Other Views: Faith leaders unite to encourage organ donations

Gazette Xtra | Rev. Nancy Leafblad & Joanne Grunau

As we begin the holiday season, religion and faith play central roles in many celebrations. From Nov. 13 to 15, people of different backgrounds and faith traditions will come together to acknowledge the National Donor Sabbath. This annual observance reminds us that nearly all major religions support organ, tissue and eye donation and share the belief that it’s the ultimate act of love and generosity.

Because people often turn to their faith leaders when dealing with life-and-death issues, the Donor Sabbath provides an opportunity for faith communities to share views and encourage dialogue about organ, tissue and eye donation.

Pope Francis, who brought his message of kindness and generosity to the U.S. this year, described donation as “a testimony of love for our neighbor.” In many African-American communities, the church plays a strong teaching role not just in religion but in matters of community importance, including organ, eye and tissue donation. Continue reading