October 4-10, 2020
In 2019, the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada launched the inaugural National Catholic Health Care Week – a week devoted to celebrating the value and impact of Catholic health care and our founding Sisters, visionary and courageous women who laid the foundation for the health care system in Canada. The Covenant family, along with other health organizations across Canada, will celebrate National Catholic Health Care Week 2020 the week of October 4 – 10.
During this important week we give thanks for the gift of Catholic health care, and for the thousands of dedicated staff, physicians and volunteers who are living out the healing ministry of Jesus Christ by helping those who are most marginalized by society and providing purpose-driven care with compassion and innovation. This is also a time to reflect on our personal calling and connection to Catholic health care, as well as the patients, residents and families who have left a lasting impression on us.
October marks the time of year when Hôtel Dieu, the first Catholic hospital in Canada, opened its doors, falls soon after the feast day of St Raphael, the patron saint of healing (in late September), and takes place during Thanksgiving, a well-recognized time of gratitude.
Catholic Health Care and the Pandemic
The pandemic has challenged health care around the world in unimaginable ways since our inaugural National Catholic Health Care Week last year. It has also initiated public discussion about concepts at the heart of our Catholic ministry—community, solidarity, common good, and social responsibility to those most vulnerable. And, individually, it has called us all to reflect on quality of life, the importance of human connection, and the meaning of wellbeing—body, mind and spirit.
Our Catholic identity is grounded in a core belief that it is a privilege to attend to the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of those we serve, offering them comfort, healing, and love. Throughout this challenging time, we have witnessed the tremendous depth and strength of our people and encountered stories of courage, hope, and resilience—stories that we can amplify during National Catholic Health Care Week.
Awaken: Revealing the Courageous Gift of Catholic Health Care
National Catholic Health Care Week is part of a broader CHAC initiative called Awaken: Revealing the Courageous Gift of Catholic Health Care, an invitation to unite our voices and create a movement to boldly, confidently express the role, value, and impact of Catholic health care in Canada. Awaken cultivates ambassadors and advocates to be vocal, informed supporters of Catholic health care in Canada. Each of us contributes to this campaign through conversations we have with influencers and decision-makers in our communities, provincially, and nationally.
The Awaken Message, crafted through substantive consultation with Catholic health care leaders and professionals across the country, serves as a common focal point and tool to help each of us talk about the ministry in a way that is bold, dynamic, consistent, and modern.
The four pillars in the Awaken Message—our calling to serve, our culture of encounter, our commitment to social justice, and our leadership role—each contain key concepts, ideas, and language that you can draw on and customize to suit your stakeholders and priorities.
Covenant family activities
- The Covenant family will celebrate National Catholic Health Care Week with the following activities:
- Sharing stories each day that highlight individual experiences with Catholic health care
- Engaging our diverse communities on social media
- Sharing materials with our Catholic partners and parishes
- Sharing internal reflections, toolkits and education with our teams
For more information on the week visit the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada
For informative and inspiring stories on Covenant and the people it serves visit TheVitalBeat.ca
Monday, October 5, 2020
This week we celebrate the inspiring work of Catholic health care organizations. At the heart of Catholic health care is a deep respect for the intrinsic value and dignity of every human being and an unwavering commitment to serving all people, from all backgrounds and faiths— especially society’s most vulnerable.
What role does the gift of Catholic health care have in your community?
Who are the most vulnerable in your community?
How do you advocate for the dignity of every human being?
Healing God, at this particular time of pandemic and while we are seeking to find ways to reach out and communicate with the most vulnerable, such as seniors living in isolation, we give thanks today for the gift of Catholic health care we have experienced in our own lives and in our communities. We give thanks that Jesus’ ministry of healing and reconciliation continues every day as people are healed, accompanied and supported. Bless all those who work to continue the ministry of healing in Catholic health care. Amen
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
This week we celebrate Catholic health care organizations’ calling to serve. That calling is rooted in the healing ministry of Jesus. As part of that calling we focus on healing body, mind and spirit. Catholic health care was born of phenomenal, brave, and audacious women of faith over 400 years ago. Today, Catholic health care organizations honour their legacy in meeting the needs of families and communities across Canada. Over 125 Catholic health care providers serve more than five million people each year in rural towns and urban centres across Canada.
- What does Jesus’ ministry of healing and reconciliation mean to you?
- What is your personal calling?
- How do you show the love of God?
Loving God, we pray for those who are receiving care in our Catholic health care organizations, especially those who are most vulnerable. May they find empathy, compassion, and the love of God in the midst of health difficulties. May they see the face of God in those who accompany them on their journey. Amen
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
This week we celebrate the compassionate work of Catholic health care organizations. Catholic health care fosters a culture of encounter, where those involved in the healing journey are people first, and health care providers participate with those they serve with compassion and humanity. This culture creates awareness, both of self and others, and opportunities to build profound relationships and lasting impact on people’s lives.
- Whose story can you really listen to today?
- How have you contributed to compassionate service towards those you serve?
- Is there a new awareness that you are being challenged to develop within our current social and health care environments to help you better understand and journey with others?
God of grace, the courageous gift of Catholic health care is an offer to journey with people, building transformative relationships. We pray for all people who serve our Catholic health care organizations – nurses, physicians, employees, volunteers. Give them your strength, courage and love to do all they are called to do today. Amen
Thursday, October 8, 2020
This week we celebrate the courageous work of Catholic health care organizations and our commitment to social justice. Catholic health care is committed to working with our partners to create the conditions for a just and caring society, where people’s voices are heard, and every person has the ability to thrive in community. With a focus on dignity, respect, and compassion, we advocate for service to individuals at times of their greatest vulnerability, and to create culturally safe environments of health and healing.
- How have you advocated for those you serve?
- What do you believe is your role in advancing social justice where you live and work?
- How have the recent efforts to reduce racism in your community affected you at a personal level?
Life-giving God, we pray today that we would be courageous advocates for one another, that we would not be satisfied with systems and environments that contribute to illness and diminish our potential, but we would be bold advocates for justice and change. Like the congregations of religious Sisters who founded Catholic health organizations, may we have a spirit of boldness and audacity in to challenge restrictions and labels. May we be filled with courage, mercy and compassion. Amen
Friday, October 9, 2020
This week we celebrate the visionary work of Catholic health care organizations. Catholic health care makes the Canadian health care system stronger, more responsive, and more sustainable. Guided by our values and inspired by our Founding Sisters, Catholic health care is a resourceful and effective partner within the health system, responding to the communities we serve with compassion, ethical integrity and the highest quality care and services.
- How can you help tell the story build on the legacy of Catholic health care?
- Who can you reach out to support and encourage their ministry?
- What other opportunities are there for Catholic health care to provide healing and strengths for those in need?
Sustaining God, during National Catholic Health Care Week, we pray for our Catholic hospitals, seniors care centers, social services and other health care agencies. May they continue to provide healing and give strength to the people and communities they serve. We give thanks for the legacy of compassionate care they provide for us and the vision for holistic health they call us to in the future. Amen