CHA celebrates its centennial in 2015, and the inaugural event to mark 100 years of CHA history will be "100 Days of Prayer" leading up to World Day of the Sick.
CHA invites associates across Catholic health care and all those who want to offer prayers for a sick, injured or disabled loved one and their caregivers to join in 100 Days of Prayer beginning on Nov. 3, through World Day of the Sick on Feb. 11.
CHA asks participants to sign up to join the prayer campaign at chausa.org/100, where they will find prayers and World Day of the Sick social media links to encourage others to join the prayer campaign. Participants may add to a prayer list on the website the first name of the person or people they ask the community to keep in their prayers for the 100 days. The web page will be available beginning Nov. 3.
World Day of the Sick, an observation introduced by Pope John Paul II as a way for believers to join in prayer for those suffering from illnesses, coincides with the annual commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes, and the healing intercession of Mary. It provides a day for those who serve in Catholic health ministry to reflect on their work as healers and the suffering and courage of those they care for.
Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, CHA's president and chief executive officer, said, "CHA is celebrating its 100-year history in 2015. But long before the association was formed to serve the health ministry, Catholic health care providers were responding to the Gospel call to care for the sick and those in need, with particular concern for persons who are poor and vulnerable.
"Through 100 Days of Prayer, we invite the faithful across America and beyond to join us in asking for God's blessing on the sick. We also pray for families and friends who care for the sick, as well as professional caregivers who serve in the health ministry. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to come together in prayer and put forward the names of those for whom we ask prayers," she said.
According to a CHA history, at the first CHA convention in Milwaukee in 1915, the organization set out to advance the general interests of all hospital work; to encourage a spirit of cooperation and helpfulness among hospital workers; and to promote by study, conference, discussion and publication the thorough and moral practice of medicine.
That tradition continues. Ed Giganti, CHA's vice president of communications and marketing, said the health ministry is rooted in the faith, prayer and service of the people of Catholic health care. "We'll be honoring those people, particularly the frontline workers, in the coming year. Starting this commemoration with 100 Days of Prayer grounds us in our beliefs and in our mission, and it fortifies us for the challenges and accomplishments still to come."
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