Making Spirits Bright

December 15, 2022

Catholic health ministries across the nation celebrate the holiday season with lighthearted events for patients, residents and staff and communal acts of kindness.

Rolando Gonzalez, business development specialist with The Children's Hospital of San Antonio Foundation, strums a guitar while dressed as Bruno from the Disney movie "Encanto" during the hospital's Thanksgiving parade. The animated film about an enchanted village was the theme. Floats created by departments and staffers dressed as movie characters weaved their way through a lobby entertaining onlookers.


Singers from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church perform during the lighting ceremony at the Tree of Life Spectacular at Benedictine Living Community-Regina in Hastings, Minnesota. Trees on the grounds of the senior living community are illuminated through Jan. 1.


PeaceHealth staffer Ben Greenfield adds potatoes to a Thanksgiving food bag at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield, Oregon. A drive organized by caregivers brought in enough money to feed 800 families facing financial, medical or other challenges. Recipients were referred by caregivers, charitable organizations and community members. Greenfield designs programs to train staff on the use of electronic medical records.


A choir from a local church performs Christmas songs as "St. Nicholas" enjoys the holiday festivities at HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. At the hospital's Dec. 5 gathering, more than 100 children visited with St. Nick, who is the hospital's patron saint. Revelers also enjoyed cookies and hot chocolate. And Hospital Sisters Health System's Mary Salm, vice president of mission and spiritual care, read the Christmas story at the event.


Our Lady of Lourdes Health in Lafayette, Louisiana, provided a special meal for all team members weeks before Christmas. Some attendees enjoyed a festive photo booth.


A team member of Our Lady of Lourdes Health in Lafayette, Louisiana, places an ornament on the facility's Tree of Remembrance. Facility staffers adorn the tree with ornaments bearing the names of loved ones who have died. This is a way to honor their memory.


Workers at The Children's Hospital of San Antonio, a CHRISTUS Health hospital, hold up ornaments made specially for the Christmas tree in the hospital's lobby. Each department made an ornament that reflects their work.


Some of the cast members of a living nativity make their entrance at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.


As a Christmas service project, staffers of Bon Secours St. Francis Health System in Greenville, South Carolina, took part in a Habitat for Humanity housebuild. Here, team members grab their work gloves.


Trinity Health Muskegon in Michigan had a tree lighting ceremony to celebrate the illumination of this evergreen.


Staffers of St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital in Ohio display the cards and letters that local elementary school children created and the gifts they are giving kids at the hospital this Christmas. The students are bringing this Christmas cheer to the pediatric patients through an ongoing pen pal program coordinated by hospital and school staff.


The firefighters with the Springfield, Illinois, Fire Department give Santa a lift in the bucket of a ladder truck so he can greet patients through their window at HSHS St. John's Children's Hospital.


Easton, a patient at HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital in Springfield, Illinois, opens a present delivered by an elf, er, nurse. The hospital’s Christmas festivities include carols sung by music therapists, interactive holiday games available to all, windows and nurses’ stations strung with decorations, festive gear worn each shift, and a visit from Santa Claus.  


Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard visits with a patient at HSHS St. Vincent Children's Hospital in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Lazard said he wanted to give the young patients some holiday cheer. He also gave them gifts.


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