After long-standing service at Cabrini Health, Australia and the National Shrine of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Chicago, respectively, Sr. Sharon Casey, MSC and Sr. Bridget Zanin, MSC are now beginning new ministries.
Sr. Sharon Casey, MSC
The following are remarks that Sr. Sharon Casey, MSC shared with the Cabrini Health community:
Greetings during this Advent, Christmas and Hanukkah season!
I’d like to say thank you for your warm welcome to me in 2009 upon my arrival here at a medical facility across the earth! It definitely was a daunting experience. However, your excitement and demonstration of the Cabrinian values which I sensed immediately was heartening.
Your encouragement and support bolstered my determination to fulfil the mission God called me to do in Melbourne.
During these years, a message arose within me, saying, ‘remember who you are’. It was clear, stirring and helped me often to re-ground myself. This message made me pause amid the dizzying pace and consider my roots, beliefs, manner of being and interacting. It gave me the opportunity to remember those upon whose shoulders I stand.
This message was a gift from God. I often remind myself with the grace of God, of who I am, where I’ve come from, and the values that shaped me. These moments, made me conscious of the strong pull from society to become truly self-centered.
I encourage you to remember who you are as a member of the Cabrinian community whether you’ve been here for 30 years or three months. I encourage you to remember the commitment that you made to be faithful to our Ethic of Care when you came here.
When social media and society lure you into believing in acting in another way, I encourage you to go and spend some time by the sculpture that was designed and made over a number of years due to the COVID pandemic.
The sculpture VIGIL – The Heart of Cabrini is a memorial of thanks to the sisters who first came here, carrying the spirit of Mother Cabrini and each of you who have made Cabrini what it has become thus far.
When you need encouragement, consider going out and sitting by this sculpture, helping you remember who you are.
On behalf of all my Sisters of the Sacred Heart throughout the world and our lay collaborators and partners, I thank you for your efforts to work according to the Cabrinian values, Ethic of Care, and legacy.
Sr Sharon Casey, MSC – December 2022 To view a video of Sr. Sharon’s sharing her message: https://vimeo.com/780550489/e1cd1d118c
Sr. Bridget Zanin, MSC
Bridget Zanin, MSC, joined the Cabrini University community on Tuesday, November 29. She has served as a Missionary Sister of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (MSC) since 1962. As a teenager in Brazil, she was called on a spiritual path that led her from her home to the United States Midwest and eventually Radnor, PA. Get to know Sister Bridget through the Q&A below. Answers have been edited for clarity and brevity. ~ submitted by Matt Nestor, Cabrini University
What are your first impressions since arriving here at Cabrini University?
Sister Bridget: The campus is beautiful. I feel a little bit isolated because I’m so used to living in a city where you step out and can go anywhere and do anything. Here, you need a car.
Which city were you in before you arrived here?
SB: Chicago. I was the Director of the National Shrine of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini in Chicago. I was at the Shrine for 10 years. And before that, I was in the city of Des Plaines [Illinois]. I was working as a chaplain at the Holy Family Hospital. And, before that I worked at Mercy Family Hospital in Chicago.
What kinds of service did you do there and elsewhere?
SB: My first profession was as a nurse. I worked as an ICU nurse in medical/surgical. It was kind of getting heavier and heavier, so I went in to chaplaincy so I could talk to patients and their families. Having the nursing background, being a chaplain I think was a blessing for me, because I could understand the patient’s diagnosis—what they were going through. I could talk to them not as a nurse, but as a chaplain.
You grew up in Brazil, correct?
SB: Yes, I was born in Brazil. My grandparents migrated from Venice, Italy to Brazil where they worked very hard to get themselves through a hard time. They moved there during the Second World War, when people were moving out to look for a better life. So, they struggled a lot. But, I see now their struggles were not in vain, because I see now my family are in good positions. I have a judge, two lawyers, and a doctor in the family.
How did you choose religious life?
