Foundational Elements

Effective formation creates a distinctive and inheritable culture. The culture of Catholic ministry is shaped by the foundational elements: Vocation, Tradition, Spirituality, Ethics, Catholic Social Teaching and Discernment. Participants are invited to understand these distinctive features of Catholic ministry with attention to their expression in founding communities, so they can personally embody, and creatively adapt their integration into ever-changing situations. Leaders bear a critical responsibility for articulating and integrating the heritage and values of the tradition into the organization’s culture and associates. From the beginning, congregations of religious women and men courageously responded to the needs of the communities they were called to serve. 

Catholic social teaching insists that the human person is intrinsically social and recognizes that the delivery of health care is a collegial effort. For this reason, formation takes place in community, where participants may gain a sense of belonging to and participating in the Catholic ministry. As associates grasp what is distinctive to Catholic ministry and become comfortable, they find ways personally and professionally to articulate and integrate the dynamics of these Foundational Elements. Through this process, people grow in their abilities to live out the mission of the organization in a manner that gives witness to Gospel values.
  • Call and response to our full humanity
  • Response to the call to serve in Catholic health care ministry
  • Laity
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Introduction and invitation to contemplative practices
  • Christian anthropology
  • Vocation of leadership

  • Healing ministry of Jesus, Scripture, Gospel stories
  • Heritage stories and charisms, legacy of the foundresses/ers and current leaders’ mission, vision and values
  • Theology of the Catholic health care ministry
  • Church (parishes, church organizations, relationships, sponsorship, collaboration with diocesan, national and universal Catholic Church)

  • Holistic health care (body, mind, spirit, human suffering, palliative and hospice care, wellness, healing and cure)
  • Spiritual needs
  • Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
  • Spirituality of community and work
  • Prayer, ritual, and sacrament
  • Personal and organizational
  • Christian anthropology

  • Promote and defend human dignity
  • Attend to the whole person
  • Care for poor and vulnerable persons
  • Promote the common good
  • Act on behalf of justice
  • Steward resources
  • Serve as a ministry of the Church
  • Other areas to be included as appropriate
  • Clinical
  • Organizational
  • Social
  • Stewardship of the environment
  • Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services

  • Integration of mission and values into strategic and all operational decisions
  • Growing in the understanding of what we are to do and who we ought to be
  • Understanding preparation and continually returning to prayer and reflection
  • Diversity and inclusion (racial/ethnic/cultural, religious and spiritual, personal styles, generational, gender)