The mission statement of the Sisters of Notre Dame calls us to "foster the fullness of life, especially for people who are poor, sick and aged." We are engaged in direct medical care as well as the pastoral care of the sick and the elderly. We have sisters in patient care, pharmacy, hospice, music therapy, hospital chaplaincy, and dietary needs.
In addition to the sponsored institutions we support, the Sisters of Notre Dame also extend compassionate care throughout the region. We minister in the following areas as well:
Profiles in Ministry: Sister Marie Alex Justavich
I feel very fortunate to work in healthcare as an associate chaplain at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Lorain, Ohio. As an integral member of the multidisciplinary team, I provide spiritual and emotional support for patients, families, and staff in addition to presenting Advanced Directive information, attending Ethics meetings and presenting portions of Missioning rite and New Hire Orientations.
At Mercy Health, I primarily work on 1 West Tower. Most times, patients are very accepting of a spiritual visit. The invitation is always there. Ninety percent of my work occurs on patient floors and the rest in the Emergency Department, attending to the needs when various codes are called.
As a chaplain, I extend the healing ministry of Jesus. I am here for whatever the situation calls for. I am here as a support — with my heart, with my ears, with my eyes. I bring my presence which comforts people and provides a calming affect.
Sometimes I pray and other times I invite people to join me in prayer. I want to lift their self- worth, their self-confidence and let them know that the God who created them loves them deeply, tenderly and always, no matter what the situation.
When asked, “How was your day?” I often reply, “Life, death and everything in between.” I am there for the whole person, including their spiritual needs, while the physician treats the patient’s medical concerns and the psychiatrist deals with their mental issues. At each visit, there really is a gift exchanged. It makes me realize how much I take for granted – my family, my health, my community, my faith.