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Charles Bouchard and Laura Richter Mission Integration – Ascension Health Catholic Health EastSPIRITUAL CARE CHAMPIONS“Theology of Spiritual Care”
The ministry circle is expanded • “Ministry” expanded beyond ordination • Diversification of ministry (analogous to health care) plus fewer priests led to many new, non-ordained ministries. • Evolution especially dramatic in Catholic church which had little history of lay ministry.
What is ministry? • Doing something publicly • On behalf of the Gospel (or to promote the Reign of God) • Authorized by and in the name of the Church
Requirements for Ministry • Gifts (or “charisms”) • Recognition of those gifts by the community (church) • Formationof those gifts to make them effective • Authorizationof those gifts for the good of the community (“ordering,” commissioning, ordination )
Ministry internal and external • Traditional “ad intra” ministry: oriented primarily to the building up and sanctification of the community of believers • Institutional or corporate (“ad extra”) ministry: oriented primarily to the common good, the world around us, and by extension to the Reign of God. • What kind of ministry is pastoral care? Spiritual care?
II. TheShape of Spiritual Care Today: Evolving Roles and Functions
Theology and praxis • Our practice flows from the theology and our sense of ministry • Not just about the sacramental needs • Spiritual care aims to care for the whole person • Must understand spirituality in light of the whole person • We must incorporate a working knowledge of psychological and sociological disciplines and religious beliefs and practices in the provision of pastoral care (NACC Certification Standard 302.2)
Caring for the whole person • Not just about curing the physical ailment • Seeing the person as they are • Healing body, life, relationships
Caring for the whole person “Since a Catholic Healthcare institution is a community of healing and compassion, the care offered is not limited to the treatment of a disease or bodily ailment, but embraces the physical, psychological, social and spiritual dimensions of the human person. The medical expertise offered through Catholic Healthcare is combined with other forms of care to promote health and relieve human suffering. “ - Introduction to Part II of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Healthcare
Caring for the whole person “Patients have a fundamental right to considerate care that safeguards their personal dignity, and respects their cultural, psychosocial and spiritual values” - Joint Commission Standard (1998)
“Spirituality demonstrates that persons are not merely physical bodies that require mechanical care. Persons find that their spirituality helps them maintain health, cope with illness, trauma, losses and life transitions, by integrating body, mind and spirit.” - White Paper on Professional Chaplaincy: It’s Role and Importance in Healthcare (Ed. VandeCreek and Burton)
What is spirituality? Spirituality is an aspect of humanity that refers to the way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose and the way they experience their connectedness to the moment, to self, to others, to nature, and to the significant or sacred. (Association of American Medical Colleges; Nelson-Becker; referenced in Puchalski, et. al., Journal of Palliative Medicine, Vol. 12, No 10, 2009)
Understanding the fullness of spiritual care “Such attention flows from the belief that care of the body alone cannot be effective if the mind, heart and the soul are ignored” (White Paper)
The role of chaplaincy • Spiritual Care encompasses more than Pastoral Care • Does include sacramental needs and needs related to prayer and God • But role is much broader than sacramental needs
Other duties may include: • Empathetic listening • Being part of inter-disciplinary care team • Leading services • Participating in ethics • Working with healthcare team • Acting as mediator and reconciler • Liaison to complementary healing therapies • Research (taken from White Paper on Chaplaincy)
III. Spiritual Care as Praxis: Is the ministry of spiritual care self-perfecting? Is it an “intransitive” as well as a “transitive” activity?
Identity of the spiritual care provider • “What do you do” when you provide pastoral care? • Receptacle for patient’s feelings/needs? • Instrument of the Church? Instrument of grace? Cause of grace? • Inform, teach, advise, lead, direct, reflect, decide, facilitate decision, convene, communicate, mediate? • What happens to you as a result of your functioning in this role? Who are you? Who are you becoming?