Hospital remembers its founders by looking toward the future

CHARLESTON — Bon Secours St. Francis Xavier Hospital administrative staff made their mark on the future with the burial of a time capsule on the hospital grounds Jan. 26.
The event was held to honor the past, present, and future, according to Mark Dickson, the hospital’s director of mission.
“We are honoring the past by capturing the (hospital’s) history, we celebrate what we have in the present, and we offer a symbol of hope for future generations to carry on this ministry,” he said.
The hospital was founded in 1882 by five Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy. In the 1980s an increase in patient needs caused the OLM sisters  to turn the hospital over to a religious community with an extensive health care background, according to  hospital historical documentation.
“In 1989 the hospital was officially transferred to the Bon Secours Health System,” said Dickson. “We truly owe a lot to the founding OLM sisters for their dedication and hard work over the years.”
The hospital, although on the cutting edge technologically, still holds to the founding sisters’ original vision, which placed a “strong emphasis on the whole person and a strong commitment to the poor and under served.”
The time capsule was originally intended to mark the hospital’s move to its new location in the West Ashley area.
“We moved from downtown Charles-ton to this location in 1996, but once we got here we hit the ground running,” said Dickson. “We finally decided that after eight years it was time to make this dedication. Jan. 26 is also a special day around the world to recognize the [founding] Bon Secours sisters.”
Most of the items contained in the capsule are from 1996, including various hospital employee lists, a mission statement, area maps, newspaper clippings, and children’s art work.
“We added a few current items, but we wanted the capsule to primarily contain items from our first year here in West Ashley,” said Dickson. “The capsule will be opened 100 years from now.”
The morning’s event included Mass, a dedication service hosted by Bishop Robert J. Baker, and the burial of the time capsule. The day culminated with a special staff luncheon served by the hospital’s administrative staff.
In his dedication prayer, Bishop Baker  recognized the time capsule as a “sign of (the Father’s) love and healing presence that works through the health care ministry of the hospital” and prayed for a “blessing upon us and our future generations, to carry on the mission of faith, hope, and love for all people.”