End of Life Inititative
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End of Life Initiative

Start the Conversation

Series Overview

Talking about death and dying is difficult.  Yet, it is precisely conversations and advance planning like this that can help ease what will always be a difficult situation. This series was produced with the intention of providing guidance on specific end of life topics to help form your conscience – no matter what your stage in life is. Please take this time as an opportunity to discuss your wishes with your family and loved ones in light your Catholic faith.  Your parish and diocesan offices are available to serve as a resource. At Catholic hospitals, there are also chaplains or ethicists to guide you, as well.

The U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has numerous resources on end of life topics, many of which can be downloaded and printed. USCCB End of Life Resources


Video 1: Introduction

Archbishop Listecki introduces the End of Life video series and encourages parishes to access and utilize the resources this series provides. 


This resource helps foster conversations on treatment planning and answer questions related to decision-making utilizing the Church’s teaching. It includes guidance for those facing health issues, as well as health care professionals and other caregivers.

Now and at the Hour of Our Death

Video 2: Advance Directives

Advance directives are legal documents that allow a person to plan end of life decisions. Learn about the importance of having an advance directive.


Advance Medical Directives: Planning For Your Future

Advance Directive Brochure

Catholic Addendum to the Power of Attorney for Health Care

Video 3: Treatments

Learn what factors influence decisions about choosing or ceasing treatments in end of life situations. 


Ordinary and Extraordinary Means (Treatments) - EWTN

Reasonable Hope of Benefit - National Catholic Bioethics Center Podcast

Video 4: Surrogate Decision-Making

Learn how and when family members or care providers can make decisions for end of life matters. 


There are many directives for ethical and religious decision in a health care setting. The document below describes many of these directives. 

Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Heath Care Services

Video 5: Artificial Hydration and Nutrition

Learn about the factors that influence decisions related to the use of artificial nutrition and hydration. Viewing the videos on Treatments and Palliative Care may also be helpful.

Video 6: Euthanasia

Learn what constitutes euthanasia and how it differs from decisions about treatments at the end of life.


Video 7: Hospice Care

Learn about hospice care and how this model of support is best suited for persons at the end of life.

Video 8: Palliative Care

Learn about palliative care and how this model of support is best suited for individuals living with a serious diagnosis.

Video 9: Pastoral or Spiritual Care

Learn about the essential and integral role pastoral or spiritual care plays in ministering to the whole person.

Presentation Schedule

The End of Life video series complements in-person presentations. These presentations provide individuals with in-depth information and access to resources, and are hosted by parishes throughout the archdiocese. Check out the presentation schedule below to attend any of these free presentations. 

Check Back Soon!

Planned Giving


A Powerful Way to Leave a Legacy

Giving through your estate plan or retirement plan is a way to support the Church with a significant gift that you might not be able to make with your income alone. Your gift becomes a legacy of support that builds our long-term financial strength. You can help transform lives by bringing faith, hope and love to God’s people for generations to come. 






Catholic Cemeteries

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has eight archdiocesan cemeteries in addition to cemeteries managed by individual parishes. For more information about archdiocesan cemeteries and services, please click the link below. Funeral plans should be discussed with your parish. 

Archdiocese of Milwaukee Catholic Cemeteries

Contact Us

If you would like to contact someone for more information, or if you have any questions, please fill out this form and someone will respond as soon as possible.

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Comments or Questions

End of Life Planning

Topics to Help Start the Conversation

As you reflect and pray on end of life decision-making, here are some topics you getting started. These will help you start the conversation with yourself and God. Once you make some basic decisions, you can move on to creating an Advance Directive or a Living Will, while discussing these matters with loved ones. 

  • Determine who will make healthcare decisions for you, if you are unable to make these decisions in the future.
  • What kind of medical treatment do you want and don't want?
  • When in pain, how comfortable do you want to be?
  • These are the things you want your loved ones to know...

Sponsor Recognition

The End of Life initiative is funded by the generous support of the following organizations:




Special thanks to Cardinal Stritch University for providing several filming locations.



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The Archdiocese of Milwaukee

3501 South Lake Drive
St. Francis, WI 53235

Phone:  (414) 769-3300
Toll-Free: (800) 769-9373
Fax:  (414)  769-3408