Podcasts Archive

A collection of past Good Day Ascension and Inspiration for the Ride Home Podcasts.

Inspiration for the Ride Home Podcast Archive


A reflection from the late Jerry Kearney, a much-loved Ascension mission leader, encourages us to learn how to wait.

A Moment of Awakening

Have you considered that “to love is to pay attention?”

Recognizing the Humanity in Others

In this story from World War II, the hero is a Japanese diplomat, Chiune Sugihara.

Words Matter

Consider how healing can come through your words.

A Prayer for Peace and Understanding

A prayer for our time coming to us from the 6th century Chinese philosopher Lao-tse.

Saying Thank You

Archbishop Wuerl’s “thank you” is a reminder of the meaning of our work and the importance of saying thank you to those around us.

Putting Things Back Together

Archbishop Wuerl says Jesus left to us his healing work, his work of putting things back together again.

Being God’s Presence

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Archbishop of Washington, explains how Catholic healthcare is a manifestation of God’s loving, healing presence.


What is the meaning of grace? 


“The boat I travel in is called Surrender,” says the poet Balbir Matbur.

Taking Time to Dream

How many of us remember that God is found in our deepest, best desires?

I am Humbled

Think about your day as you hear this chaplain’s prayer, written by Linda C. Moore.

Not Having the Last Word

Looking for a new spiritual practice?

The Culture of Encounter

Part of what makes us who we are in Ascension is a view of the human person, a view that calls us to look deeper.

Letter from a 6-year-old

A child's letter to the leader of the free world is more than a child's dream.

The Gentle Art of Blessing

A reflection on a specific loving practice, which author Pierre Pradervand calls the “gentle art of blessing.”

‘And Your Neighbor As Yourself’

A reflection on the act of loving others as a way of loving yourself.

Embracing Change

A poem-prayer by the late priest Edward Hays points us, in the midst of change, to the One who is ever new and never changing.

Within Us

What is the state of your hidden self, your heart?

Image of God

Here’s an interesting question:  “What's the happiest place in the solar system?”


Does your life feel ordinary? You can find the extra-ordinary in it by looking inward through a practice called introspection.

Practicing Patience

Practicing patience is probably harder now than at any time in human history. Try a little patience today.


One of our mission leaders asks and answers the question: “What is the key relational issue in the Bible?”

Stress 101

Stress can be paralyzing. Author David Kundtz offers a way forward.

Start Close

It’s easy to think that what you need most is somewhere “out there.” A poem by Clarence Heller offers another perspective.

Success, Failure, and Faithfulness

Jesuit priest Gregory Boyle, author of Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, reflects on the difference between success and faithfulness.

How to Stay Unhappy

Chris Stefanick, a popular Catholic speaker, has something to say about staying miserable.

Hands, Head, Heart

Consider what happens when you engage all three – hands, head, heart – in doing even the simplest of things.

Are Your Problems Big Enough?

As one of our mission leaders recently pointed out, “People are defined by their problems.”

Ministry in its Simplest Form

Learn to find God in our simplest deeds.

Love Whatever Gets In the Way

Consider these words from the poet Mark Nepo when someone or something gets in your way.

Lesson of the Butterfly

Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho tells the story of a man and a butterfly.

Ministering to God’s People

Become inspired by the story of Linda Wilson-Allen, who drives a metro-transit bus in San Francisco, as told by Sam Whiting, a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Going Without Sandals

Remember the story of Moses at the burning bush?

A Smile is Worth a Thousand Words

Drs. Fred Luskin and Kenneth Pelletier, authors of Stress Free for Good: 10 Scientifically Proven Life Skills for Health and Happiness, remind us just how powerful smiling can be.

The Lord’s Prayer for All Faiths

Consider this one line from The Lord’s Prayer: Give us this day our daily bread.

Don’t Believe Everything You Think

Have you ever taken yourself too seriously?

Practicing Mindfulness in the Workplace

Ways to be mindful – to experience greater calm, relaxation, peace and focus -- adapted from Saki F. Santorelli’s Mindfulness in the Workplace

God Is Love

A story from Tattoos on the Heart, a book by Gregory Boyle, a Jesuit priest who leads a special ministry in what’s known as the gang capital of the world.

