The Catholic Church is going through very tough times with issues such as lack of vocations and abusive priests.

Catholic hospitals have been dragged into the discussion over contraception in recent weeks, making them also a target for criticism

But it is time Catholic healthcare systems and the incredible work that Catholic hospitals do for the ill and needy in this country is recognized.

I have always stated that the church in America needs to rewrite their priorities, less of the harsh social teaching and more of the focus on the amazing work they do in education and health care.


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That is where the success of their mission is clear.

There are Catholic Hospital facilities present in all 50 states providing acute care, skilled nursing, and other services including hospice, home health, assisted living, and senior housing.

Here are some amazing facts:

* There are 624 Catholic hospitals.

* There are 60 Catholic health care systems.

* 1 in 6 patients in the United States are cared for in a Catholic acute-care facility each year.

* More than 5.5 million patients were admitted to Catholic hospitals during a one-year period.

* There were more than 92 million outpatient visits in Catholic hospitals during a one-year period.

* Catholic hospitals account for more than one fifth, or 20 percent, of admissions in 21 states and the District of Columbia.

* Catholic hospitals employ more than 525,193 full-time employees and 233,394 part-time workers.