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Rely on inner strength of faith—in yourself, in others and in LOVE

Community | Wellness | March 30, 2020
young girl outside praying
Sister Kathleen Pruitt offers words of encouragement to all in the midst of COVID-19.

Caregivers who carry on the Mission at PeaceHealth, continue to be upheld by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, the order that founded our healthcare ministry more than 130 years ago.

Below is a message of encouragement offered recently by Sister Kathleen Pruitt, one of the Sisters, to all 16,000 PeaceHealth caregivers.

Sr. Pruitt’s words have been such a powerful source of comfort and hope that the caregivers wanted to share those words with all of our communities so you too might find a sense of calm in the midst of the current storm.

While the message was written to healthcare workers, the key points apply equally to each and every one of us at all times…you are not alone and you are loved.

Dear Ones – you who daily serve in the midst of chaos and concern brought on so quickly and forcefully by COVID-19 – I have been thinking about you and praying for you and with you daily.

I am writing this because I feel drawn to do so – not in any official capacity or for any other reason than a deep desire to express my personal solidarity with and care for each of you.

At times like this we – but you most especially – are called upon to rely heavily on the inner strength of faith as we go about the ministry of each day… ministry to self, family, friends and of those who come to us – to you – fearful, frantic, fully placing trust in your compassionate care and in your competencies as leaders, healers and caregivers.

The faith I speak of is many-faceted… faith in yourself; faith in your colleagues; faith that those of us from afar uphold and lift you up daily in thought and prayer; and mostly faith in the great Infinite Absolute Mystery by whatever name we know God, Yahweh, Allah, Life Force, Energy of the Universe – for me the only name that fits is LOVE – infinite self-outpouring LOVE!

Each of you is Spark of that Infinite Mystery, self-outpouring of Love. You throughout our PeaceHealth family – you minister and serve the healing mission of Jesus, the Christ: one who walked among the people, touched the leper, gave sight to the blind, comforted the fearful, restored life and wept when friends died. He, the Incarnate face of SELF-OUTPOURING-LOVE walks with you and through your hands and hearts and continues to bring compassionate care, mercy and hope, healing of mind-body-spirit, comfort and reassurance to all those in need in their living, their healing, and in their passing.

What you do each day is monumental! It’s hard, often scary, anxiety-producing for yourself, your colleagues, your families and friends! You might sometimes feel like giving up, or even giving in to those dark places within that whisper or nudge you in different directions… all those feelings might be there. Recognize, acknowledge, be transparent and support one another as I know you do. I also know that in the face of all that currently presents itself, you each in your own capacity – and together in collaboration – continue daily to face the challenges with courage, compassion and competency.

The mountains are there and you climb them. The crooked pathways you continue to walk without end in sight. For those who are sick, afraid, dying, recovering, you are their hope and healing – and for all – you are compassion! You cannot always cure… but you always heal! As you daily go about your mission, find ways to care for yourself. If you don’t already begin your day with a few moments of silence, a deep breath, and the comfort of knowing that you are not alone in this ministry; take a moment in the midst of your ministry to step aside, take a deep breath and recall that you are not alone. Be alert to your own needs and those of your colleagues and support one another. Above all, know that you are loved not only by our compassionate self-outpouring God, but by people like me!

Thank you, a million times, for who you are and for what you are and continue to do to make this corner of our suffering world a more compassionate and whole place. You are my – and for so many beyond me – daily heroes and heroines of compassionate care for all! Infinite LOVE bless you all!

Respectfully and with much love,
Sr. Kathleen Pruitt, CSJP

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