Who and What is Pastoral Care Ministry?

The Pastoral Care Ministry Needs You
Have you been wondering how you could become more involved in our parish? Why not consider joining the Pastoral Care Ministry?  Yes, you!  We need you and there are many ways you can help.

Currently the Pastoral Care Ministry is focused on bringing communion to parishioners who cannot get to church, but we want to expand the ministry to include a parish visitor program.  There is a role for everyone – we will even create a new role to fit your interests.  There is nothing more central to our Christian faith than sharing the love of Jesus with our neighbors and that is what the Pastoral Care Ministry is all about.  We will match your interests, abilities and availability and then we will be there to support you and to make this a rewarding experience.

The Current Program
Currently we have 25 parishioners who team up to bring communion to 63 other parishioners. Most ministers volunteer one Sunday a month, some more frequently and some less; we use a self-scheduling system that provides you with a great deal of flexibility.  We currently have two groups of ministers:  one that serves the home bound and another that serves the Winona Health care communities and Sterling House.

We need more Communion Ministers. We are finding more parishioners who would like to receive weekly Communion and we cannot do that without more ministers.  New ministers are given an orientation and are trained in the proper protocols for bringing communion to the sick and homebound.  New ministers team up with an experienced minister until they feel comfortable and then they schedule themselves to minister when they are available.  There is a special feeling one gets when bringing the Sacred Eucharist to another; not unlike those apostles on the way to Emmaus who reflected “were not our hearts on fire”.
Join us!

The Vision
Our cluster has over 125 parishioners over the age of 80!  Many would welcome an occasional friendly visit or phone call from a parishioner.  What a wonderful opportunity to reach out and share our Christian love.  In order to get this ministry started we will need you to help us.  It is our plan to create volunteer ministry opportunities that match your interests, abilities and availability.  How can you help us?

We envision:

  • Individual ministry families “adopting” an elderly parishioner to call and visit once in a while.  
  • Ministers having a short list of individuals whom they call once or twice a month just to talk.
  • Ministers making regular visits to parishioners to chat about parish activites

The First Steps

  1. We will be undertaking a phone census of our parishioners over the age of 80 – maybe you could help with this.  
  2. We will be making an initial visit to determine if a friendly parish visitor is appropriate – maybe you could help with this.  
  3. We need to continue recruiting other parishioners – maybe you could help with this.  
  4. We will need to train the new ministers – maybe you could help with this.  
  5. And, of course we will need parishioners who want to be served by this ministry – maybe you know someone who would benefit from this ministry.

A Successful Endeavor
This past Christmas our ministers teamed up with the Young At Heart volunteers to make over 100 Christmas visits! Another group made financial contributions to fund a small Christmas gift from the parish.  It was wonderful; you would have enjoyed being a part of it.  Many of our ministers have been serving in this ministry for over 10 years and continue because they find it so rewarding.

If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.
Does this ministry sound interesting to you?  Aren’t you a bit curious?  Don’t you feel that nudge from the Holy Spirit?  What are your interests and talents?  Where could you start?  We really need your help, what can you do?  What are you waiting for?

Pray about this, give us a call and we can talk about it, answer your questions and ease your concerns.  As Jesus tells us “Fear not for I am always with you.”

We can only do so much, but we can all do something.

Peter & Kay Walsh
Pastoral Care Coordinators

The Pastoral Care Ministry is sponsored by the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart and St. Casimir parish cluster.