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Villa St. Francis: A powerhouse of prayer

Brad Heidrick is the CEO of Catholic Community Health.

by Brad Heidrick

When I started at Catholic Community Health, I knew that I was joining a great organization. But when you come into Villa St. Francis in Olathe and witness religious Sisters who are CNAs and RNs praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament before their shift, you know you are in a special place.

In addition, having a full-time priest chaplain to provide the sacraments and dedicated volunteers who wheel the residents into the chapel for daily Mass are blessings that make Catholic health care unique.

When I first came on staff, we interviewed a few people about the impact of Villa St. Francis. One person, Rich Henry, said, “What a powerhouse of prayer we have at Villa St. Francis! We can’t measure the amount of grace that comes from their suffering!”

Grace from suffering? Truly, redemptive suffering is challenging to understand, but as St. John Paul II put it, “Each man, in his sufferings, can also become a sharer in the redemptive suffering of Christ.”

Redemptive suffering is the Christian belief that our suffering can be offered up in union with Christ’s passion to obtain grace, redemption from sin, or aid with physical and spiritual needs of oneself or someone else.

While physical suffering is certainly the most obvious and apparent, this can also mean suffering from the loss of mobility or independence, or mental or spiritual suffering. Our residents and caregivers are praying and offering their suffering up every day at Villa St. Francis, and we have seen healing and felt the impact of those prayers in a very real way.

Recently, one of our volunteers had a granddaughter that required multiple heart surgeries and was facing an uphill battle in her infancy. Our residents set about praying for her immediately at Villa’s daily Mass and in their own private prayer.

By the grace of God, she was able to overcome her challenges and recently made a visit to Villa St. Francis so all those that had been praying for her could see firsthand what their prayers had done.

It’s true: It’s no fun getting old. But with our Catholic faith as our foundation, we know that Jesus is walking alongside us in our sufferings, and that they can be even more of a blessing than they are a burden.

How can we pray for you? Go online to and let us know. Whatever you’re going through, you don’t have to do it alone — the residents, staff, chaplains, Sisters and volunteers at Catholic Community Health are here to lift up your needs to the Lord.

With a powerhouse of prayer right here in our archdiocese, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.

About the author

Brad Heidrick

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