SHELBYVILLE, IL – In 1875, in response to an invitation from Bishop Peter Joseph of Alton, Illinois, 20 sisters who were members of the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order Regular embarked on a journey from Germany to the United States to bring health care services to communities in the Bishop’s diocese. They arrived on November 3 and were divided into small groups to serve Springfield, Effingham, Litchfield, Belleville and East St. Louis. They began their ministry of tending to the sick and poor in their patients’ homes.
To date, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis continue their ministry through more than14,000 colleagues who serve in15 hospitals and a network of physician partners of Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS).
National Catholic Sisters Week (NCSW), an official component of Women’s History Month, is a celebration of Catholic sisters which is intended to raise awareness of their past and present contributions. NCSW is a national campaign which culminates annually from March 8 to 14.
Last week, HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital honored the Hosptial Sisters of St. Francis in several ways. A special Mass was celebrated in the hospital Chapel in the Sisters’ honor. Colleagues created storyboards to educate others about the sisters’ mission and lives. These boards were displayed in the main lobby and the Wildflower Cafe. To demonstrate their affection for the sisters, colleagues also took photos with a picture frame that said #weloveourCatholicsisters for social media.
As a gift to the Sisters, the hospital purchased a set of wind chimes and a Good Shepherd statue in the likeness of Jesus Christ. The chimes and the statue were blessed by Father Nick Husain after the Mass. They will be displayed in the hospital’s Peace Garden which will be dedicated to the Sisters. The hospital has broken ground for the garden, and it will be located on the east side of the hospital just outside of the Chapel. The garden will serve as a place of reflection to hospital patients, visitors and colleagues who seek nature as a respite from the hospital walls. It will offer peace to those who visit with its natural beauty of plants and flowers along with the soothing melody of the chimes.
“We hope to have the garden finished in April,” said HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital CEO and President Aaron Puchbauer. “It is a part of our commitment to our patients that we provide holistic healing for the body, mind and soul. We also feel it is a wonderful way to honor our sisters and their historic mission.”
About HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital
Since its inception in 1916, HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville (GSS) has been dedicated to excellence in healthcare for those living and visiting their communities. GSS has accomplished this by providing comprehensive health services and meeting the needs of patients served through their compassionate care, business integrity and community responsibility. GSS provides a 24/7 emergency department that is fully staffed by physicians and highly-trained nurses, and also features inpatient and outpatient services, including a 24-hour laboratory and an imaging department that meets today’s highest standards for diagnostic imaging technology. GSS has an advanced surgery department and an acute inpatient care unit. Dedicated to being a hometown hospital, GSS’ home health and rehabilitation departments are committed to excellence with a team of professional nurses and therapists providing a variety of medical services and rehabilitative therapies, all designed to help patients heal in their own environment. The group of visiting specialists in the outpatient clinic works closely with GSS to help keep the healthcare services local even if a specialized procedure or exam is required. GSS strives to be the first choice for the community’s healthcare needs. For more information about HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital, visit www.hshsgoodshepherd.org.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high-quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 local systems and physician practices in Illinois (Belleville, Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visitwww.hospitalsisters.org.