Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
February 23, 2009
Covenant Health leaders blessed for service
New board, executive committed to providing care for the sick, suffering
SPECIAL TO THE WCR
EDMONTON — The leaders of Canada’s largest health care organization promised to continue the healing ministry of Jesus in Alberta at a Feb. 9 Mass and missioning ceremony held in St. Joseph’s Basilica.
Covenant Health was formed in 2008, bringing together 16 Catholic facilities in 11 communities across Alberta.
Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton presided at the Mass and celebration that was witnessed by more than 400 leaders, caregivers and supporters from Alberta and across Canada.
The passage chosen for the service was Matthew 5.13-16, where Jesus speaks of his disciples as salt of the earth and light for the world.
“As we care for the sick and suffering, one of our principal tasks is to help them preserve hope,” said Smith. “We are salt whenever our faithful presence reminds them of the kindness of God, whose love casts out all fear and anxiety.”
“The meaning of covenant speaks of enduring promise, fidelity and compassionate service,” Smith said to the president and CEO and nine members of the board.
“Are you willing to lead Covenant Health in the spirit of the Gospel and in the name of Jesus, the New Covenant, in letting your light shine to inflame the hope of others?”
“As a Covenant Health team, we witness each day that this kind of light changes lives,” John Brennan of Edmonton, chair of the board, told those gathered.
“We firmly believe that this kind of light can change Alberta, Canada and, indeed, the world.
“We are committed to our vision of positively influencing the health of Albertans by serving where we are needed most — working together with compassion, quality and innovation.”
LIVING OUT THE MISSION
President and CEO Patrick Dumelie applauded the efforts of his team of almost 13,000 staff, physicians and volunteers: “Right at this very moment, they are busy living what we are celebrating here today — a mission carried out in thousands of decisions, interactions and simple and heroic tasks of daily service every day.”
Dumelie acknowledged that Covenant Health depends on strong partnerships and draws strength from the wisdom, encouragement, prayers and support of the parishes and communities it serves.
“We look forward to continuing this work with Alberta Health and Wellness and Alberta Health Services, drawing on our values of collaboration, social justice and integrity to be valued partners and to serve people of all faiths, traditions and circumstances, especially those most vulnerable and at risk,” he said.
Premier Ed Stelmach relayed his own positive boyhood experiences as a patient under the compassionate care of the sisters who ran the Mundare hospital.
“I’m happy to be here to celebrate this big leap forward for health care in Alberta’s communities,” he said. “Covenant Health is a compassionate, innovative and resourceful partner. I look forward to working with you.”
Also attending the event were representatives of six founding congregations of sisters, several Catholic parishes and ministries, and the Catholic Health Association of Canada.
Members of Covenant Health’s board of directors are: Brennan, Archbishop Smith, Michael Dimnik (Lethbridge), Bill Grace (Edmonton), Dennis Grant (Grande Prairie), James Heelan (Edmonton), Sister Nuala Kenny (Halifax), Richard Leavens (Banff) and Raymond Mack (Calgary).
For more information, visit www.CovenantHealth.ca.
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