The Catholic Medical Association and its history in Northern Virginia


For the most succinct read on the history and apostolate of the NFCPG (National Federation of Catholic Physicians Guilds) you need only look to the Website for the CMA (Catholic Medical Association. )

The formation of the NFCPG focused on the collective gatherings of doctors, known as guilds, from around the United States with roots that were truly international. The organization would later be reidentified as the Catholic Medical Association. In the first case we have guilds while in the latter case the focus on membership looks to individual members. The CMA website well demonstrates the devastating affect set upon the guilds by the promotion of Contraceptives in the 1960’s and the rebellion that followed the Papal Encyclical known as, Humanae Vitae. Thus proving the old axiom, “Where there is a Moral problem look for a Faith problem and where there is a Faith problem look for a Moral problem.

In more recent years the call to evangelization by all Catholics has had a very positive impact on the ranks of the Catholic Medical Association. With recent papal efforts the efforts of promoting a Catholic identity in medicine has enjoyed a vibrant renaissance.

Again, please read the CMA website for the great work that is taking place with the current CMA efforts. Consideration of the Life of the Catholic medical guild in the Washington area, most notably, Northern Virginia.

In the 1950’s there were over sixty members in Washington Metropolitan area who were associated with the National Federation of Catholic Physicians Guilds. There was a hungry enthusiasm to share the spotlight of a Catholic identity in the Art of Medicine. This would all change in the time of Humane Vitae in 1968. At this time the Washington Guild would cease to function.

In 1994 a number of former members of the local medical guild approached Rev. James R. Gould, Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Arlington, to initiate a new club for the doctors. Again, like the earlier initiatives of the NFCPG the interest in the project was to promote an Catholic identity in the medical apostolates that were academic, social, and spiritual. The doctors proposed a trial run inviting friends to join them to hear Msgr. Lorenzo Alicetti at the Washington Golf and Country Club, in Arlington. The good monsignor spoke on the importance of a medical work motivated and supported by
virtue. The gathering was a great success and the Arlington guild was up and running.

Dr. Bud Andres would take the lead in 1994 and would be followed by Dr. Bill Hogan a year later.

The members of the 1994 collective were:

Dr. Francis (“Bud”) Andres  |  Dr. Billie Byrne  |  Dr. Ed Soma  |  Dr. Ed Sheridan  |  Dr. Lorenzo Marcolin  |  Dr. Dick Delaney  |  Dr. Bill Colliton  |  Dr. Bill Hogan  |  Dr. Bernie Aillig  |  Dr. Hanna Claus (Natural Family Planning for Teens)  |  Dr. Richard Hart Jr.

  (Back Row) John Bruchowlski, Bill McCarthy, Bill Colliton, Bernard Aillig, Richard DeLaney, Joseph Evers. (Front Roy) Bud Andres, Fr. James Gould, Bill Hogan.

(Back Row) John Bruchowlski, Bill McCarthy, Bill Colliton, Bernard Aillig, Richard DeLaney, Joseph Evers. (Front Roy) Bud Andres, Fr. James Gould, Bill Hogan.

The earlier projects of the 1994 Guild involved a Doctors Reading Group, which gathered at the home of Dr. Richard Hart. Lectures were set to involve. Dr. Edmund Pellegrino, of Georgetown; Fr. Robert Sokolowski and Dr. William May, of Catholic University. Fr. Benedict Groeschel, and Fr. Gus Dinoia. And a First Friday Mass was offered at Fairfax Hospital and Holy Cross Hospital, with luncheon to follow.

In the years that followed the Archdiocese of Washington would invite the Washington Doctors to form a separate guild under the “umbrella” of the John Carroll Society, an Archdiocesan Organization for attorneys. The Virginians, with the leadership of Dr Marie Anderson and Dr. John Brucholski would form their own guild under the Arlington Diocese. Bishop Paul S. Loverde assigned Fr. Kevin Walsh to be chaplain for the guild.