CHS and the Year of Mercy
The Year of Mercy announced by Pope Francis officially began December 8, 2015, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. This jubilee has special significance for the CHS family, which treats all patients with compassion, continuing Christ’s healing mission. Every day, the people of CHS carry on the tradition of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, caring for the sick, comforting the afflicted and reaching out to members of the community.
More than a century ago, Mercy Medical Center and Catholic Home Care were founded by the Congregation of the Infant Jesus, also known as the Nursing Sisters of the Sick Poor. Our Lady of Consolation was founded by the Sisters of St. Dominic of Amityville in the late 19th century. The Daughters of Wisdom opened St. Charles Hospital in 1907, followed by Maryhaven and Good Samaritan Hospital. St. Francis Hospital was established by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in 1922. In 2000 and 2010, respectively, St. Catherine and St. Joseph joined the health system, which was organized under the sponsorship of the Diocese of Rockville Centre in 1997. Today, CHS carries on the work of the original founding congregations and meets the emerging needs of Long Islanders.
In this Year of Mercy, CHS continues to remain true to the vision of its founders. All are invited to see how their contributions manifest this legacy in light of the works of mercy.
The jubilee provides an opportunity for reflection on how CHS continues the legacy of its founding congregations so many years ago. As stated in its mission, CHS “promotes excellence in care and commits itself to those in need,” affirming the “sanctity of life” and respecting the “dignity of each person” at all times.
Collaborating with colleagues from other disciplines, physicians provide treatment to heal disease or injury and to alleviate pain. Nurses care for patients around the clock, and therapists and technicians offer their expertise to help restore health, while pastoral care staff console those suffering from illness, grief or other afflictions. Environmental services, nutritional services, volunteers and every staff member at every facility throughout the system work together for the well-being of each patient.
In addition to providing charity care to patients in need, CHS’s hospitals and other agencies offer free health screenings, lectures and immunizations to Long Islanders. They host blood drives throughout the year and collect food, clothing and toys for impoverished families. Partnering with churches and community centers, CHS’s Healthy Sundays program assists the medically underserved, and those requiring medical attention are referred to CHS facilities, where they are treated regardless of their ability to pay.
The compassionate, high-quality services and numerous programs offered by CHS promote good health across the region. The contributions of everyone in the organization help to invigorate the vision that makes all of this possible to this day and into the future.
Learn more about the corporal and spiritual works of mercy and how to make a pilgrimage of mercy right here on Long Island. Also, for more information on the Year of Mercy, please visit www.usccb.org or the Vatican’s official Jubilee of Mercy website.