The second annual National Catholic Health Care Week will be celebrated from Sunday, October 4 to Saturday, October 10, 2020.
Awaken: Revealing the Courageous Gift of Catholic Health Care
National Catholic Health Care Week is part of a broader Catholic Health Alliance of Canada (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 within our organizations and with influencers and decision-makers in our communities, provincially, and nationally.
A Challenging Landscape, An Enduring Mission
Health care around the world has been challenged in unimaginable ways since our inaugural National Catholic Health Care Week last year with the pandemic spreading quickly and relentlessly around the globe over the past eight months. COVID-19 has transformed our health care landscape and society. In Canada, the pandemic has shone a public light on many important issues, perhaps most significantly the vulnerability and marginalization of our seniors. It has initiated public discussion about concepts at the heart of our Catholic ministry—community, solidarity, common good, and our 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.
The pandemic has also highlighted the timeless relevance of Catholic social teaching and our collective role in building a Canadian society that reaches out to every person who is suffering from illness, stigma, poverty, or loneliness. 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. As Catholic health care providers, we have carried this enduring mission into an uncertain world where those we serve—and those who serve them—struggle under the burden of isolation, fear, depression, separation, fatigue, and uncertainty each day. Throughout this challenging time, we have witnessed the tremendous depth and strength of our people and encountered stories of courage, hope, and resilience. We follow the example of our Founding Sisters—visionary and resourceful women who advocated for those most at risk and faced insurmountable challenges with compassion, courage and innovation. Their ministry has become our mission in a modern and challenging world.
National Catholic Health Care Week 2020: Focus and Resources
This year, National Health Care Week seeks to build understanding, connection and trust about our mission and contribution as a Catholic health community in Canada’s pandemic response. Please use the following resources to raise awareness in your organization and community.
Attached is a set of five reflections, for you to use each weekday during National Catholic Health Care Week, to engage your internal and external community. These reflections celebrate the mission-inspired efforts of our teams and promote understanding of how our Catholic identity and tradition has guided and strengthened our response to the pandemic. The themes for the reflections were drawn from the Awaken Message which was crafted through cross-country consultation and articulates four pillars that define our unique role and impact in Canada.