CHA book explores theological underpinnings of Catholic health care

November 15, 2017

CHA has published a book for people seeking to better understand the theological concepts underlying Catholic health care. The association developed the resource to assist ministry systems and facilities as they form their sponsors, executive leaders, board members, physicians and other staff.


Edited by Fr. Charles Bouchard, OP, CHA senior director of theology and ethics, Incarnate Grace: Perspectives on the Ministry of Catholic Health Care examines Catholic tenets of faith in the triune God; the theological foundation of the Catholic Church; the spiritual function of the seven sacraments; the church's health care ministry and the work of sponsors, especially as it relates to Catholic identity and its expression in health care. Nineteen authors — including scholars, theologians, mission leaders and others — contributed articles to the 296-page book.

Fr. Bouchard says the purpose of Incarnate Grace is to show that theology involves more than just ethics. The content is intended to promote deep reflection on the theology of Catholic health care and to inspire people to examine their own belief systems and identify how they can live out Jesus' mission through their actions and through their contributions to Catholic health care. The book includes discussion questions to help the reader process the content.

Incarnate Grace is a companion to the 2014 CHA publication Caritas in Communion: Theological Foundations of Catholic Health Care, by M. Therese Lysaught. That book examines what it means to be part of the Catholic health ministry and how that identity is expressed in the work of the ministry.

Fr. Bouchard said Incarnate Grace provides a deeper study of the concepts covered in the 2014 publication. He said that while the book covers some weighty ideas, it is written in language that is accessible to lay leaders in the ministry.

Incarnate Grace features evocative imagery from The Saint John's Bible, an illuminated Bible assembled by an international team of art historians, experts in medieval history, contemporary artists, biblical scholars, theologians and calligraphers. Published in 2011, the Bible has been recognized for exquisite illustrations and workmanship. The Bible's publishers enabled CHA to reproduce the original art at no cost.

Incarnate Grace is available at the association's online store at



Copyright © 2017 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3490.