God of goodness and love, thank you for gifting us with water as one of your favored instruments in forming a community. From its inception, the church, the new people of God, the new community of believers, is born of water.
Help us as we look today at sponsorship of Catholic health care ministry, to see in water — from the powerful tides of the oceans to the rapidly moving rivers and gently flowing streams — a connection to our ministry. Guide our belief that just as water always finds a way to flow, the ministry of sponsorship will always find a way to further your Son’s healing mission and serve the communities you have formed. Teach us to be true to our calling as sponsors to encourage, inspire and challenge the ministry into the future. Let us reflect on the ways that the work we do gives faithful witness to who we say we are.
Sister Juliana Casey, a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, of Monroe Michigan, offers these thoughts on Sponsorship as a Unique Ministry:
Sponsorship is a formidable gift to the people and to the church. Sponsors, too, are gifts to the church, because they sponsor ministries that witness to the church’s fidelity, to its call to build the Reign of God.
Sponsorship lives in faith, hope, and prayer. It is a call that arises from an experience of God, a vocation, and it is a ministry that believes that those experiences and that presence are with us on an ongoing basis.
Sponsorship is open to risks and transformation. It does not now look like it did 100 years ago, and it will not look like this in another 10 years.
In the stories of our founders, there is an unrelenting passion for the mission, not for the institutions or the organizations, but for the mission.
Sponsorship is a ministry that holds a heritage and accepts responsibility for the integrity of the organizations it sponsors — that is a heavy burden.
Sponsorship asks and renders accountability. It asks its leaders how they can do more to care for those who are poor. It renders accountability to the church and it also renders an account to the community. Sponsors are accountable to the communities in which their organizations find themselves.
Sponsorship as a ministry, is one of possibilities — not certainty or even probability — but possibility for the future. A future that begins in the calling of names, and an understanding that name calling begets name calling. Jesus calls disciples; the disciples call others.
And so, the question for those in this ministry of possibility is whom shall we call? Whom will I call?
The ministry of possibility to a future will ultimately be one of relationships — those with the official church, the community, and the people who are served by the ministries. Also those with the religious communities that carry that heritage, with the founders, and the ancestors who have gone before, and ultimately, with a God who calls.
Gracious God, we thank you for new opportunities for serving you, one another, the Catholic health ministry, and the cause of your Reign. May the work we do together be of benefit to all those we serve and may it enliven and refresh our spirits and our commitment to the cause of your Reign. Amen.