Youngstown Diocese calls for ALS donation discretion

POLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown Diocese Bishop George Murry said he has no problem with the ice bucket challenge in support of ALS, but he is encouraging Catholics to be specific with their donations.

Donating specifically to someone with ALS is what the Diocese of Youngstown is encouraging people to do.

Holy Family School in Poland accepted the challenge on Tuesday and is following Murry’s advice by donating proceeds from its event to retired Boardman teacher Christine Terlesky. The school has held fundraisers for Terlesky in the past, including a golf outing and a dinner.

“We like to support the local people and the local fundraisers,” Holy Family principal Kathleen Stoops said.

Fifteen Holy Family teachers took the ice bucket challenge, with one bucket of ice water for each of them.

Stoops was challenged by a first grader and a teacher and recruited other teachers to do the challenge. They went for the one at a time approach instead of one big dump and they’re challenging the staff at St. Charles in Boardman.

“Christine Terlesky is a very close family friend and the children here have supported her once she was diagnosed with ALS,” Holy Family teacher Marilyn Hammerton said.

Some of the students have never met Terlesky, but feel a connection. One eighth-grader’s grandmother died from ALS.

“The ALS disease shuts down the nervous system and nobody wants to go through that, so I thought this would be a really cool way to help the cause,” student JP Yerian said.

In addition to donating to individuals with ALS, the Catholic Church also encourages donating to organizations that do adult stem cell research, not embryonic.

“The Catholic Church teaches that every embryonic stem cell is valuable and should not be used in any way that is disrespectful or destroyed,” Bishop Murry said.

The Diocese of Youngstown said it wants to see a cure for ALS. It lost one of its own to the disease, Fr. Brad Helman.

The  Catholic Diocese of Cincinnati isn’t allowing its schools to do the ice bucket challenge because the ALS Association funds embryonic stem cell research.

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. No links will be permitted. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s