National Catholic Health Care Week – October 3 to October 7

n all we do, we work to build healing environments for all that promote dignity and relationships of trust, where we learn from each other through respectful, open communication and decision-making.

Walking Together
Words create bridges between us. Without them we would be lost islands. Affection, recognition and understanding travel across these fragile bridges and enable us to discover each other.
John O’Donohue, Beauty

As people of God, we are called to be in relationship and walk side-by-side with people in communities across this land. Our commitment to the journey of Truth and Reconciliation must begin with honesty and humility about our history and the impact of our action on the health status of Indigenous Peoples.

Among other things, as settlers, this means being fully present to each other and opening the door to uncomfortable truths that will help us move towards authentic healing and restoration, mutual understanding, and trust. For many of us, it is also about unlearning some of the things that we think we know—particularly attitudes we have been socialized to believe to be true.

This is a journey of openness, learning and action. It calls us to create sacred space in our care environments, our communities and in ourselves for traditions, language, ways of knowing and healing practices that foster kinship, relationship and community.

As we move forward with humility and courage to address the harms of the past and create a more equitable future, may our hearts, minds and ears be open to the truth, to one another and to new ways of being present to each other.

Let us reflect
1. What concrete steps can we take, as organizations and communities, in opening doors and creating
safe spaces that foster relationship, kinship and community.
2. What are some ways to learn, unlearn and create safe space in our communications and actions?

Let us pray
(From a Prayer by the late Frank Fools Crow, Oglala Lakota)
Grandfather, Wakan Tanka*,
Grandmother, the Earth who hears everything,
Give us a blessing so that our words and actions be one in unity,
and that we be able to listen to each other, in so doing,
we shall with good heart walk hand in hand to face the future.
In the presence of the outside, we are thankful for many blessings.
I make my prayer for all people, the children, the women and the men.
I pray that no harm will come to them, and that on the great island,
there be no war, that there be no ill feelings among us.
From this day on may we walk hand in hand.
So be it.
* Great Spirit God, Great Myster