February 2018

“And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’” Matthew 25:40

The Last Judgement in the Gospel of Matthew is both one of the most well-known and unsettling passages of scripture. Jesus clearly lays out the expected behaviors of believers. Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, take care of the sick and visit the imprisoned. These six tasks are straightforward, but not always simple.

Sculptor Timothy P. Schmalz expresses this challenge Christ offers in Matthew 25 in three dimensions. His life-size bronze statues depict Jesus as he calls us to see him: homeless, stranger, hungry, thirsty, naked, sick and imprisoned. In each, the face of Christ is obscured in a drape of cloth or bent elbow and Jesus is known only by the wounds of the crucifixion. Across the world, these works have scandalized and challenged the communities in which they are installed. In North Carolina and Indiana, police and paramedics were called to respond to homeless Jesus. The statues have been critiqued as insulting, demeaning, creepy and even sacrilegious. And yet, why should they surprise us since in Matthew 25 Jesus promised that in the least of these is where we would see him and answer our call to serve him.

Joeann Karibo explains this call succinctly in her reflection on A Shared Statement of Identify for the Catholic Health Ministry. “For the members of the Catholic health ministry, creating an option for the poor cannot simply be providing charity care to those who come to our health facilities in crisis and without the financial means to pay for needed services. A true option for the poor requires a commitment to mobilize and nurture the growth of individual and community capabilities and to create opportunity for each individual to assume a meaningful role in defining and pursuing holistic well-being, peace and hope.”

When asked about the shock and outrage of some, Tim Schmalz reminds us the art “is only as shocking as the Gospels are. It’s just a representation.”

God has always strongly identified with the poor and vulnerable. He chose a wandering nomad, the smallest nation and an insignificant teenage girl. Jesus was poor, homeless and vulnerable. This has deep implications for our call as individuals and as health care ministries. Jesus told us where to find him and we must seek to serve him in those people and places.

For Reflection

The Apostle James writes, “If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,’ but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is that?” James 2:15-16


  • Do I / we see the face of Christ in people who are poor and vulnerable?
  • Do I / we participate in opportunities to serve the poor and vulnerable inside or outside of our workplace?
  • Do I / we participate in community building activities and efforts to address the social determinants of health?
  • Do I / we care for the poor and vulnerable among our associates?

(c) Catholic Health Association USA. Lenten reflections are republished with permission.

February is American Heart Month!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

in News

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.  Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease. The good news?  Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions.

You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease.  Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease. To lower your risk:

  • Watch your weight.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Get active and eat healthy.


How can American Heart Month make a difference?

We can use this month to raise awareness about heart disease and how people can prevent it — both at home and in the community.

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Encourage families to make small changes, like using spices to season their food instead of salt.
  • Motivate teachers and administrators to make physical activity a part of the school day. This can help students start good habits early.
  • Ask doctors and nurses to be leaders in their communities by speaking out about ways to prevent heart disease.

Heart Health: Conversation Starters

It can be hard to talk to a family member or friend about making healthy lifestyle changes. Use these tips to start a conversation about heart-healthy changes like quitting smoking or getting more physical activity. 

Begin by saying that you care. You can say:

  • “I want you to live a long and healthy life.”
  • “I hope you’ll be around for a long time.”
  • “I want to help you make healthy changes so you can keep enjoying the things you love to do.”

Share the facts. Let your loved one know how serious heart disease can be:

  • “Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.”
  • “Heart disease causes more deaths in the United States than all types of cancer combined.”

Offer to help. Ask how you can help:

  • “What changes are the hardest for you to make? What can I do to support you?”
  • “How can we get healthy together?”
  • “You don’t have to do this alone. What can I do to help you?”

Try suggesting these ideas:

  • Go shopping together for heart-healthy foods. Then cook and enjoy a healthy meal.
  • Get active together. A good way to start is to meet every day for a fast walk.
  • If your loved one smokes, encourage him to get free help quitting by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).


Resources: healthfinder.gov, American Heart Associates, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health and other government sources.

Share your talents as a volunteer!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Share your talents and make a difference! Jennings is seeking volunteers for these and other meaningful #volunteer opportunities. For more information, contact volunteer coordinator Laura Resecker at 216-581-2900, ext. 2608.


Hospice Volunteers:

Renew your resolution! We are seeking hospice volunteers at Jennings to visit with and assist our friends in need. Support Jennings Hospice patients and families [more…]

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Hundreds attend Tetélestai passion play at Jennings

Sunday, February 18, 2018

It was an honor and privilege to host Cleveland Performing Arts Ministries’ Tetélestai musical passion play over the weekend (February 17-19). Hundreds of people from the community and Jennings residents attended. Thank you to the talented actors, volunteers and bakers who made this a success at Jennings. The word Tetélestai means “It is finished,” the last [more…]

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Reflection for first week of Lent: Care for the whole person

Sunday, February 18, 2018

“It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one.” 1 Corinthians 15:44
From the beginning, we are created as both physical and spiritual beings. Genesis Chapter 2 verse 7 tells us, “The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and [more…]

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Ash Wednesday Reflection

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

“God created man in his image; in the divine image, he created them: male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27
Today Christians across the world will line up to receive ashes on their forehead. As the sign of the cross is traced they will be called to, “turn away from sin and be faithful to [more…]

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Valentine’s Day is powerful example of dedication

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Two very powerful, faith-filled quotes fill this Valentine’s Day: “…and the greatest of these is love” and “…in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish all the days…”
We celebrated true and lasting love for Valentine’s Day with our annual Mass and dinner. Couples had the opportunity to renew their vows during an afternoon [more…]

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