September 15, 2014
What a difference a few years make! Sometimes, transformation is simply about a change in focus or priority. The following is a quote from the minutes of the Good Shepherd Human Resources Committee (HRC) in August of 2010:
“Last time we talked about how we could make GS more faith based. I brought our ideas to the HUB [senior leadership] and what was decided is that the HRC would not have responsibility for this. If there were people that wanted to make GS more faith based those people can form their own committee.”
When I arrived at Good Shepherd in 2012, one repeated piece of feedback I received from staff members is that Good Shepherd did not feel like a Catholic place. Of course the reality is that Good Shepherd has always been a Catholic place by definition—it is a ministry of the Catholic Church. The fact that this was not apparent to staff and that our identity was not being “lived out” in the fullest way was the problem. Since 2012, current leadership has worked diligently on this issue. Not only have we changed our agency values and mission statement to make this more explicit, but we’ve made prayer (both for and with one another) a much more regular part of our workplace and conversation. Every single member of agency senior leadership, has been an essential part of this change, and their collective efforts and steadfast faith continue to be a blessing. Likewise, the prayerful support of numerous staff members has been key. I could not be more proud and humbled by the changes this work has brought us. On Thursday of last week, we received official approval from the Archbishop to reinstitute a chapel here at Good Shepherd, and we are working actively with the Office of Sacred Worship and Fr. Nick Smith to make that happen. I think Fr. Smith is nearly as excited about the prospect as we are! We have a long way to go—with funding being only one potential hurdle, but soon the Jesus will be physically present at Good Shepherd in a much fuller way than ever before.
This IS a Catholic place. Nothing we do or fail to do can change that fact. Unfortunately, that light was hidden under a bushel basket for a while. We’ve removed that basket, however, and we’re going to do whatever we can to make sure that the light of our Catholic identity shines brightly—not only in what we do, but in how we do it. This ministry is not ours; it is His, and we are deeply proud to proclaim it.