June 2005

Pilgrimage Spreads the Charism of Catholic Health Initiatives


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A group representing Catholic Health Initiatives recently traveled to Rome, Italy, on a pilgrimage. The group included members of the Board of Stewardship Trustees, Members of the Civil Corporation and leaders from the national staff and market-based organizations.

“As a ministry of the Church, Catholic Health Initiatives provides a status report to the Vatican each year,” said Peggy Martin, OP, JCL, senior vice president of sponsorship and governance for Catholic Health Initiatives. “Because we are one of the few ministries of the Church with a combination of religious and lay sponsorship, it is essential to present the report in person every three years. This helps engage Vatican officials in our creative new model of sponsorship, and creates an opportunity for our leaders to gain a deeper understanding of the heritage of our participating congregations.” While the pilgrimage was planned months in advance, it coincided with the election of Pope Benedict XVI. “That was an experience of a lifetime and a wonderful opportunity to see the roots of Catholicism,” said Gary Campbell, senior vice president of operations for Catholic Health Initiatives. Following the meeting in Rome, the Catholic Health Initiatives Board, congregational Members and executives visited the Daughters of Charity Motherhouse in Paris, France, to learn more about the history and charisms* of the Daughters of Charity. The charisms of both the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati and the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth were influenced by the spirituality of St. Vincent de Paul, who founded the Daughters of Charity. *Charism: A religious charism is defined as a gift, talent or potential given to an individual from the Spirit for the good of the Church. It can be described as the Spirit acting through an individual to make the presence of our living God more real in a suffering world. The response to religious charism is demonstrated in the origins of religious institutes, such as the congregations of sisters who founded Catholic Health Initiatives. The charism of the founder/ foundress was passed on in commonly held values, goals and areas of service. Within charism, tradition and identity are found. Charisms, Catholic Health Initiatives, 1998.