In 1883, Saint Marianne Cope and the Sisters of St. Francis came to Hawaii for a specific purpose: to serve those afflicted by Hansen’s disease. They did not know what challenges they would face. They only knew they were hungry to do the work of God by offering redemption and wholeness to those in need.
While others may have recoiled from fear and disgust at the sight of those disfigured by Hansen’s disease, these pioneering women were drawn to them. They saw everyone with God’s eyes of compassion and restored dignity into their lives. The love these women from Syracuse, New York, possessed transcended any cultural barriers. The people of Hawaii witnessed God in action.
Revealing God’s Love and Care
Today, more than 130 years later, we find ourselves continuing this venture. It is not difficult to see new needs emerging in our community. We are being called by God to serve those in this generation, to meet their needs with the same spirit of excellence and perseverance as Saint Marianne did in her ministry in Hawaii.
I believe we are all here for a purpose. We are part of the St. Francis Healthcare System family for a divine reason. We all have a role to play in God’s big plan to reveal His love and care through this healthcare ministry. It is a huge responsibility that we all take seriously. Like the Sisters of St. Francis, we must all be willing to take risks, be solution-oriented, and never give up until we see God’s will being fulfilled. As the Sisters have shown us, as we move forward the only thing we should leave behind is our egos.
Great Volunteers and Staff
Our volunteers also serve in many other capacities. I am so grateful for our volunteers who take the time to hold the hands of those who are passing away or who speak a simple word that brings peace and calm to families who are in emotional turmoil as they face the death of a loved one. Last month, we recognized some of our outstanding volunteers at our annual volunteer recognition luncheon, and they are featured in this issue of our newsletter.
This month, we celebrate Nurses Week, from May 6 to 12. Where would we be without the dedication and support from our nursing teams? They work with our patients and their families in our hospice program, visiting patients in their homes, nursing facilities or at our inpatient hospice program in Nuuanu, and with Sisters at the Manoa Convent.
We also want to recognize our nursing home partners during Nurses Home Week from May 8 – 14. Our hospice team visits hospice patients and their families who are receiving hospice care in nursing home facilities throughout the island.
I am humbled and inspired to be surrounded by those who have fully embraced their role and purpose, and are so dedicated to serving others. Mahalo to all those who continue to reveal the very nature of God in all of your relationships.
Let’s continue to inspire each other!
President & CEO