The Cabrini International Health Commission (IHC) was established by the Superior General of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Sr Barbara Staley MSC, as a direct result of reflection and discernment by Missionary Sisters and lay colleagues at the XVth General Chapter of MSCs held at Sao Paolo, Brazil in 2014. The Chapter resolved to explore new forms of governance, and the International Health Commission is an example.
The IHC held its first meeting in May 2017 in Rome. The purposes of the IHC are:
- To advise the Superior General regarding the extent to which Cabrini health missions reflect Cabrini charism, contemporary health and social services delivery models, and Cabrini strategic direction arising from the XVth General Chapter resolutions;
- to evaluate performance and provide support to existing health missions around the world; and
- To ensure that the focus of all Cabrini health missions is the healing mission of Jesus, with the delivery of holistic health service, and a particular attention to the vulnerable and needy.
The members of the IHC are:
- Sr Barbara Staley, MSC / Sr Bernadette Anello, MSC (Generalate)
- Sr Concepcion. MSC (Guadalupe Province)
- Sr Oxana Costanza, MSC (St. Francisca Cabrini Province)
- Dr Giuseppe Tansini (Madre Gracia Province)
- Prof Mario Raviglione (Independent Expert)
- Dr Michael Walsh (Guadalupe Province)
In August 2018 with the generous support of Cabrini Australia the IHC sponsored its first International Health Meeting in Melbourne, Australia. Representatives from Cabrini health service organisations in Argentina, Australia, Ethiopia, Eswatini, and Guatemala attended for the two day meeting and also for various workshops and training with Cabrini Australia colleagues before and after the meeting. Indigenous Australian representatives from the far north of Australia (Apunipima) and colleagues from Papua New Guinea also participated in the meeting.
For the future, the IHC will approach Provincial Superiors and Councils for their endorsement of visits to each of the Cabrini health service organisations around the world over the coming two years. The IHC hope to hold another International Health Meeting in 2021.