March 2001

Meet One of Catholic Health Initiatives’ Sponsoring Congregation Members


4-01Walker Photo

Maureen Walker, PBVM
Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Fargo, N.D.



Last March, Maureen Walker, PBVM, was appointed a sponsoring member of Catholic Health Initiatives by the president of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Fargo, N.D., succeeding Mary Margaret Mooney, PBVM, in this role.

Sister Maureen was impressed by an article in a recent issue of Health Progress magazine written by Tim Porter O’Grady. "He stated that society seems to be doing all that it can to close down Catholic health care," she said. "As a result, in the future, institutions may not be the best vehicles for the delivery of Catholic health care, and we must envision how we can sustain the Catholic health ministry in a new form. In general, there is a need for health providers to focus on population-driven services rather than institution-defined services, and what Catholic Health Initiatives is doing in integrative health care is an important piece of that. In this time of change, it is critical for Catholic Health Initiatives to continue to develop strong leadership that is future-oriented and is not afraid to take risks."

Sister Maureen holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn., and a master’s degree in spirituality from Creighton University, Omaha, Neb. She began her ministry in elementary education, then worked in religious education on a diocesan level. She now serves as mission consultant to several market-based organizations in North Dakota.

"I have a great interest in the future," she said. "I like to vision the future, including the growth and development of religious life and the kind of changes that can make people’s lives better."

Currently, Sister Maureen is working with other sponsoring congregation members and Catholic Health Initiatives leaders to better define the roles and relationships of the sponsoring congregation members, the Board of Stewardship Trustees and the Senior Management Leadership Team. "We are discussing the best way for all of us to work with one another in order to serve the mission," she said. "We are all very supportive of Catholic Health Initiatives’ unique model of sponsorship and lay/religious partnership. But, we must remember that no one has used this model before, and we need to make some refinements to make the partnership more successful."

Sister Maureen would like to see Catholic Health Initiatives work toward even stronger relationships between leaders at all levels of the organization. "Catholic Health Initiatives has a wonderful mission and well-articulated values," she said. "Still, to meet the challenges of health care today, we need to encourage new, creative ways of thinking — but that ability depends on the development of healthy relationships among all leaders so that everyone knows that their opinions are heard, respected and reverenced. I do think that Catholic Health Initiatives is a learning organization that is open to new ways of doing things. I think we are all learning to listen to each other more closely and are growing in trust that all of the members of the Catholic Health Initiatives family are doing their best to move toward our common goals."