By Katie Beckmann Mahon, Communications Manager
For over 40 years, Sr. Noreen Walsh, OP, has been a fierce advocate for healthcare, patient rights, and compassionate care.
In her ministry as Health Care Coordinator for the Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York, she has worked closely with geriatric patients in the hospital setting, home care setting, as well as tending to all of the health needs of her fellow sisters.
On a recent episode of the Hearts Afire Podcast, she discussed her ministry in detail.
“Caring for the sick is a privilege. I think it put the happenings in my own life in perspective. To be able to provide comfort and present to someone who is compromised and frightened by physical or mental limitations was a fundamental part of nursing for me.”
Before her healthcare ministry, Sr. Noreen ministered in education as a math teacher, which was something that she “enjoyed very much.” She would minister with sisters on the infirmary floor during her summers, which turned into something where she “received much more than I gave.”
Eventually, “the need for nursing in the congregation” and prayer led Sr. Noreen to pursue healthcare ministry.
“Many little things fall into place, so I took it as a sign that this is where God wanted me to be right now.”
Ever since then, Sr. Noreen has been making a significant difference in the lives of her fellow sisters.
“More has been given to me by the sick than I have given. Many have shown me how to live, but how to die.”
When asked about advice for others in or interested in pursuing a healthcare ministry, Sr. Noreen shared that the “Healthcare minister can be the patient’s greatest advocate.”
Along with patient advocacy, Sr. Noreen added, “Compassionate care is essential for anyone who is going into healthcare ministry.”