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Papal Year of Mercy Sheds Light on SJH Four Pillars


“What moved Jesus was nothing other than mercy, with which he read the hearts of those he encountered and responded to their deepest needs.” Pope Francis has declared Dec 8, 2015 to Nov 20, 2016 A Year of Mercy, “Go out and practice the meaningful embrace of God.”

Many may feel called to join in this celebration of Mercy.  But what does it mean?  How do we “do it” from where we sit each day?

Jesuit James Keenan has a challenging definition, “mercy is the willingness to enter into the chaos of another.” This may not be the most enticing invitation for a person whose chaos barometer is already high. But that’s just it! We all are experiencing some version of chaos either with our family, in our neighborhood, among our coworkers, within our school, or maybe amid our place of worship. But the challenge given by Pope Francis meets us just where we are, “become islands of mercy in the midst of a sea of indifference.”

SJH is truly an island of mercy carved by the sweat and tears of families, volunteers, residents, staff, neighbors, donors, interns, mentors etc.  Together we practice mercy each day.  Mercy can be seen in many forms, but is most alive and vibrant in our Four Pillars.

SJH Four Pillars: Heritage, Community, Gentle Teaching and Servant Leadership are built by upholding core values. The staff, particularly the support staff, exercise these values and bring mercy to life each day by:
• Seeing modern reflections of our SC Heritage through
o Being a prophetic voice for an underserved community
o Offering a counter cultural assessment of human value
o Building loving, mutual relationships
o Searching for wholeness together
• Sharing in a community of mutuality and respect by
o Celebrating the unique value of each other
o Discovering mutual dependency
o Committing to diversity
o Erasing margins
• Exercising safe, loving and gentle engagement while
o Loving unconditionally
o Being there for and with others
o Being present
o Sustaining connectedness
• Acting as a leader in service to others by
o Modeling and serving first
o Establishing vision
o Motivating and caring
o Focusing on partnerships

With gifts and talents abounding in our staff; SJH desires all employees to give voice to their [above] lived experiences. These values-turned-actions make SJH unique among other providers.  We are dedicated to a level of unparalleled service and care.

Recently a large group of interdepartmental staff have volunteered to participate in a creation process – to better articulate and create understanding around the four pillars – for ourselves, and to better share with our extended community. We are grateful to these leaders for their commitment.

Written by: Eunice Timoney Ravenna, SJH Director of Mission and Community Care