The Symbolism of a Shared Vision
It was more than just the coming together of two hospitals when Little Company of Mary in Evergreen Park, Ill., became part of the OSF HealthCare Ministry on Feb. 1. It was also linking both congregations of Sisters that oversee the organizations.
So special moments were woven into their first Mass, celebrated by Father William Grogan, Vicar for Health Care for the Archdiocese of Chicago.
“We wanted to provide a ritual to enhance the understanding for the transference from the Little Company of Mary Sisters to The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis. We provided a table with our baptismal record of the many thousands of babies born at Little Company, as well as the chrism oil and, of course, the holy monstrance.”
Mary Jo Quick is the Director of Mission Services for OSF HealthCare Little Company of Mary Medical Center. She says it was important to have a prayerful way for both congregations to share the history of their communities, light a candle in front of a photo of each Foundress, and from there light a single candle, together, to symbolize the two communities coming together and continuing to provide care for those they have been called to serve.
“It was very important for us to come together through liturgy to explain the coming together of both Sisters’ communities, as Little Company of Mary Sisters passed on their heritage and legacy to The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis. Doing these things together and having a Mass and liturgy to celebrate – prayerfully – what we do really grounds us in our Catholic identity and makes a statement that it’s our faith life that really brings our Ministry life, to life.”
The Little Company of Mary Sisters are dedicated to caring for the suffering, the sick and the dying. The order was founded in 1877 in Nottingham, England by Venerable Mary Potter.
The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis were founded in Peoria, Illinois on July 16, 1877, by Mother M. Frances Krasse, O.S.F., the first Major Superior of the religious community, and Bishop John Lancaster Spalding, the first Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria. They are committed to serving the sick, the poor, and all those the Lord sends their way with the greatest care and love.