This is the vision of Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, Washington. Authors of wordy and labored statements of purpose would do well to consider the power of this message. It reflects the founder of the Sisters of Charity of the House of Providence in Washington Territory in 1859. Mother Joseph's astonishing story is well documented. Read it here. Think about the journey of this young woman from Montreal to Fort Vancouver in 1856. Montreal - at 58,000 the largest city in British North America. After a 6,000 mile journey, picture Ft. Vancouver - a few hundred soldiers and fur traders living in simple wood shacks. Try to imagine a service of fifty five years as spiritual leader, architect, building contractor, lead carpenter, financier, fund raiser and mother to thousands of orphans. Now try to imagine doing all that in the bulky black habitat of her order. Eleven hospitals, seven academies, five Indian schools and two orphanages - over an area encompassing Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. On horseback. In black habit. Hear her dying words. "My dear sisters, allow me to recommend to you the care of the poor in our houses, as well as those without. Take good care of them. Have no fear of them. Assist them and receive them. Then you will have no regrets. Do not say - ah! this does not concern me, let others see to them. My sisters, whatever concerns the poor is always our affair."
In the hustle bustle of today's high technology hospital there is a small chapel. Mother Joseph is there. Know me, Care for me, Ease my way. Amen.