Prayer Service — Prosper the Work of Our Hands

November-December 2005


We gather today as a caring community engaged in the healing ministry of Jesus Christ to reflect upon the significance of our work. The great American journalist Studs Terkel, in his book, Working, interviewed a woman who observed that "most people work in jobs too small for their spirits."* If there is anyplace that this should not be the case, it is with those of us privileged in a myriad ways to care for the most weak and vulnerable of our sisters and brothers. Listen to the words of Pope John Paul II who reminds us of the source of the dignity of our work:

*Studs Terkel, Working: People Talk about What They Do All Day and How They Feel about What They Do, Pantheon, New York City, 1974, p. xxiv.

"[T]he basis for determining the value of human work is not primarily the kind of work being done but the fact that the one who is doing it is a person. The sources of the dignity of work are to be sought primarily in the subjective dimension, not in the objective one. . . . [T]he whole labor process must be organized and adapted in such a way as to respect the requirements of the person and his or her forms of life, above all life in the home." (Laborem Exercens, from sections 6 and 19)

May the favor of the Lord our God be ours.
Prosper the work of our hands!
Prosper the work of our hands!

We pray for God's blessing upon those entrusted with the leadership of Catholic health care—trustees, sponsors, administrators, managers, supervisors. Grant them wisdom, vision, courage, and compassion.


We pray for God's blessing upon those entrusted with direct care of the sick and vulnerable—physicians, nurses, aides, technicians, technologists, nutritionists, therapists, and countless others who share in our healing ministry. Grant them gentleness, zeal, energy, insight, skill, and compassion.


We pray for God's blessing upon those entrusted with the spiritual care of those in Catholic facilities—for chaplains, visiting clergy, and volunteers. Grant them attentiveness, healing presence, perception, and compassion.

We pray for God's blessing upon those entrusted to care for the sick by serving as housekeepers, security officers, dietary workers, plant managers. Grant them proficiency, joy, a deep sense of satisfaction, and compassion.


We pray for God's blessing upon those entrusted with the clerical and business stewardship of our healing ministry-treasurers, information system analysts, assistants, receptionists, telephone operators, and all those who share in our ministry. Grant them integrity, wisdom, creativity, and compassion.


Please add any others whose work contributes to your ministry.

Lord God, Creator, Sustainer, Healer, we thank you for the incalculable privilege of standing before you as women and men called to your healing ministry. Grant us a deep sense of the nobleness of the work to which you have called us. Help us to find in our work its true source of dignity. We ask this in the name of Jesus, our Brother.


Sr. Patricia Talone, RSM, Ph.D.
Vice President, Mission Services
Catholic Health Association

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