SB: I always felt a call. I used to go and pray every day. I had two other friends and they wanted to go [to the convent]. Two months later, my dad rented a car and took us to the convent. I was only 15. Can you imagine? Then, we did our profession and took our vows. And, I was missioned to the United States.
Obviously, you are a Missionary Sister of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, an order founded by Mother Cabrini. What does it mean to you to come here to Cabrini University, the only Cabrinian University in the world?
SB: I think it’s very special. And, the people who I have met so far, they’re so nice. I had a passion for the [Shrine] that I was at, and seeing that the people here have the same values and are part of the Cabrini family, has encouraged me to keep on giving and do whatever I can.
What attracted you to the MSCs?
SB: It was their simplicity and their faith. I like simplicity. I knew nothing about Mother Cabrini but they gave us books to read. And, the more I read, I saw she had this big devotion to the Sacred Heart. She kept saying the Sacred Heart is the fountain of all virtues.
What do you hope to accomplish here at Cabrini, and what do you hope to send students out in the world with?
SB: If I can make a difference in someone’s life, this life will go on to make a difference in the world. I feel that we all have a mission. Sometimes, people think they have to have a vocation to do the mission. No, you don’t. Life is an attitude. So, we can have a positive attitude—a faith attitude. I have my certificate in spiritual direction and I’m also a chaplain. And, I was a nurse. I am hoping to bring these skills to my present mission, everywhere I go and in everything that I do. I hope I can make a difference in campus life. To read the full interview with Sr. Bridget, please click here
A group of 2022 Graduate Nurses were welcomed and blessed as they began their work at Cabrini Health Australia as newly Registered Nurses.
Julie Fleming, Director of Mission and Identity, spoke of Cabrini’s ethic of care to ensure that all who come to Cabrini felt loved. The new nurses were told of the vision of Mother Cabrini and the legacy they are entrusted with.
In a moving Blessing of Hands ceremony Sr Beatriz Santos MSC and Anne Zandegu, Director of Nursing anointed the graduate’s palms with the words ‘May God bless your hands and all you touch.’
In the presence of Chief Executive Sue Williams and the clinical nurse educators, last year’s graduates Julia and Vince addressed the new nurses with advice on how exciting, rewarding and challenging starting work was. They also encouraged the nurses to take care of themselves and rely on the support of their colleagues.
To the 65 graduates nurses starting work with Cabrini Australia, congratulations and welcome to the Cabrini family!
We are thrilled to announce the Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Hub in Malvern, Australia has won the Victorian Multicultural Commission Awards for Excellence in the Health category.
The judges noted the Hub addresses a “pressing unfunded gap in primary healthcare and specialist mental health services for people of all cultures, faiths and ethnicities seeking asylum”.
They also made mention that our services were free, and included culturally and linguistically sensitive primary nurse-led care, specialized mental health support and engagement to access welfare and supports.
At Cabrini Australia we are proud to celebrate our heritage with two weeks of honouring the life and legacy of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini and the ten founding Cabrini Sisters who came to Australia in 1948 to run and grow Cabrini Hospital.
In only our second Mass of the year due to the pandemic, Archbishop Peter D. Comensoli will declare 13th November a day of Observance for St Frances Cabrini in the Archdiocese of Melbourne.
A foyer display in our four campuses presents Mother Cabrini’s belongings with a beautiful quote from a staff members about how they draw inspiration from holding Mother’s belongings which were kindly donated to us from the Chicago Museum.
Every day for 15 days we place a reflection card on the breakfast tray of all our patients and residents, with Mother Cabrini’s words and comments from staff on [the ways in which] our mission and heritage inspires them today.
Sr. Sharon Casey MSC, who has been on mission in Australia for 12 years, delivered a personal and inspiring video reminding us to be rooted in Mother Cabrini’s love for Jesus expressed through our Cabrini ethic of care.
