July/August 2000

Sacred Stories

October 1 is submission deadline for second edition

Sacred stories that are submitted to Catholic Health Initiatives’ national archive by October 1, 2000 may also be considered for inclusion in the second edition of the book Sacred Stories, to be published in early 2001. "The first edition of Sacred Stories was received very enthusiastically," said Jerry Broccolo, vice president of spirituality for Catholic Health Initiatives. "I see it in office areas, lounges and waiting rooms throughout Catholic Health Initiatives facilities. It is also frequently used for reflections at meetings and in prayer services. A second edition will allow us to share more of these inspiring stories of the lived spirituality at work throughout our organization." Additional copies of the first edition of Sacred Stories are available to market-based organizations on a first come, first served basis. Excerpts from Sacred Stories "Working as a secretary in the engineering department, I do not have direct contact with our patients. Still I feel I have a big responsibility in caring for them. By responding quickly to their requests, I can help make sure they are comfortable and that their stay is pleasant. Working here has given me many memories. One year, I was part of a group of employees that went up to the patient floors to sing Christmas carols. Patients who were able stood at their door, some smiling and some crying. That was unforgettable."Imogene Luckett, CARITAS Health System, Louisville, Ky. "(One) of my duties is to transport patients from the floor to the operating room. I used to get upset when patients were hostile towards me, but I began to realize that I was a total stranger to them. I said to myself, ‘I’ll talk to the patients and let them get to know me.’ As I started to talk to the patients, they would talk to me, and I became so caring that one of the patients sent a kind note to the hospital about me. It felt good to know that I could make a difference in someone’s life and that when a patient looked at me they were looking at part of St. Joe’s. It is necessary for us to uphold what we stand for."Greg Cotto, St. Joseph Medical Center, Towson, Md. "As a social worker, I encounter families in transition every day. I will never forget being referred to a family whose father was dying from cancer. It gave me an opportunity to model one of my mother’s lessons. The family was debating whether to keep him in the hospital or follow his wish and take him home. Either way, they knew he was in his final days of life on Earth. The family and I spoke about their options. They were convinced that he was hanging on because of the debate. I asked the family if they had given their father permission to die. For the first time the room was silent. Everything seemed to make sense to the family now. They were able to take their father home and give him permission to go live in heaven, free of pain." Susan Klepacki, Mercy Medical Center, Nampa, Idaho