Pope Francis recently made an apostolic visit to the country of Chile and delivered an important address, about equity and respect. Thousands filled a large courtyard at Chile’s most famous university, the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Dr. Ignacio Sánchez, the university’s rector and CHRISTUS Red de Salud Board Chair., delivered a warm welcome and thanked the Pope for his visit which he said is spurring a renewed commitment to challenge ourselves and others to deliver on what is important.
“Your gestures and words give us the inspiration to go forward,” Dr. Sánchez said. “You invite us to have as our model Jesus who shows us the way. You invite us to care for our common home. You, our Holy Father, have shared with us your concern for the protection of nature and the most vulnerable.”
In this house of study, which is about to celebrate the jubilee of its 130th anniversary, there were representatives from education, humanities, arts, science and healthcare who listened carefully to the Pope’s words. A handful of CHRISTUS Health leaders were among the estimated 3,000 in attendance.
President and CEO of CHRISTUS Health, Ernie Sadau, said the experience made him proud to be part of the healthcare work of the Catholic Church.
“It was an extremely moving and spiritual experience,” explained Sadau. “Pope Francis has the ability to connect with everyone in that room and no one was beneath him. He treated everyone from the sick to the dignitaries and wealthy all the same. It is an important lesson to us all of acceptance and human connection.”
Since 2013, the University and CHRISTUS Health have partnered to create the UC CHRISTUS Health Network. Viewed as the most important private health care network in the country, Red de Salud, the UC CHRISTUS Health Network, is where doctors of tomorrow are trained and health care is delivered through 11 medical centers, including three family health centers.
It was a few of those dedicated UC CHRISTUS Health Network Associates who stood ready to care for the Pope, members of his delegation or anyone in the crowds who might need medical care. The multidisciplinary medical team was on standby during the Pope’s four-day visit to Chile.
Jeff Puckett, CHRISTUS Health’s Chief Operating Officer said the Pope’s warm smile struck him.
“From talking to the Rector, who spent quite a bit of time with the pope, the Pope has quite the sense of humor and a very human presence.”
For a look at the Pope’s visit and to hear the speech he made before CHRISTUS leaders, visit Rome Reports
A full transcript of Pope Francis’ speech can be found here: