As 2017 draws to a close and we prepare to spend time with our loved-ones over Christmas, it is timely to reflect on the strength of our Mission now and into the future. In the years leading up to 2009, the Sisters of Charity discerned carefully about the best way to ensure their ministries in health, education and social welfare would flourish into the future. At the request of the Sisters of Charity, Mary Aikenhead Ministries (‘MAM’) was established by the Vatican.
In choosing to hand over their ministries to MAM, the Sisters were entrusting their work and most especially continuing the healing ministry of Jesus to MAM and thereby to all of us as lay people.
The Trustees of MAM and the St Vincent’s Health Australia Board have a special responsibility for sustaining and growing our Mission. They do this in four ways: ensuring that our services remain focused on caring for the poor, we are financially viable, we are true to our Catholic identity, we ensure the formation of our people.
Our Mission has gone from strength to strength in recent years and is thriving today:
• Our Mission spend on services for the poor and vulnerable has grown from $119 million in 2015 to $153 million this year; and
• This includes funding allocated from our own private hospital revenue to Mission activities, which has grown from $2.3 million in 2015 to $6.5 million in 2017.
This funding has allowed us together to establish 76 new Mission-based programs in the last three years, which include:
• In Sydney, taking over the activity of Stanford House serving homeless people suffering from HIV;
• In Melbourne, the establishment of housing for 60 refugee families; and
• In Brisbane, our work with the street homeless.
As the year draws to a close we want to thank you for your dedication to Mission and to extending the healing ministry of Jesus. Without you, and the other 18,500 St Vincent’s staff and volunteers, this would not happen.
We also want to share how important Mission is to us long into the future, which is why we have invested substantially in our formation program ‘Inspired to Serve‘. Over 6,000 staff have now attended this program to ensure the Mission, which the Sisters started, is well understood as our reason for being and remains alive in us.
Of course, Mission isn’t measured by programs and these investments alone. The daily experience of our patients and their loved ones is what matters most. We consistently receive feedback about the unique attributes of the care at St Vincent’s across Australia, care that leaves those we serve with the experience of compassion long after they’ve departed our doors. The care you provide every day is clearly making a profound difference.
We realise that times are difficult financially in a number of areas and want to thank you for your contribution to make sure even in difficult times our Mission is alive and thriving.
St Vincent’s will continue our Mission to deliver and advocate for compassionate care to the poor and vulnerable in the spirit of Mary Aikenhead. You are our source of hope and inspiration in this work. On behalf of the Board and the Trustees we thank you for all that you do and wish you a wonderful and restful Christmas.
St Vincent’s Health Australia
Trustees of Mary Aikenhead Ministries