Vatican approves Presence Health's public juridic person

February 1, 2016

The Vatican has approved a public juridic person sponsor for Chicago-based Presence Health. The newly formed Presence Health Ministries, which began Dec. 8, initially is made up of 10 sisters representing Presence Health's five founding congregations. Eventually, though, the organization will include both religious and lay members.

Previously, a "corporate member" made up exclusively of sisters appointed by the founding congregations held almost all of the reserve rights. The exceptions were rights retained by the founding congregations: the congregations had the right to alienate stable patrimony, which is the right to relinquish property meant for the long-term use of the members. The congregations also had the right of dissolution, or the right to officially end a ministry. Presence Health Ministries now holds all of the powers once held by the corporate member and the congregations.

The formation of Presence Health Ministries will help to ensure "the health system has the leadership necessary to fulfill its mission for many years to come," given the increasing complexity of the health care environment and the declining numbers of sisters, according to a press release.

Presence Health's 15-member governing board will continue to oversee civil matters for the 12-hospital system, according to Sr. Terry Maltby, RSM, who is a member of Presence Health Ministries. There is some overlap in membership between the Presence Health governing board and Presence Health Ministries.

Presence Health's founding congregations are the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart, the Servants of the Holy Heart of Mary, the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and the Sisters of the Resurrection.

Sisters who previously served on the corporate member now are the initial members of Presence Health Ministries. In addition to Sr. Maltby, they are:

  • Sr. Mary Elizabeth Imler, OSF
  • Sr. Mary Shinnick, OSF
  • Sr. Margaret Mary Hinz, RSM
  • Sr. Patricia Koschalke, CSFN
  • Sr. Elizabeth Trem, CSFN
  • Sr. Clara Frances Kusek, CR
  • Sr. Hedwig Kuczynski, CR
  • Sr. Linda Hatton, SSCM
  • Sr. Evelyn Varboncoeur, SSCM

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