by Sister Sharon Ann Mihm
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed that is sowed in the field; it is the smallest of all seeds but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches” (Matthew 13:31-32). In this Scripture passage, Jesus is speaking to us about growth. He describes how something big can emerge from something small. As I was reflecting on this parable, I began thinking of the growth of Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Maryland.
A milestone event
During the 60th anniversary celebration of Holy Cross Hospital, Dr. Norvell V. Coots, president & CEO, Holy Cross Health, recognized the hospital’s founders—the Sisters of the Holy Cross. His acknowledgment included Sisters Rachel Callahan, Ruth Marie Nickerson, Kathleen Weber, Mary Virginia Herr, Angela Golapi Palma, Paula Goettelmann and Sharon Ann Mihm. These Holy Cross sisters, who are now serving in Maryland, were in attendance for this exciting milestone.
Honoring the legacy
Holy Cross Hospital opened its doors on January 10, 1963. Because of a strong commitment to high-quality health care, our Congregation, local physicians and the Silver Spring Hospital Association collaborated to make Holy Cross a reality. The mustard seed parable is meaningful these 60 years later. Holy Cross Health, now a member of Trinity Health, celebrates a legacy of serving millions of patients and families who have trusted their health, lives and futures to Holy Cross Hospital.
Following the day’s initial festivities, Father Remigius Nwabichie, one of the chaplains, offered Mass for the sisters in the hospital chapel. During the homily, Father Remigius thanked God for the Congregation. He stated that the sisters challenge those associated with Holy Cross Hospital to trust the God of the mustard seed faith.
Gratitude for Growth
Growth has included expansion of the original hospital, with new wings and a variety of virtual and in-person services. And in 2014, Holy Cross Germantown Hospital was constructed. Holy Cross Hospital is now one of the largest hospitals in Maryland. It is a teaching hospital of 449 beds, caring for more than 36,000 patients each year. The hospital offers a full range of inpatient and outpatient services, with specialized expertise in women and infant services, senior services, surgery, neuroscience and cancer. Specialists at the hospital perform more inpatient gynecologic and gynecologic oncology surgeries, deliver more babies, and care for more newborns with complex medical issues than any other hospital in Maryland.
Together, may we extend our gratitude to God. We also pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to bless the sisters associated with Holy Cross Silver Spring and Holy Cross Germantown. Likewise, may the Holy Spirit continue to guide our medical staff and all our generous benefactors.
Message From Holy Cross Health President & CEO
In his biweekly message to colleagues, medical staff and the board of directors of Holy Cross Health, Dr. Coots added “hope” to Sister Sharon’s attention to the virtue of faith. Part of his January 20 message is shared here.
“As we celebrate our 60th anniversary, we should realize that in the Holy Cross spirituality, HOPE is ever present. Each and every daily reflection, in some way shape or form, reflects back on HOPE. Hope is not just a foolish construct, and while many say that ‘Hope is not a strategy,’ which is true enough, it is also a truism that nothing good on this Earth ever happens without some level of Hope. It is Hope that strengthens us when we are weakest, it is Hope that guides us when we step off into the unknown, and it is Hope that keeps us grounded in each and every one of our relationships … both at work and at home. Never lose Hope … it too is a part of the charism of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, and as such, it is a part of who we are as Holy Cross Health! HOPE!”
Reprinted with permission of Norvell V. Coots, MD, MSS, FAAD