November 2001

Leadership Letter from Patricia A. Cahill, JD


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Dear Catholic Health Initiatives Family:

In 1621, after a difficult first year in America, the Pilgrims of Plymouth colony shared a thanksgiving feast with their Native American neighbors. Together, they celebrated a year of survival, a bountiful harvest and an adequate store of food for the winter.

Now, 380 years later, Thanksgiving arrived at a difficult time in the history of America. Many of us feel uncertain about our safety, our security and even our ability to carry on our lives and our work in a changing world.

While such uncertainties are natural and understandable in light of the disturbing events in America, Afghanistan and elsewhere, I would like to suggest that they also bring a deeper meaning to the tradition of Thanksgiving and all of the winter holidays. This is a time for us to raise our spirits by giving thanks for our many blessings. To mention just a few, we live in a society that is open to all faith traditions; that values the right to express individual opinions; and a society in which we can advocate for social justice.

It is also a blessing that we have such meaningful work to do. Every day, Catholic Health Initiatives makes a positive difference in the lives of thousands of people who turn to our market-based organizations for compassionate, high-quality care of their minds, bodies and spirits.

Finally, we can be very thankful that we have each other. Your combined talents and commitment to this health ministry have accomplished so much in our few short years together. When you sit down to a holiday meal with your families and friends this year, please remember your other family–the one here at Catholic Health Initiatives–in your prayers.