"I have a part in a great work; I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons."
— Venerable John Henry Newman
Sponsorship is not static. The means by which Catholic health care remains linked to and identified as a ministry of the Catholic Church are in constant flux.
There is no doubt that the face of sponsorship is changing as the present generation of sponsors looks toward a newer generation. In our focus on change, however, let us not fail to reflect on how this shift is a movement of the Spirit and one that follows unending changes in everything involving our ministries. Catholic health care has gone from one-room buildings lined with cots for epidemic victims, to one-story buildings with separate departments, and more recently to large, multistate systems with dozens of facilities that provide all types of services and care for hundreds of thousands of people annually in the United States and abroad. With all of this, how could sponsorship not change as we move forward?
The Spirit is moving the ministry of sponsorship to a new future, one that continues the ministry and mission of Christ Jesus, to bring healing to the world.
The meaning of sponsorship's journey into the future was perhaps expressed best by T. S. Eliot in his poem "Little Gidding":
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the articles that follow, the story of sponsorship continues to unfold.
Copyright © 2007 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.