureate in Medicine)
  - Fr. George Salzmann (Chaplin, Harvard-Radcliffe)
  - Lucy Bayer Zweirello, M.D.
  - Francis Rockett, M.D. and Barbara Rockett, M.D.

A Guild of Catholic Physicians and Dentists

Saturday, October 14th, 2023 at 5 PM -

Upholding the Principles of the Catholic Faith in the Practice of Medicine in the Archdiocese of Boston

Last Updated December 2019