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Terri Schiavo's Fight for Life is Focus of Internationally Broadcast Mass on EWTN April 7

Archbishop Charles Chaput Preaches Issues Impacting America's Medically Vulnerable

Contact: Tom Shakely, Executive Director, Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, 855-300-4673, tshakely@lifeandhope.com

PHILADELPHIA, March 22, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ -- More than a decade after the private family struggle to save Terri Schiavo's life escalated into a public battle, the far-reaching positive effects of her fight will be commemorated on Friday, April 7 during an internationally broadcast special mass. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia will celebrate mass on EWTN (Eternal World Television Network), appearing live at 8am EST. The service will be rebroadcast at noon and 7pm EST. The mass is being held in observation of Terri's Day, an annual national day of prayer and outreach that celebrates Terri's life, with a focus on medically vulnerable and at-risk patients and families who must fight for their right to proper care.

Archbishop Chaput will visit the EWTN studios in Birmingham, Alabama, where he will speak to its international viewing audience on the issues impacting America's medically vulnerable. During his 2015 World Meeting of Families trip to Philadelphia, both Pope Francis and Chaput spoke publicly on issues of human dignity and the fundamental value of every individual's life. Chaput will elaborate on these issues during the April 7th mass.

"My sister Terri became an accidental hero to the medically vulnerable," says Bobby Schindler, President of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network. "She was an everyday person who, because of her defenseless situation, touched the hearts and minds of millions around the world." Terri's family has kept her fight alive by establishing the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network to protect the medically dependent who cannot advocate for themselves. Bobby will participate in a one-hour televised interview with Father Mitch Pacwa of EWTN to discuss the fate of individuals who are treated as being less worthy of care and medical treatment by the healthcare industry.

Background: In 1990, at age 26, a healthy Terri Schiavo collapsed and was admitted to a St. Petersburg, Florida hospital where she was diagnosed with a profound brain injury. When her estranged husband Michael eventually lobbied successfully to have her feeding tube removed, even though her family pleaded to provide for her care, a national debate unfolded. In response to the urging of hundreds of thousands, Governor Jeb Bush advocated to keep Terri alive, and Terri's Law was passed in 2003. The law enabled feeding to be resumed, but was later overturned. In 2005, with an overwhelming majority, Congress passed a bill signed by President George W. Bush allowing a federal court to intervene and continue food and water, but the effort was overturned and Terri's feeding tube was removed. She died 13 days later from severe dehydration. Terri, who is listed alongside Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II, and Mother Theresa in USA TODAY's 25 Lives of Indelible Impact, was named among those who moved us most in the past quarter-century.

Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network:  Tom Shakely, Executive Director, 855-300-4673, tshakely@lifeandhope.com