Unspeakable Joy

By being present to others, a caregiver receives an unspeakable gift of joy from a patient 

Instructions for Living a Life

A reflection from the poet Mary Oliver

The Speed of a Runner

Rest for a moment in these words from Psalm 147

Players on a Grand Stage

Remember, whatever your situation is right now – however outrageous it is, however desperate, whatever dry spell of the spirit, whatever dark night of the soul – God is with you.

The Gifts We Have; The Gifts We Share

Are you honest with yourself in evaluating your gifts? Consider this reflection from Sr. Joan Chittister.

God’s Loving Care

Mother Teresa describes how she became aware of God’s love for the littlest among us in this excerpt from the book Where There Is Love, There Is God, edited by Brian Kolodiejchuk.

Life Integration

As you try to figure out how to make room for everything, how can each dimension of your life help energize and sustain the others?


Many people have significant family or caregiving responsibilities outside of work. So how do people do it?

A Peaceful Presence

What is our personal responsibility to create peace? Each moment invites us to counter violence through our peaceful actions, thoughts and words.

Instant Messages

If you become confused, if you lose your way during your day, try this prayer. Sometimes standing still for a moment helps you move forward.

Creating a Place of Healing

Consider how every role in our health ministry is important. Are you aware that the work you do is sacred?

Being with Others

Sometimes all anyone needs from you is your presence, as the writer Henri Nouwen and L’Arche volunteers around the world know firsthand.

Being Present in the Present

Are you aware of the crucial role breathing plays in the body’s response to stress? Try this stress reduction exercise when you have twenty minutes to breathe.

The God of Many Names

How would you name God today?

God with Us

Do you long to know that someone is keeping watch over you? Consider that God is bound to us by love.

The Year of Mercy

Extending mercy to another human being can have unexpected life-giving results. Who needs mercy from you in this, the Year of Mercy?


Take action by being courageous; share your thoughts and ideas to bring new possibilities to your healing ministry.

Small Gestures

We have the power to touch the lives of others in deep and meaningful ways with simple gestures. Learn how a smile or kind words can help to heal a person.


It’s Easter Week! It’s a time to celebrate, a time for joy, for hope, for gratitude. Excerpted from The Circle of Life by Joyce Rupp and Macrina Wiederkehr, ©2005.
Used with permission of the publisher, Sorin Books®, an imprint of Ave Maria Press®, Inc.,
P.O. Box 428, Notre Dame, IN 46556, www.sorinbooks.com

Good Friday Blessing

If we’re honest, we can’t always do what Jesus would do – we’re not strong enough, wise enough, loving enough. So he meets us where we are: vulnerable, powerless, and broken.

Darkness and Light

Let God fill you with the evening light as you move from day to night. May you be to others the light you seek.


Do not underestimate the power of hospitality. Imagine how you would like to welcome the next stranger you encounter. And imagine how you, when you’re a stranger, would like to be encountered.


Meeting hostility with hostility will not yield positive results. Listen to how an associate used an unfortunate situation bring about positive change in his community.


Think about the interruptions you faced today. What was your experience? If you feel you failed, let it go.


Thoughts become words, and words become action. Your positive thoughts and feelings become your destiny.  Allow yourself to be filled with joy, hope, and love.

The Lenten Spring Shines Forth

Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, a time for self-reflecting and healing. In the spirit of Lent, turn toward God, who is the source of every good thing.

Good Day Ascension Podcast Archive


Tom VanOsdol

February 2017

“We are a large, diverse, growing health system with absolutely unlimited potential for service,” says Tom VanOsdol, Interim President and CEO of St. Vincent’s HealthCare in Jacksonville, Florida, and the System Chief Operating Officer for Ascension’s Jacksonville Ministry Market.  Tom says he tells new associates, “You’re here, called by God for a very specific purpose, and a gift that only you can give our ministry, and I can’t wait to unpack and discover that together with you.”

Matt Hermann

Matt Hermann

January 2017

Ascension Ventures launched in 2001 as the venture investing unit of Ascension. “What’s happened over time is we’ve invited other health systems to participate with us,” says Matt Hermann, Ascension Ventures’ Senior Managing Director.  “We’ve included organizations that wanted to roll up their sleeves and share their perspectives with us because we believe it will help us make better decisions…. We have 13 health systems as limited partners, [and] we’re going to be on the lookout for innovative companies that could really make a difference.” 

