Name: James “Jim” Pomeroy
Parish: St. Edward
Family: Wife Trudy, married 45 years; three adult children; and four grandchildren
Why you want to know Jim: Jim is vice president of mission integration at Christus St. Michael Health System in Texarkana. In that role he has many opportunities to show Jesus’ mercy to needy people both in Arkansas and Texas, including the coordination of charity events.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
Arkansas Catholic’s theme this year is “Tools for Discipleship.” What religious items or tools do you rely on regularly to inform and inspire you?
As a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus I always carry my rosary. Each day I am fortunate to get “The Word Among Us” reflection from my good friend “Butch” Garrison. Each weekday I attend daily Mass at Christus St. Michael Health System. As vice president of mission integration I am able to work with associates and the health system leadership to continually focus on our mission to extend Jesus Christ’s healing ministry.
Tell us about your work at Christus St. Michael Health System.
I have the best job one could imagine in working with associates who embrace our mission, are passionate about their love of our Lord and Savior and want to express that love through service to others.
About two years ago, our CEO, Chris Karam, Sister Jean Connell, congregational representative, Father Lawrence Chellaian, director of spiritual care, and I met with Bishop Taylor. This meeting was one of the most important encounters our ministry has ever had with the bishop. At that time Bishop Taylor asked us how we express our Catholic identity. While we had many good things we could say, our team left the meeting believing that we needed to challenge ourselves, to discern whether we were truly a ministry of the Catholic Church or simply another not-for-profit involved with corporal works of mercy.
We evaluated our ministry, looking at six principles that defines a Catholic health care ministry: respect for life, holistic care, participatory workplace, solidarity with the poor, stewardship and communion with the Church. We engaged the Veritas Institute of the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn., to evaluate us in terms of the six principles. We were told we scored higher on the evaluation than any other Catholic organization ever had. We have continued to use the evaluation as a way to keep improving our ministry. The effort to improve our ministry inspires me every day.
What parish activities are you involved in?
Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP), parish council, Sunday adult education and the Knights of Columbus
What is your education background?
I have bachelor and master’s degrees in social services from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, and a master’s degree in health care ministry from the Aquinas Institute of Theology.
What does it mean to you to be a disciple?
I was always active in corporal works of mercy, parish activities and adult education, but fell far short of being a disciple until I came to the realization that who I am is dependent on my spiritual purpose.
I have come to embrace four things that free me to discipleship: I must put God first in my life. I must die to self, laying aside my personal goals, desires and ambitions so God can reveal his desires, ambitions and goals for me. I need to put aside all those things that I honor more than my relationship with God; finally, I cannot hold on to the sins that separate me from God. These are the ways Scripture has revealed to me what discipleship is all about.
Your friends know you are a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals. How did this come about?
The earliest picture I have of myself as a child is a family portrait in which my brother and I are wearing our Cardinal T-shirts.
My dad was an usher at Sportsmans Park for many years. My brother and I were regulars in the knot-hole seats in the ballpark. I was in the stadium on May 2, 1954, when Stan Musial hit five homeruns in a doubleheader, have seen all the Cardinal Hall of Famers play since the days of Enos Slaughter, seen games in four different stadiums and still buy season tickets.
Recently I had lunch with Cardinals No. 2 pitcher Michael Wacha of Texarkana, when he visited the hospital. I am pleased that Michael is a faithful Catholic who knows his Cardinal history. I am also happy that the Cardinals have a strong faith dimension and are led by a tremendous role model in manager Mike Matheny, an articulate and faithful Catholic.
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