To view Sr. Sharon’s video, click here
The video message from Chief Executive Sue Williams was inspired by the book we commissioned “St Frances Cabrini: A Passionate Life.” Sue said Mother Cabrini was a true visionary who was well ahead of her time and we have a responsibility to carry on her legacy, and Sue likened our response to the COVID pandemic to that of the Sisters in New Orleans during the yellow fever pandemic.
To view Ms. Williams’ Feast Celebration message, click here
Cabrini Australia mission is to spread Mother Cabrini’s love for all expressed through our commitment to care about, not just to care for, those in our hospitals, nursing home and in the community.
The Guadalupe Province is deeply saddened by the terrible bushfires that continue to impact many communities across Australia. The Missionary Sisters have a large health care system in Malvern, Australia. Sue Williams, the CEO of Cabrini Health, described how they are responding to this situation:
“We have all been shocked and saddened by the terrible bushfires that continue to impact many communities across Australia.
“Cabrini is keen to support and assist bushfire victims as they grapple with the ongoing disaster and start to rebuild.
“Initially, we are supporting the Victorian Bushfire Disaster Appeal, will offer our Tooronga Road apartments to families affected by the fire and will provide hospital services free of charge if required. We are also considering what we can do to support communities affected by the bushfires over the medium to long-term.” A Mass was also offered for all those who have been affected by this disaster.”
We join Australia in our prayers for so many people who have been impacted.
If you wish to help, please send any monetary donations to: Cabrini Mission Foundation 222 E. 19th St. Suite 5E New York, N.Y. 10003 and be sure to indicate that it is for the Australia Bushfires. The money will be sent to Cabrini Health to support the relief effort.
If you wish to send a donation directly to the Victorian Bushfire Disaster Appeal go to: Online – visit the Victorian Bushfire Disaster Appeal website <https://www.communityenterprisefoundation.com.au/make-a-donation/bushfire-disaster-appeal
We thank you for your prayers and support.
Sr. Diane Olmstead, MSC
Provincial, Guadalupe Province
Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
It takes a special kind of person to care for someone with a life-limiting illness but Louise Taylor and the palliative and supportive care team at Cabrini wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Nurse Unit Manager of Palliative Home Care and Nurse Consult has been working at Cabrini for 27 years and was part of the original development of the palliative and supportive care service.
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the service, which has grown to a large integrated service across all Cabrini sites and in the local community, providing more than 800 admissions to Cabrini Prahran, 7000 community visits and more than 1400 visits and appointments across the other Cabrini sites a year.
Ms. Taylor said palliative care provided invaluable care and support for patients with a life-limiting illness.
“Palliative care is about allowing people to have the best quality of life they can have for as long as possible,” she said.
“There aren’t many jobs where you get to come in at that time in a person’s life and help them. We assist patients to live well and to die comfortably and peacefully, as well as supporting their families through that process.”
Cabrini Palliative and Supportive Care Director of Nursing Janine Stockley said there were benefits in referring patients early to palliative care.
“This allows patients to access support for complex pain and symptoms, obtain advice on financial and social matters and prepare children and families for the future,” Ms. Stockley said.
“Palliative care is about teamwork and keeping the patient and family at the centre of care. This is integral to the mission of Cabrini,” she said.
Cabrini Chief Executive Michael Walsh said the anniversary was a testament to the staff who operated the service.
“Our Palliative and Supportive Care service has a wonderful reputation in the community and that is because of the staff behind it,” Dr. Walsh said.
“Patient-centred care is at the heart of everything we do and this service epitomizes our commitment to putting patients first and tailoring care to the individual’s needs. I am incredibly proud that we have reached this milestone and I am sure the service will continue for another 20 years to come and hopefully many more.”
Cabrini Brighton patients can now cultivate and enjoy a sensory herb garden at the hospital.
Resident chef Daryl Morris is on a newly formed committee, focused on projects to enhance the hospital stay for patients with dementia.
