Union US Sisters Partner in Ministry

In 1980 the Presentation Sisters in Fargo partnered with the Mercy Sisters of Omaha to create Catholic Health Corporation (CHC) into which they placed selected ministries. Over the years, seven additional religious orders joined CHC and in 1996 CHC merged with two other large health systems a to form Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI).

Growth continued and in 2019 CHI merged with Dignity Health to form the new entity, CommonSpirit Health, which isin both size and revenue one of the largest health systems in the USA. It is unique in that it includes not only hospitals, clinics and nursing homes but also housing, community health and initiatives for vulnerable populations such as the homeless.

One of the CommonSpirit Health ministries is Friendship, Inc, a continuum of care programs for persons with developmental disabilities which was founded by the Presentation Sisters in Fargo in 1981.To emphasize that the originating missions of the ministries within CommonSpirit continue, commissioning rituals have been held at local ministry sites across the country.

Friendship, Inc., Fargo and Grafton, North Dakota, conducted a Commissioning Ceremony on August 20. Pictured below are some of the participants in the ceremony.

Presentation Sister Stella Olson, local leader, Sacred Heart Convent; Andrew Santos, CommonSpirit division vice-president of mission integration; Presentation Associate Ellen Mahli, chair, Friendship, Inc. board of directors; and Presentation Associate Dori Leslie, president, Friendship, Inc.