Don’t think that someone else will make the world pleasant. It has to start within each one of us. – Tom Catena, age 18

On Sunday, November 4, 2018, the Mission Doctors Association recognized our longtime volunteer, Aurora Prize Laureate, and internationally renowned humanitarian, Dr. Tom Catena as the Catholic Doctor of the Year, with the “World of Difference Award”! Ken Carlson, longtime friend and director of the documentary about Dr. Tom –  The Heart of Nuba – was on hand to receive the award on Tom’s behalf at the Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels, in Los Angeles.

Ken Carlson accepting the Catholic Doctor of the Year Award on behalf of Dr. Tom Catena

Ken Carlson accepts the Doctor of the Year Award on behalf of Dr. Tom Catena. The ceremony took place at the Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels, in Los Angeles.

Tom is one of the finest human beings I’ve ever met. He is as close to a “saint” as they come. He loves the Nuba people. He is extremely committed to giving the best possible care to every patient. – Dr. James Peck, a surgeon who has stepped in to cover for Dr. Tom on several occasions.

Dr. Tom Catena wraps a patient’s arm during a scene from “The Heart of Nuba” documentary in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan. Catena, a Catholic native of the Diocese of Albany, has served the last 10 years as the only physician at Mother of Mercy Hospital for the region’s 1 million people.

In a statement issued by the awarding body, they explained the challenge of selecting one doctor:

“Having sent out more than 1,000 nominations nationally, the assignment of choosing one deserving physician among the many is always challenging. These deserving doctors with diverse experience and involvement make it challenging to choose only one to recognize. Candidates included individuals working with indigent populations and the under-served in the United States, as well as doctors like Dr. Tom Catena who have served as medical missionaries in countries around the world.

Mission Doctors Association, founded in 1959 to support the work of Catholic Doctors and their families serving in mission hospitals and clinics, welcomes the opportunity to recognize this outstanding physician.”

Dr. Tom is the only permanent doctor serving at Mother of Mercy Hospital in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan. The hospital serves a population of 750,000 people who have been subjected to years of violent conflict and aerial bombardments from the Sudanese government. Dr. Tom has been serving in Sudan for over 10 years.

Dr. Tom with a South Sudanese woman. He is a finalist for the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity

“Dr. Catena is far more than a humanitarian,” said Elise Frederick, Mission Doctors Executive Director. “His faith both drives his work and gives him the strength to endure the numerous challenges he faces daily.” This award is a chance for patients, colleagues, friends, and family members to recognize a truly outstanding Catholic doctor.

We are proud to support Dr. Tom, Mother of Mercy Hospital, and his lifesaving care for the Nuba people. Dr. Tom is an inspiration to all of us here at CMMB.

Support Dr. Tom’s Work at Mother of Mercy Hospital in Sudan