Bringing Caring, Healing, and Hope to All People
November 11, 2015
This is the first in a weekly series of posts from the Province’s healthcare ministry, centered at St. Catherine of Siena Church in New York, NY. Reflections on Ethics, Faith & Healthcare Dominican Friars Health Care Ministry of New York: Bringing Caring, Healing, and Hope to all People By Bro. Ignatius Perkins, O.P., Ph.D., R.N., Executive Director, Dominican Friars Health Care Ministry of New York November 8, 2015 As we continue our journey in the newly formed parish of Saint Vincent Ferrer and Saint Catherine of Siena, I would like to introduce Dominican Friars Health Care Ministry of New York (DFHCMNY) to those who might not be familiar with this special ministry in the Church. In 1216, the Holy See granted Saint Dominic permission to establish a new religious order dedicated to preaching and the salvation of souls. Dominic formed his brothers to embrace and proclaim the healing message of the Gospel and to be consolers of the sick and all those in distress. Through the Order of Preachers, Saint Dominic brought healing and hope to the lost, the last, and the least of his day. Over 700 years later, during the trying times of the Great Depression, two of the United States’ foremost hospitals made the decision to erect campuses on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, just down the block from the Dominican Friars of Saint Catherine of Siena Church and Priory. Following in the footsteps of Saint Dominic, the Friars at Saint Catherine’s began a new apostolate of health care ministry, caring for the sick, their families, and all those who care for them. The same vision that moved Saint Dominic and the Friars at Saint Catherine’s in the early part of the 20th Century remains ever responsive to the changing health care needs of the people of this time and continues to enrich the lives of all served by Dominican Friars Health Care Ministry of New York. This vision has inspired a vibrant mission of bringing the Face of Jesus to infants, children, and their families; to the sick, the suffering, and the dying; to those who are unwanted, those long in years, and the members of the health professions. Identified as one of the frontiers of the Dominican Order, Dominican Friars Health Care Ministry of New York has the following purposes:
- To bring the healing ministry of Jesus Christ to the world of health care;
- To protect and defend the dignity of the human person from the first moment of conception until natural death; and
- To provide spiritual care, ethical counsel, and education to patients, families of patients, members of the health professions, and the larger community regarding the sanctity of human life and the social, pastoral and spiritual responsibility of health care.
The Dominican Friars, Sisters, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, staff, and faithful volunteers of Dominican Friars Health Care Ministry of New York continue to provide a powerful spiritual and moral presence that brings the healing message of the Gospel to the very peripheries of human life. Together with our clinical partners, our care is directed towards the following goals:
- To respond to the health care needs of all people of the world;
- To care for others with resources from our very substance, not from our abundance;
- To accompany them in their journey toward renewal, the exercise of freedom and an informed conscience, and an experience of human flourishing;
- To bring the Church’s healing ministry to all persons regardless of age, color, creed, gender, ethnicity, reason for their illness, lifestyle, the ability to pay, or where they call home; and
- To collaborate with others to change systems that victimize and exploit our brothers and sisters at some of the most vulnerable moments of human life.
The Parish of Saint Vincent Ferrer and Saint Catherine of Siena remains a vitally important spiritual center of Dominican Friars Health Care Ministry of New York. In order to keep you informed of the works of the Ministry, DFHCMNY will continue to publish a weekly article in the parish bulletin under the title Reflections on Ethics, Faith, and Health Care. We invite you into our mission, and we welcome your feedback as we continue to develop new ways of sharing the works of Dominican Friars Health Care Ministry of New York.
We of the Health Care Ministry look forward with great eagerness to greet you and to work with you in the days ahead. May we all continue to be consolers of the sick and all persons in distress. May the peace and confidence of Jesus, the Healer, remain with us forever. We ask for your continued prayers as we continue this noble work for the Church. Amen.
Editor: Fr. Jonah Pollock, O.P. Mailing Address: 411 E. 68th St., New York, NY 10065
Image: Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Three Marys, 1910.