The garden opened in May and is the committee’s first completed project. It was designed to encourage patients to reflect on their childhood.
“Reminiscing is a great thing for dementia patients. The older-style herbs help them think back to their childhood and many of those memories put them in a good place. The smells can help trigger those memories as well,” Mr Morris said.
He added that many dementia patients wanted to feel useful, rather than sitting in bed.
“Once the garden is a little more established, patients will have the opportunity to go out and do some weeding, watering or pruning. It will also provide a nice place for them to spend time with family, friends and other patients.”
Mr Morris said the garden would serve many purposes.
“The garden is a great initiative by the hospital and we’ll be able to utilise the herbs in the kitchen as well,” he said.
With more than 40 years’ experience in the restaurant industry, Mr Morris now demonstrates his love of cooking through the delicious and nutritious meals he prepares for patients at Cabrini Brighton.
“This is my first experience working in a hospital and I love it. To be serving appetising, nutritious food to people who need it is incredibly rewarding.”
For information about Cabrini’s community dementia nursing service visit: www.cabrini.com.au/chronicdisease
Pics for Look Good Feel Better.
Picture : Nicki Connolly
Cabrini Health Board Chairman Sylvia Falzon is pleased to announce the appointment of Sue Williams as the new CEO for Cabrini Australia.
After a lengthy and thorough recruitment process, the Cabrini Board selected Ms. Williams from a highly-experienced field of applicants.
Ms. Williams has been with Cabrini for the past two years, in the role of Chief of Health Operations, and played a vital role in the commissioning of Cabrini’s new Gandel Wing at Malvern as well as leading many other key strategic initiatives.
Prior to joining Cabrini, Ms. Williams was CEO of Peninsula Health. A nurse by professional background, Ms. Williams has extensive experience in both public and private sector health service delivery.
Ms. Williams is to be congratulated on securing this important role, where she will lead Cabrini into its next exciting phase of development. Her term will commence on November 30th.
Melbourne Archbishop the Most Reverend Peter A Comensoli officially blessed Cabrini’s new $120 million Gandel Wing yesterday, ahead of it receiving its first patients on Monday.
The 15 July opening is an auspicious date, as it is St Frances Xavier Cabrini’s birthday, the missionary sister who established the order that took over the hospital in 1948.
The completion of the Gandel Wing signifies the end of nine years of planning and development to improve Cabrini’s facilities and provide an exceptional patient experience.
In a moving ceremony, Archbishop Comensoli blessed each floor with Holy Water, to bring hope and healing to all who enter through its doors, symbolic of the healing mission of Jesus.
Archbishop Comensoli said the new wing was a significant development in healthcare and would allow Cabrini to continue to provide outstanding care to all its patients, encompassing their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
“This new Gandel Wing will ensure Cabrini is well-equipped to care for patients who are sick, frail or receiving targeted treatment,” he said.
“I am delighted to be able to bless this building. This is a momentous occasion in Cabrini’s history and pays tribute to its Catholic heritage and the foundations laid by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”
Sr Diane Olmstead MSC, Provincial Superior of the Guadalupe Province, travelled from New York to take part in the historic occasion. She said the new Gandel Wing was a milestone in the Sister’s mission of care and service and showed how much the hospital had evolved since its humble beginnings in 1948.
“We have prayed that the patients and their loved ones who entrust us with their care will experience genuine warmth and kindness,” she said.
“As a Catholic health service, our mission is to bring about fullness of life for all people in all places and times, as Jesus ardently desired.”
Cabrini Board Chairman Sylvia Falzon said the Gandel Wing would enable the health service to continue to provide compassionate care to its patients in a state-of-the-art facility.
“Cabrini has devoted itself to caring for the sick, frail and elderly in our community for more than 70 years and we will continue to do so for many years to come,” Ms Falzon said. “We continue to place our patients at the heart of everything we do, as we strive to provide them with the best possible care.”