Posted on September 14, 2017 11:44

Healthy People, Healthy Parish
New Name, New Mission

To serve the Church by improving the health of the parish – one person at a time.

Healthy Parish 2020 has been in operation for over a year now and it’s time for a few changes. Over the past year, we have engaged in exercise, prayer, nutrition management, and end-of-life planning.  And there’s more to come in this next year.

I was unable to track progress over time so the 2020 no longer made sense.  I reflected on what the program has accomplished this year and what we actually did:  we improved the health of some people by changing some health behaviors over time.  In so doing, we improved the health of the parish by improving the health of the people.  Why did we want to improve our health?  Each of us had different reasons, and the one I like best is so that we can better serve the church and our neighbors.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us:  “Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God.  We must take reasonable care of them …”  (CCC, 2288)  Christ has come to “… heal the whole man, soul, and body; … His compassion … goes so far that he identifies himself with them:  “I was sick and you visited me.” (CCC, 1503)

The four pillars of the Healthy People, Healthy Parish program are:  Body (physical activity, nutrition, recreation pleasing to God), Mind (coping with health issues, stress management, healthy habits, action planning), Soul (prayer, education, devotional practices, virtue development), and Service (spiritual & corporal works of mercy, service to the sick or homebound).

Yes, alert readers, that last pillar involves you.  I am recruiting others to participate in the Healthy People, Healthy Parish program.  I am particularly interested in anyone in the church who has skills related to health or hospitality: nurses, physical therapists, social workers, counselors, nutritionists, insurance or Medicare specialists, home modification specialists, caregiving experience, secretaries, receptionists, cooks, waiters, friendly people, and anyone else willing to help me plan and/or host health-related events.  Call me, 636-946-6641, ext. 203, email me at,

Looking forward to meeting you,

Retha Lear, RN, MSN, Parish Nurse, Faithful Catholic


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