Gregory A. Pesely (’77) serves as Mission Integration Manager for the Order of St. Francis (OSF) Healthcare System in Peoria, Ill. OSF is a Catholic health care system covering 11 different facilities, the largest system in Illinois outside of Chicago. Mr. Pesely advises the corporation on medical ethics policies and the training of some 15,000 associated personnel.
Mr. Pesely is involved in developing, administering, and applying a variety of health care policies throughout this system. “Basically, we’re trying to recover Catholic culture in the health care industry,” he says. His work runs the gamut of life issues. The provision of artificial nutrition and hydration to comatose and incapacitated patients, treatment of tubal pregnancies, the development of HMOs, the provision of artificial birth control pills and devices, the development of new drugs, and medical care of the indigent are just some of the issues he grapples with regularly.
“We try to educate doctors about what’s acceptable and explain the reasons why,” he says. Working in close association with leading Catholic ethicists in the U.S. and Rome, Mr. Pesely helps formulate policies, often on cutting-edge issues, often fraught with complexity. He recognizes that making difficult prudential decisions does not often please all people. “We try to do the best we can under the circumstances.”
Sometimes his work leads the industry, as when he participated in developing a “Rape Protocol,” to ensure that proper protections would be in place, not only for the woman, but for developing embryos. Other Catholic facilities throughout the country have since implemented it.
Mr. Pesely is well-trained for his job. After graduating from the College in 1977, he earned a master’s degree in philosophy at Laval University. He taught for two years at St. John’s Seminary in Los Angeles, and then for eight years at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.
Before coming to OSF in 1996, Mr. Pesely served for three years as the Coordinator of Catechetical Ministries under Bishop James Sullivan, in Fargo, North Dakota, where he was in charge of implementing catechetical programs throughout the diocese. While there, he helped establish a national network of diocesan catechetical directors to promote catechetical reform in the Church.
In his spare time, Mr. Pesely has devoted years of teaching CCD to junior high and high school students, as well as parish and diocesan RCIA and catechetical programs. In addition, he has published numerous articles in several diocesan newspapers as well as the National Catholic Register, Catholic Twin Circle, and Our Sunday Visitor, for which he wrote a weekly column on liturgical readings for almost four years. He has also authored six catechetical booklets for Prayer in the Home Press which have been published in English and Spanish.