Bernie Sherry

December 2016

Ascension’s Columbia St. Mary’s, Ministry Health Care, Affinity Health System and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare are coming together as Ascension because “it gives us the best chance to deliver on our promise to provide affordable, high-quality healthcare and an experience that’s unmatched in the state of Wisconsin,” says Bernie Sherry, Ascension’s Wisconsin Ministry Market Executive.  “The community is really rooting for Ascension Wisconsin as we bring together these legacy ministries.”

Chris Palombo & Greg Pope

November 2016

For 30 million low-income uninsured people who are disproportionately chronically ill, the need for prescription medications is great.  “The mission of the Dispensary of Hope is improved health,” says Chris Palombo, the organization’s CEO.  The Dispensary, which provides free medications, is connected to Ascension’s Saint Thomas Health in Tennessee.  “It’s a beautiful expression of Ascension’s Mission,” says Greg Pope, Chief Mission and Ministry Officer for Saint Thomas.

Dr. David Pryor

October 2016

“It’s a privilege to work in Ascension with the outstanding caregivers and providers across our system,” says David Pryor, MD, Ascension’s Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer.  “What I try to do is unleash the creativity, the power, the spirit of the caregivers across our system to provide the highest quality of care that we can.”

Celeste Mueller

September 2016

“Formation programs and formation opportunities are really about developing the whole person,” says Celeste Mueller, D.Min., Ascension’s Vice President, Spiritual and Theological Formation. “We provide opportunities throughout Ascension for intentional reflective experiences and practices that will help form us to be people who are Mission-focused, capable and flourishing.”

Nick Ragone

August 2016

Ascension’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Nick Ragone says he gets the question all the time – what does the journey to One Ascension mean?  “It means really integrating how we operate as a ministry,” Nick says.  “It’s taking advantage of all the talent and gifts of our associates across the country, and bringing them together in community.”

Bob Henkel

July 2016

“The way care is being provided is changing… and we can learn from each other,” says Bob Henkel, Executive Vice President, Ascension, and President and CEO, Ascension Health. “The talent we have across this ministry allows us to solve problems faster and continue to improve both the quality and the cost of the care that we are providing.”

Mark Barner & Gerry Lewis

June 2016

A Chief Information Officer (CIO) is “ultimately responsible for all the technology that’s delivered to the organization,” says Mark Barner, who is retiring as Ascension’s CIO and as President of Ascension Information Services, to be replaced on an interim basis by his colleague Gerry Lewis.  “And in the case of Ascension, that’s very expansive.”

Gayle Trupiano

May 2016

Ascension is proud to now participate in the Veterans Choice Program.  “Our Mission is to serve the vulnerable,” says Gayle Trupiano, Ascension’s Vice President of Performance Excellence.  “We see [Veterans Choice] as an extension of our Mission.”

Amy Freeman

April 2016

Ascension’s Community Health Needs Assessment “engages real people in the community – the providers, the social agencies – and together we identify the barriers and the issues that are keeping people from reaching their greatest health,” says Amy Freeman, Ascension’s President and CEO of Community Health.  “Are we improving the health of the community?”

Nancy Anness

March 2016

“My advocacy role on the federal, state and local level helps me … as a Family Nurse Practitioner working with the uninsured and the underinsured … to tell the stories of my patients, of their families, of their struggles,” says Nancy Anness, MSN, APN, FNP-BC, of Ascension’s Saint Thomas Health in Nashville, Tennessee.

Dr. Ann Hendrich

February 2016

“The level of expertise, the commitment and the passion for care present in all of our ministries and those who touch patients – that’s what excites me about Ascension,” says Ann Hendrich, PhD, RN, FAAN, Ascension Health’s Senior Vice President and Chief Quality/Safety/PSO and Nursing Officer.  

Sr. Maureen McGuire, DC

January 2016

“Helping all of those who are part of this ministry find their connection, their meaning, in a way that enables them to really flourish, use their gifts, know what the meaning is of their work – that’s just exciting all the time,” says Sr. Maureen McGuire, DC, Ascension’s Executive Vice President, Mission Integration.