Sister Valerie

Spirituality and You: Love

Monday, February 13, 2017

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Love is Essential! 

Wendell Berry, writes, “I take literally the statement in the Gospel of John that God loves the world. I believe that the world was created and approved by love, that it subsists, coheres, and endures by love, and that, insofar as it is redeemable, it can be redeemed only by love. I believe that divine love, incarnate and indwelling in the world, summons the world always toward wholeness, which ultimately is reconciliation and atonement [at-one-ment] with God.”

Spirituality and You is a contribution from Sister Valerie Sweeney, SND, Director of Mission and Ministry at Jennings.


(by Sister Valerie Sweeney, SND, Director of Mission and Ministry at Jennings)—You may know that Jennings is a Catholic organization, which is the foundation of our identity and mission. You may not be familiar with the document that helps to define and safeguard our Catholic mission.“The Ethical and Religious Directives for Health Care Services” (ERDs) was written by the Catholic Bishops of the United States. Its purpose is to affirm the ethical standards that flow from the Catholic Church’s teaching about human dignity.  The ERDs also provide guidance on some specific moral issues facing Catholic health care. They provide patients, families, and caregivers with principles and guides for making decisions.

The ERDs have six main sections. In this article we will look at four of them that apply to our ministry at Jennings. (Parts 1, 2, 3, and 5)

Part 1: The Social Responsibility of Catholic Health Care Services

Catholic health care is guided by the following principles:

  • to promote human dignity
  • to care for the poor 
  • to contribute to the common good
  • to be responsible stewards of resources
  • to act in communion with the Catholic Church.

Part 2: The pastoral and spiritual responsibilities of Catholic Health Care

Catholic health care has the responsibility to treat those in need in a way that respects the human dignity and eternal destiny of all. Care is not limited to the physical; it also embraces the psychological, social, and spiritual dimensions of the person. Thus pastoral care is an integral part of Catholic health care.

Part 3:  The caregiver/patient relationship

Mutual respect, trust, honesty, and confidentiality mark this relationship. The personal nature of care must not be lost even when a team of caregivers is involved in care. The dignity of the person is respected regardless of      health problem or social status, (e.g., race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, age, handicap, or source of payment). 

Part 5:  Issues in the care of the dying

Catholic health care faces death with the confidence of faith; it witnesses to the belief that God has created each person for eternal life. Effective pain management is critical in the appropriate care of the dying. 

Catholic health care avoids the use of futile or burdensome technology that offers no reasonable benefit to the patient. Euthanasia and physician-assisted dying are not permitted. The use of medical technologies is judged in light of the Christian meaning of life, suffering, and death. 

As a Catholic organization, Jennings takes pride in staying true to the teachings of the Church as we serve God’s people of all faith traditions and circumstances.




Spirituality and You: wisdom from proverbs

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

This week, Sister Valerie shares more proverbs from around the world. Which one do you like the best?

“When a thief kisses you, count your teeth.” (Yiddish)
“He who is outside his door already has a hard part of his journey behind him.” (Dutch)
“When a blind person carries a lame person, both go forward.” (Swedish)
“Hold a true friend [more…]

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Spirituality and You: Wisdom

Monday, January 23, 2017

This week Sister Valerie Sweeney invites us to look at some proverbs from other countries. Can you find the wisdom that each one contains?

“In the midst of great joy, do not promise anyone anything. In the midst of great anger, do not answer anyone’s letter.” (Chinese)
“The reverse side also has a reverse side.” (Japanese)
“It is [more…]

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Spirituality and You: Promoting peace and unity

Monday, January 16, 2017

As we celebrate Martin Luther King Day, this quote still speaks strongly a half-century after his death:
“We’ve learned to fly the air like birds, we’ve learned to swim the seas like fish, and yet we haven’t learned to walk the earth as brothers and sisters.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
What can you do today to [more…]

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Mission and Ministry Matters: Starting the new year

Sunday, January 1, 2017

As we start the New Year, let’s take a look at the gift of laughter. It has been said that “laughter is the best medicine.” Have you ever wondered why? Helen Hunter, LSW has written an article on the benefits of laughter. She notes that laughter boosts the immune system and triggers the release of [more…]

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Spirituality and You: True meaning of Christmas

Friday, December 23, 2016

This week we reflect on the true meaning of Christmas:
“It’s sharing your gifts, not purchasing gifts;
It’s not wrapping presents, it’s being present
and wrapping your arms around the ones you love.
It’s not getting Christmas cards out on time,
It’s sending any card, anytime, at the right time.
It’s not having the biggest and best Christmas light display;
It’s displaying [more…]

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Spirituality and You: How to pray

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

When you go to your place of prayer, don’t try to think too much or manufacture feelings or sensations. Don’t worry about what words you should say or what posture you should take. It’s not about you or what you do. Simply allow Love to look at you—and trust what God sees! God just keeps [more…]

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Spirituality and You: Ethics

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Native American Traditional Code of Ethics starts with these words: “Each morning upon rising, and each evening before sleeping, give thanks for the life within you and for all life, for the good things the Creator has given you and for the opportunity to grow a little more each day. Consider your thoughts and [more…]

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Spirituality and You: Blessings

Monday, November 14, 2016
Thumbnail image for Spirituality and You: Blessings

Blessings abound when we slow down enough to see them clearly. They can be the simplest of things: a green sprout rising from loamy soil, a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day, a stranger who holds the door open for us, an unexpected phone call from a friend. In the era of “bigger is better,” [more…]

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