Department of Pastoral Care
Rooted in the Gospel invitation to share in the healing mission of Jesus Christ, we advance the compassionate and competent spiritual, pastoral and sacramental care of God's suffering people by resourcing the clergy, pastoral ministers, healthcare professionals and caregivers who serve them.
Serving Christ by serving the sick
The Church is called to communicate the healing love and compassion of Christ to all, especially those who suffer or who are ill in body, mind or spirit. Those who offer Pastoral Care communicate God's love and compassion 'person-to-person' by offering spiritual and sacramental support, including the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick offered by a priest.
Connections of care
We connect with healthcare institutions, medical professionals, chaplains and clergy by providing extensive consultation and resources for the holistic health and well-being of Catholic patients. Consistent and timely pastoral and sacramental care is facilitated by establishing and supporting schedules of priest coverage, and by responding to urgent pastoral care requests. In addition, we collaborate with the Gennesaret Retreat team which supports the sacramental and spiritual care of the terminally ill.
Through our collaboration with high school and college campus ministries and parish youth ministry programs, we engage youth and young adults as pastoral visitors in various healthcare facilities. We also serve on boards and committees at both Catholic and non-Catholic hospitals, hospices and other healthcare facilities, to represent the Catholic voice and viewpoint in these settings.
We connect with pastoral visitors of the sick by providing education, training and formation, including a Diocesan Certificate Program in Pastoral Care, pastoral care training for deacon candidates, Theological Reflection groups for pastoral care ministers and an annual Pastoral Care Retreat Day for caregivers and others who minister to the sick.
In addition, we promote major international and national initiatives, such as World Day of the Sick, Pastoral Care Week, Family Caregivers Month and Healthcare Decisions Day to raise awareness and involvement in pastoral care.
Outreach to parishes
Our broad initiatives supporting parish-based pastoral care ministries include administrating and providing resources for Faith Community Nursing ministries and raising awareness of family caregiver needs. We maintain and communicate pastoral care resources via the diocesan website and distribute resources for use in bulletins, liturgies and parish websites.
Consultation and resources are also provided to parish clergy and staff on life-stage transitions, healthcare facilities, illness, death and dying, advance directives, Catholic bioethical teachings and related issues. Our "Pastoral Presence" newsletter is provided to inform and affirm those doing the important work of pastoral care.