Non-profit status granted to local Catholic Medical Association guild

The Central Minnesota guild of the Catholic Medical Association has been approved as a non-profit by the State of Minnesota, the Office of Marriage and Family for the Diocese of St. Cloud recently announced.

The St. Cloud Area Catholic Medical Guild, which was granted guild status with the CMA in January, received its official non-profit status on July 15.

The Catholic Medical Association, the largest association of Catholics working in the health care field, helps members grow in faith, maintain ethical integrity, and provide health care in accordance with the teachings of the Church, according to its website.

For nearly three decades, a small group of health professionals has been working toward the approval of a chapter, or guild, of the organization in Central Minnesota.

“It’s not just for physicians. Anybody who works in the medical field can be part of this guild and support each other,” said Patrick Flynn, director of the Office of Marriage and Family. “We’re really excited about that.”

There are now 114 member guilds that are part of the Catholic Medical Association, according to the organization’s website. CMA guilds provide fellowship, education and opportunities which serve their local Church and public. They are also a base for medical students and residents to find guidance, the site says.

“We are pleased to not only be an official guild of the Catholic Medical Association, but also to be registered as a non-profit.,” said Dr. Tom Newton, the guild’s president and a retired physician who is a member of St. Joseph Parish in St. Joseph. “We look forward to fostering a community for Catholic health care professionals so that we may move the mission of the CMA forward, which is to inspire our members to imitate Jesus Christ in their health care ministry.”

Father Tom Knoblach, diocesan consultant for health care ethics, will serve as chaplain of the guild, supporting members in their witness to Catholic principles in their medical practices, praying for the members of the Guild and providing spiritual guidance and pastoral ministry as needed, he said.

The guild aims to help members feel connected and build relationships in a secularized culture, which often marginalizes convictions grounded in faith and transcendent values, Father Knoblach said.

“It can offer a visible witness to these commitments in service to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and encourage a deep personal spiritual life for providers as a foundation for their careers and daily work,” he said.

Education will also be an important role of the new guild.

“We can help educate our members on Catholic medical ethics and serve as a resource for materials from the national Catholic Medical Association,” Newton said.

“We feel we also can benefit the diocese by assisting in communication of Catholic medical ethics and disseminating diocesan policies to local medical professionals and the community,” Newton said. “We can serve as a resource of medical knowledge and assist clergy with understanding medical information they may need to know about for pastoral counseling.”

For information about joining the guild or the schedule for meetings and events, contact Dr. Tom Newton at


Author: Dianne Towalski

Dianne Towalski is a multimedia reporter for The Central Minnesota Catholic Magazine.

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