Supporting a Catholic Identity in Healthcare

“Not only can faith and reason never be at odds with one another but they mutually support each other, for on the one hand right reason established the foundations of the faith and, illuminated by its light, develops the science of divine things; on the other hand, faith delivers reason from errors and protects it and furnishes it with knowledge of many kinds.”

– Vatican I, Session 3, Chapter 4, #10 – 24 April 1870

Upon the publication of Pope Francis’s encyclical, Laudato Si, many Catholics as well as non-Catholics felt the pope should focus on religion and had no right to comment on the science concerning the environment. However, this is why religion exists. Where spirituality is critical in encouraging us toward divine union, spirituality by itself, asks nothing of us and fails to challenge us. But religion does. It asks us to be greater men and women, and even greater scientists. Religion and science cannot and should not exist without one another and there is no greater mind than one who can be in awe of the marvels of science while concurrently give thanks to the Creator. This is why the Catholic Church sees no conflict between faith and reason despite the hostility that undoubtedly exists.  According to Father Tadeusz Pacholczy, “one reason for such hostility is that religion often purifies science by insisting on the primacy of ethics.” Indeed, religion combined with science continually challenges us to discern what power we have at our disposal and which powers should be utilized.

This is even more imperative when dealing with the science of medicine. Imagine the damage to the fragility of the human heart, mind and body in a world of medicine without ethos.  And this is why the Catholic Identity must be supported in healthcare. For the ethos of the Catholic Church is based, first and foremost, on the belief that to preserve the dignity of every individual man, woman and child is the foundation of a moral society. It asks that we serve to raise others up. It asks that we never shy away from another’s sufferings.  It asks that we look at life as the most sacred of all gifts, regardless of the circumstances. It asks that we be charitable while simultaneously offering hope for self-reliance. It asks that we encourage the health of the family in order to affect greater health for our society. And finally, it asks that we protect the human heart and promote authentic, whole and comprehensive healing. Yes, it often asks us to rise up and face challenging situations but also asks us to answer with compassion, understanding and a call upon divine grace.

For these reasons, it is imperative that this identity flourish. Thus we are asking that you support the Catholic Healthcare Guild in promoting this vital ethos of healthcare. 

Upcoming Catholic Healthcare Guild Events:

Catholic Healthcare Guild's Member's Epiphany Social
Saturday, January 9, 2016
Invitation only

The Catholic Healthcare Guild's Annual White Mass and Healing Service
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
6:00 pm
St. Louis the King Parish
7601 Burnet Road
Austin, TX


Lenten Prayer in the Taize Tradition
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
6:30 pm
Chapel at Seton Northwest Hospital


More Service

Call for Vignettes

The journal Christian Bioethics is seeking a series of narrative vignettes from practitioners as well as patients describing their trials within a health care setting.


Exploring Seton's heritage of service to the poor

About 40 employees of Seton Healthcare Family boarded a bus on June 17th to take a pilgrimage back in time.

Directory of Catholic Healthcare Professionals
“The vocation of the physician is a calling by God. From the sacredness of the medical profession springs the Hippocratic Oath... This is not an oath made to a patient; it is an oath addressed directly to God.”
—Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan for JPII, CMA annual meeting, 2000