Sisters of Notre Dame…Missioned to Incarnate the Love of our good and provident God

Ministry Planning with an Emphasis on Social Service

Ministry Planning with an Emphasis on Social Service
Holy Cross Province, Passo Fundo, Brazil

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The Holy Cross province has a rich history of serving those in need through our ministries of education, health care and social work. In this article, we would like to share about the Province´s process to focus on our social service in each of these ministry areas, a service based on our principles of ethics, the human dignity and rights of each person as one made in the image of God.

In the Area of Education, we promote educational inclusion for children, teenagers, and young people by granting 1,361 scholarships, reaffirming our commitment of ensuring access to quality education for the poor and most vulnerable. With this assistance, these young people are able to attend our educational institutions and grow spiritually, intellectually, physically and emotionally with the hope that they will help to contribute to a better world. In the Area of Health Care, we help people in need to access free and quality health care services. Our healthcare institutions are blessed to serve more than 16,600 outpatients and inpatients per year. This is especially important for our aging population and for families with young children who often lack the resources to receive basic wellness and critical care services. In the Area of Social Work itself, we provide supportive social protection services for 160 children and adolescents and more complex protection services to 107 residents in our senior centers. Challenges within families, the current pandemic, abuse, violence and financial difficulties have increased the stress on individuals and families. Our emphasis on human dignity and human rights has helped many persons to obtain a better quality of life.

In order to ensure excellent service in these three areas, from April to September, 2021, the Province sponsored 12 online strategic planning meetings. These meetings involved multidisciplinary teams with the participation of Sisters and around 50 collaborators from these ministry areas. The purpose of the meetings was to establish goals and strategic actions for the next three-year-term (2021-2024) for all the activities in the ND institutional network that will strengthen our ability to provide a culture of encounter and care in all our ministries.

This innovative way of planning the integration of social service actions/projects into all our ministries provides better trained and committed professionals who share the same Gospel vision, values, and principles. The commitment of sisters and collaborators in the area of social service is aligned with the Province´s broader strategic plan and takes into account the needs of those we serve especially regarding equality of rights and access to quality services.

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