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Ministry of Care and Companionship

We follow the example of Jesus and Mary
as we care for the sick and comfort the dying.

As Catholics we are Christian disciples committed to follow the way of the Lord whose response to suffering was to provide care! As Christ healed the sick and broken-hearted with his acts of compassion, our present Christian response to suffering must be in keeping with Christ’s actions by transforming suffering with meaning. When there is no meaning to suffering, that is when it is only pain, and of course people become afraid, angry and depressed. But where there is meaning, because there is love and proper care, in a community of support, suffering can become sacrifice! Sacrifice, in our Christian perspective, is not just another word for ‘put up with’. It literally means, from its Latin root, to make something ‘sacred’. Archbishop Anthony Mancini June 5, 2016 Letter to the Faithful.
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Death of St. Joseph

Stain Glass Window, St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica, Halifax, NS

An evangelizing community knows that the Lord has taken the initiative, he has loved us first. It has an endless desire to show mercy, the fruit of its own experience of the power of the Father’s infinite mercy. Let us try a little harder to take the first step and to become involved. The Lord gets involved and he involves his own, as he kneels to wash their feet. An evangelizing community gets involved by word and deed in people’s daily lives; it bridges distances, it is willing to abase itself if necessary and it embraces human life, touching the suffering flesh of Christ in others. An evangelizing community is also supportive, standing by people at every step of the way, no matter how difficult or lengthy this may prove to be. Pope Francis 2013 Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel. #24.

Recording Now Available of Moral and Spiritual Distress Webinar

Recording Now Available of Moral and Spiritual Distress Webinar

Last month the Ministry of Care & Companionship Committee offered a webinar titled: Moral and Spiritual Distress. The presentation was a panel that included: Sr. Nuala Kenney, SC., Alana Cormier, MD, Monica McNarmara, RN. These three medical professions spoke to the moral and spiritual distress experience that health care workers have faced in light of medical assistance in dying.

Training for Parish Palliative Care Volunteers

Training for Parish Palliative Care Volunteers

Do you feel called to visit the sick, terminally ill, dying and bereaved in your parish community? As a member of a parish, you would represent your parish community by journeying with a person and being a loving support by listening, with some understanding of the challenges with which they may be coping, to ease the suffering and improve quality of life. Would your parish like to enhance the outreach ministry to include palliative care volunteer visits?

Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada: Catholic Health Care Perspectives

Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada: Catholic Health Care Perspectives

An upcoming webinar titled: Medical  Assistance in Dying in Canada Health Care Perspectives is being broadcast on September 21, 2017 from 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm ET. 

This 90 minute webinar provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about these important matters:   

  • What Does Medical Assistance in Dying (AKA Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide) look like in Canada? 
  • What does it mean for the Catholic Health Care community?
Ministry of Care And Companionship Committee Goals

Ministry of Care And Companionship Committee Goals

  1. To accept the challenges of the Year of Mercy in a renewed response to the sick and suffering.
  2. To foster diocesan education in the Catholic tradition of a Good Death.
  3. To increase awareness of the experience of pain and suffering for sick, chronically ill, frail and dependent elderly, dying and bereaved within our own parish communities.
  4. To initiate a new vision of the ministry of care of the parish community today that will bring us into the future.
To Achieve These Goals The Committee Will Develop A Multi-Focused Strategy Which Will:

To Achieve These Goals The Committee Will Develop A Multi-Focused Strategy Which Will:

  • Describe the range of ministries, including ministers of the Eucharist, parish visitors, parish palliative care programs, parish nurses that are working in the diocese or could be developed.
  • Identify and make accessible credible resources already available to assist us.
  • Use existing diocesan resources such as Discipleship to provide regular reflections and advice on the ministry of care.
  • Develop new educational materials, where necessary, such as DVDs; special events for health care professionals and parishioners involved in the ministry of care and companionship throughout the diocese.
  • Advocate for hospice and palliative care for all Canadians and protection of conscience for health professionals.

Rediscovering the Art of Dying a new book by Sister Nuala Kenny

9782896884513 amazon large

Drawing on the passion of Christ, Sr. Nuala Kenny reflects on the inevitable questions we all face regarding health, illness, suffering, and dying. She provides a profound spiritual and biblical reflection by linking Jesus’ own experience of suffering and death with real-life stories about patients in today’s world.

This book is for anyone undergoing or reflecting on illness, suffering, and dying. It is also for families and friends who accompany the sick, dependent, and dying, and for caregivers who accompany them. It is sure to guide attitudes, practical decisions, and actions that are central concerns in serious illness and dying, while clearing up misunderstandings that often accompany periods of stress.

Rediscovering the Art of Dying - How Jesus’ Experience and Our Stories Reveal a New Vision of Compassionate Care is publishes by Novalis and is available locally at Veritas. Pre-order for September 1 by calling Veritas (902) 429-7216 or e-mail veritashfx@gmail.com.

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Prayer

Prayer

Samples of prayers for specific moments, as well as contact info for a great variety of resources.

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Services & Outreach

Services & Outreach

Descriptions and contact information for the services that are available throughout the archdiocese.

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Formation for Accompaniment

Formation for Accompaniment

Develop your understanding of illness and dying, and learn how to accompany people on this journey.

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Resources

Resources

Contact info for information and materials to meet the great many needs, interests and circumstances.

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Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth |1531 Grafton St. | Halifax, Nova Scotia | B3J 2B9 | P: (902) 429-9800 | F: (902) 423-5201
Hours:  Monday to Friday: 8:30am - 12:30pm & 1:30pm - 4:30pm