Originally published Oct. 18, 1995
Calling health care "an essential ministry" and one
especially capable of providing the "sign of hope" so badly needed by the ill,
Joseph Cardinal Bernardin’s cherished pastoral letter on health care,
"A Sign of Hope," is again available for order.
The letter provides a theological, moral and social
foundation for understanding what is distinctive about the Catholic health
ministry. In it, the late Cardinal reflects on his illness, and following up on
earlier writings, he reiterates his support of the not-for-profit nature of
health care delivery, asking for others to join him "in resisting efforts to
make healthcare in our nation or our own ministry merely another commodity,
simply another item to be sold."
In reading a review offered in the Chicago Tribune,
on November 7, 1995, we get a glimpse of the signs of the times when this was
penned, knowing that they are times in which we remain:
"[Card.] Bernardin [in "A Sign of Hope"} urged that
Catholic institutions collaborate to survive competitive financial pressures,
and, hark back to their religious mission of providing hope, comfort, and a
sense that patients are part of a community."
This is an essential read for all of those leading and
managing in Catholic health care.
This 36-page brochure includes the entirety of the pastoral