Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Cost of Catholicism

Rolled up to my neighborhood Catholic pharmacy this week only to be greeted with this ominous sign.
"Divine Mercy Care, the parent organization of the DMC Pharmacy announces that the DMC Pharmacy will close permanently effective 6:00 p.m. March 4, 2010 due to financial difficulties."
So Divine Mercy Care and Tepeyac will continue to exist and care for OB/GYN needs, but the only 1-of-7 pro-life pharmacies in the U.S. will close permanently. I have become personally acquainted with Robert Semler and his wife, Pam over DMC Pharmacy's too-short run. They are top-notch caring people and their service to our community will be sorely missed -- by me and my family in the immediate future.

The larger Catholic and pro-life community will miss them as well, but not until much later (perhaps when all their real choices have dried up). I believe that DMC Pharmacy did not succeed at this time because people -- and specifically Catholics -- failed to care.

A number of people were excited at the inception of the pharmacy and gave time, talent, and treasure. However, the ordinary pew-sitter failed to patronize the store, failed to transfer their prescriptions, failed to see the extra-ordinary chance at building a sustained Catholic culture and presence in the shadow of our nation's capital.

With who-knows-what on the verge of passing in the health care reform legislation (mandatory subsidization of abortion, absence of conscience clauses, government "management" of costs and procedures) this is particularly bitter.

Surely the recession played a part, even though the prices were very competitive. But the "it's too far" or "not convenient enough" or "that's nice, but" excuses are the real culprits. The business was growing, but not fast enough to make it. Dr. John Bruchalski said in his letter that DMC Pharmacy was an idea "ahead of its time".

I sympathize, Dr. B., but if not now, when?

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