It is essential for the parishes of our diocese to be both centers of worship and centers of service in the lives of their parishioners. Assisting those members of our parishes who struggle with life’s daily challenges by offering prayer and support strengthens the entire faith community.
Each parish in the diocese is unique, with a different mixture of age, health, and economic status. The pastor, together with the entire parish community, has the responsibility to reach out in love and service to those who are ill, homebound, dying or bereaved. Parishes can play a significant role in meeting the needs of these parishioners by developing a caring apostolate.
A formalized program of visitation to the elderly, the infirm, those preparing for death and those who are suffering the loss of a loved one is the cornerstone of may parish programs. These visits help to penetrate the isolation many people experience when health, age, or grief removes them from the ordinary daily activities. In addition to visitation, parishes can play a vital role in the area of health education and preventative health measures by utilizing professional nurses with the parish. Developing a parish caring ministry need not be complicated or burdensome. It should be creative and life giving in the spirit of Christ who has called each of us to share our love and compassion with those in need.
Assistance is available as your parish begins to develop or expand a ministry of caring. A Diocesan Helping Ministries Advisory Committee has been formed to provide training and resources to parishes in support of efforts to meet the needs of their parishioners.
Presenters are available to come to the parish and offer training in the areas of Faith Community Nurse Programs; Caring Community Programs and Outreach; End of Life Issues. To learn more about this parish training, contact us!
Please read Checklist When Entering a Hospital for more additional information on our brochure for more information on hospitalization.
To assist parishes in forming a Caring Community, the manual , “Opening Our Hearts: Building Parish Communities of Healing and Caring,” has been developed. This 55-page document offers norms and guidelines for Parish Nurse Program as well as Caring Communities. Examples of parish models currently being used by parishes in our diocese are in the manual as well as other valuable resources and suggestions. To receive a copy of this manual, please contact us.