Sister Celeste giving her address on October 25, CCVI Foundation Day, about the history of the Congregation and how Christus Health began.

BY SR. ROSANNE POPP

The Biennial CHRISTUS Health Governance Conference was held on October 24-28 in Ojai, California. Ojai is a small community nestled in the mountainous wine country of California and is known for its wine, olive trees and honeybees. This meeting brought together board members and leaders from all of CHRISTUS Health to celebrate the ministries’ accomplishments, examine present and future challenges and envision the future.

The conference was attended by Sister Sponsors from the three Congregations as well as Sisters from each Congregation who sit on various boards. Representing CCVI Houston were Sister Celeste Trahan and her Council, also Sisters Christina Murphy, Sister Miriam Therese Miller, Sister Ethel Puno, and Sister Rosanne Popp.

The Theme of the Conference was “One CHRISTUS, One Purpose”, and used a large oak tree to symbolize the strong roots that were laid down by the founding Congregations and that its ever spreading and growing branches are still anchored with those roots. The opening event of the ceremony was held under a large oak tree and celebrated CHRISTUS Health’s diversity and oneness with music, dance, and prayer.

The agenda for the conference was built to have opportunities for education, entertainment, and relaxation. Each morning began with prayer. By coincidence, the first day of the meeting corresponded with the CCVI Congregational Foundation Day. Sr. Celeste led the morning prayer using our foundational story to remind everyone of the ultimate mission of this ministry.

After the opening prayer each day, there were a series of talks given by various CHRISTUS Health leaders, including a panel from Latin America, describing our mission in those regions. As an interlude to these sessions, short video clips were shown highlighting the accomplishments of many CHRISTUS Health departments and services.

Besides the addresses given by the CHRISTUS Health leaders, inspirational and informational speakers also spoke to the group. Some of these speakers included Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico, Stephen Dubner, host of the Freakonomics podcast, and Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the famous basketball player with the Lakers turned businessman. The sessions closed with an address by the Chairperson of the CHRISTUS Health board, Maricela Breedlove, who challenged everyone to participate fully in the mission of CHRISTUS Health by actively being engaged in the work of governance.

The morning sessions were followed by afternoon time for relaxing and leisure activities. Sisters, board members and their guests could avail themselves of a variety of events including jeep and horse-back riding, wine and food tasting trips and spa services. Each evening included an informal dinner with music and dancing. The highlight of the third day was a sunset Mass overlooking the hills of Ojai.

As the event concluded and people began journeying home, they reflected on the quality and diversity of speakers and the information and inspiration given by CHRISTUS Health leaders and sponsors. Everyone agreed that this was a wonderful opportunity to be reacquainted with old friends and meet new ones as well as touch our roots so that the tree of CHRISTUS Health can keep spreading its branches as One CHRISTUS with One Purpose.

St. Austin Learning Center

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