Catholic Health Care

What is Catholic health care and what is distinctive about it?

In short, Catholic health care providers see their work as an extension of the healing ministry of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church. A recent statement from the National Conference of Catholic Bishops explains more fully:

The Catholic Church is involved in health care because it believes that care of the sick is an important part of Christ's mandate of service. The Gospel accounts of Jesus' ministry chronicle his acts of healing. The Gospels are filled with examples of Jesus curing many kinds of ailment and illness. In one account, our Lord's mission is described as the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah: "He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases" (Matt. 8:17; cf. Isaiah 53:4).

Since the principle work of Christ was our redemption from sin and death, the healing that he brought us went beyond caring only for physical afflictions. His compassion for the poor, the sick and the needy fit within his larger mission of redemption and salvation. Christ touched people at the deepest level of their being. As the source of physical, mental and spiritual healing and well-being, he described his work as bringing life in abundance.

“The dignity and value of human persons is a basic value, not to be traded against some other values.”
— Joseph Cardinal Bernardin

Christians see care for the sick and maintenance of health within the context of Christ's example. Hence, to understand the significant role of the Catholic Church in health care throughout the centuries, one needs to look at the faith of those who have attempted to imitate the love, compassion and healing of Jesus. It is nothing less than Christian love that animates health care within the Church. The work of healing and the acts of compassion that envelop it are seen as a continuation of Christ's mission that is enabled by his life-giving grace. It is out of this context of faith, hope and love that Catholic health care ministry came into existence. (The Pastoral Role of the Diocesan Bishop in Catholic Health Care ministry: A statement of the Administrative Committee of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, March, 1997, pp. 1-2)

The Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine have been devoted to healing since 1851. Their philosophy and mission exemplify the belief that Catholic hospitals continue the healing ministry of Jesus through direct care, outreach services and related health and human services activities. They collaborate with others in bringing services to those who need them most.

Health care is in the midst of rapid change, but the Catholic character of the mission remains a constant within the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine. They continue to seek ways to meet emerging needs while at the same time supporting their present ministries. More than 160 years of devotion to healing is alive and well through the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine.

The Sisters of Charity Health System follows the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This document offers moral guidance, drawn from the Catholic Church's theological and moral teachings, on various aspects of health care delivery.

Blog Posts From

Sisters of Charity Health System Statement on the Senate's draft health care bill: the Better Care Reconciliation Act

The Sisters of Charity Health System believes families and communities are stronger when everyone has access to quality, affordable health care. Like many in the health care provider community, we stand in opposition to the Senate’s draft health care bill, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). The Senate proposal would have a devastating impact on our nation's most vulnerable populations. According to analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the BCRA would lead to 22 million more uninsured U.S. residents by 2026. [More]

tags: Advocacy, Catholic Health Association, health care, Mercy Medical Center, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, Sisters of Charity Health System, Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, Sister Judith Ann Karam

Reading paves way to new bicycles in Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood

A dozen first and second graders in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood have new bicycles to enjoy this summer thanks to a program called Read and Ride. Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood and the Knights of Pythias Owatonna Lodge #62 hosted Read and Ride at the three Cleveland Metropolitan School District elementary schools in the neighborhood.[More]

tags: Promise Neighborhood, Outreach, Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, Foundations

Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina awards $230,000 in strategic grant funding

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina has awarded $230,000 to five strategic grantees for 2017 that are addressing the root causes of poverty in South Carolina. The foundation’s mission to address poverty in all of its forms is reflected in its decision-making around strategic grants.[More]

tags: Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina, Foundations

Joseph’s Home annual benefit luncheon to help ill homeless men heal

Joseph’s Home will hold it signature fundraising event—Perseverance in Hope—Thursday, June 15 at 11:30 a.m. at Windows on the River in Cleveland to raise funds to provide meals, shelter and other care for the acutely ill homeless men who receive temporary shelter there and medical respite to promote healing and long-term self-sufficiency.[More]

tags: Joseph's Home, Outreach

Wanted: Innovative Ideas to Fight Poverty

This spring, a groundbreaking initiative was announced to uncover innovative approaches to fight poverty. The Innovation Mission, an initiative of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland in collaboration with Cleveland Leadership Center, is an 18-month fellowship that applies the discipline of innovation to the issue of poverty. [More]

tags: Foundations, Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland