Learning any new language involves understanding how the vocabulary has been formed and how it is intended to be used. This helps a person experience the culture where the language is spoken at a much richer and deeper level. So too understanding the language and vocabulary used in Catholic health and aged care organisations will help the people who lead and work within them to have a richer, more connected experience of their work.
Language is so important because it shapes our thinking and attitudes and connects us to culture. For this reason the language used in and around Catholic places of care needs to reflect the mission for which they were founded. If language is consistently mission-focussed, all those that come for care and everyone employed, will be better able to experience our Catholic identity, purpose and way of operating. If “Catholic” and “mission” language is not understood and being used across our organisations, there is a real risk that our unique reason for being will be lost from “within”.
Keeping the language of mission alive and pervasive is a key leadership responsibility. Leaders in an organisation set a vital example about the language that should – and should not – be used. The language that shapes an organisation’s culture permeates from the top down. So it is critical that leaders in Catholic organisations understand the meaning and significance of particular Catholic language as well as have the confidence and commitment to use it appropriately