Caring for the Whole Person: Health and Well-being in the Life Sciences – The Beauty of Creation Series

Time Stamps:

  • 00:00 Introductions & Opening Prayer
  • 4:10 Who are we from the Catholic, Medical and Scientific perspectives
  • 6:30 Image and likeness of God; Body-Soul composite; Evolved, Ordered and directed to an ultimate end
  • 9:10 Do we need a standard of health to provide good care?
  • 12:50 The Patient/Client philosophical shift in health
  • 15:55 The Harmony of our parts: the Emotions, Will, Intellect and Reason
  • 18:05 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • 21:00 The Relation of health and happiness to the cultivation of virtue
  • 26:30 Qualitative distinctions in conceptions of happiness and delayed gratification
  • 29:00 The Dominant secular view of the person – Expressive individualism
  • 31:30 Dominant trends in society – loneliness, lack of meaning, relativism
  • 35:30 The Recognition of personal sin and forgiveness in healing
  • 36:20 The Spiritual dimension of health
  • 43:50 The ICD & DSM – diagnostic manuals in use
  • 47:00 The Pendulum between the Biological and Psycho-Social models in mental health
  • 51:00 The ‘Checklist’ approach to classification and the prevalence of symptom-based diagnoses
  • 54:00 Pharmaceutical influence in Psychiatry
  • 56:30 Contemporary health trends – Emotional fragility, Isolation, lack of understanding of Sexual difference and complementarity, Pornography
  • 1:02:40 The Loneliness phenomenon
  • 1:04:00 Free vs compulsive action
  • 1:07:40 How to live out our Masculinity and Femininity?
  • 1:10:00 Distorted cultural understandings of sexual nature
  • 1:15:00 Spiritual vs Psychiatric care?
  • 1:17:50 Mental health resources in the Catholic world
  • 1:19:30 Contemplative prayer and the noise of the world
  • 1:28:15 Closing reflection

DISCLAIMER: this is a philosophical and theological discussion of health and does not constitute medical advice

In Partnership with:

Exploring health, the unity of body and soul, and the nature of human well-being.

On January 12th, 2022 Geoff and I spoke with Fr Peter Turrone and Dr Natasha Fernandes for a discussion on health and well-being in the life sciences. Through the lenses of neuroscience and psychiatry, we explored what it means to be healthy, the unity of body and soul, and the nature of human well-being, synthesizing science and Catholic wisdom about the human person. A webinar in our Beauty of Creation Series.

Extra Resources

International Classification of Diseases (ICD)
Diagnostic and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)
The Confessions of St Augustine‘
Psychiatry needs to get right with God’ – David H Rosmarin

John Paul II – Letter to Women
Mulieris Dignitatem – On the Dignity and Vocation of Women (Apostolic Letter)
Erika Bachiochi – the Rights of Women: Reclaiming a lost vision
The Privilege of Being a Woman – Alice von Hildebrand
Boys to Men – the Transforming power of Virtue
Be a Man
The Catholic Gentleman

Movies that demonstrate the dynamic of the Masculine and Feminine Genius:
A Hidden Life
A Quiet Place

Our Guests

Dr. Natasha Fernandes is a general psychiatrist specialized in the care for adults with developmental disabilities. She works in the Adult Neurodevelopmental Services outpatient clinic and will provide consults to the Emergency Department and Inpatient units at CAMH. Her main research and teaching interests center on the psychiatric care provided to adults with a developmental disability. Previous projects have included the care this population receives in the acute care setting and most recently the care they receive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Fernandes obtained her MD from the University of Ottawa in 2016. Subsequently, she completed her psychiatry residency at the University of Toronto and graduated in 2021. She also has a Masters degree in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics from McMaster University.

Before becoming a priest, Father Peter Turrone was on a path to academia. Turrone earned an undergraduate degree in specialized psychology at York University in 1998. Then, he went on to earn his masters and doctorate degrees in medical science and neuroscience at U of T in 2004. As part of his program, he also worked as a research scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, examining the side effects of antipsychotic drugs.

Turrone thrived in the academic environment, but he also found himself drawn to the spiritual community. Looking back at his faith journey, he feels as though he has been wrestling with God’s call since he was about eight years old. After working for 5 years as Director of the Newman Centre at the University of Toronto, he is now Pastor of Holy Rosary parish in the Archdiocese of Toronto.


Geoffrey Woollard is a PhD student in Computer Science at the University of British Columbia. He helped organize the Toronto Chapter of the Society of Catholic Scientists while at U of T, and is the President of a new University Chapter serving Metro Vancouver. His interdisciplinary writings on faith-science dialogue have been featured in the Torch, Scientia et Fides, and the Interdisciplinary Encyclopedia of Religion and Science (

  • Series overview available HERE
  • Human Uniqueness with Professor Christopher Baglow available HERE
  • Ecological Conversion with Sister Damien Marie Savino available HERE.
  • Green Thomism with Professor Christopher Thompson available HERE.
  • Bearing the Image of God with Professor Sonsoles de Lacalle available HERE.


Contemporary civilization is characterized by a technological paradigm, in which our increasing control over nature challenges our interpretations of the essence of what is natural, what is good, and what is properly human. This has major implications for civic life, in areas such as bioethics, medicine and the dignity of the human person, the state of the environment, and our relationship with the rest of creation. In this speaker series, we engage with leading scientists, philosophers, and theologians whose work is nourished by a Catholic Christian understanding of the world. By listening to and dialoguing with them, and going deeper into the body of work they are engaging, we can wisely engage and critique the technocratic paradigm and the transhumanist attitude. Through their work, as well as an engagement with Catholic Social teaching and the latest work in the Magisterium of the Church, we come to a greater appreciation of the integrity and beauty of creation that is a hallmark of Catholicism.


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