Archive

Posts Tagged ‘chaplain’

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) reflections

I was looking for blog posts about experiences in hospital Pastoral Care.  I found some great reflections by someone who did volunteer work in a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program.  Although we didn’t get much formal training in my hospital work this past summer at IPF in Omaha, NE, some of these reflections could have been helpful:

1.  The nature of loss

2.  Agendas and the chaplaincy

3.  When someone asks “Why?”

4.  Assessing spiritual needs

5.  The needs of the dying

6.  Questions in pastoral care

being a summer chaplain with poverty

August 17, 2009 2 comments

I found an article in the Florida Catholic about Jim Grebe, a 3rd year Theologian seminarian at St Vincent DePaul Regional Seminary, whose summer assignment was a chaplain at Baptist Hospital in Pensacola.  It reminded me of my own experience over this past summer at IPF as a volunteer chaplain 2 afternoon each week at Alegent Health Immanuel Medical Center in Omaha, NE.

090228_IPF-Hospital-Pastoral-group-1As a strong introvert, my assignment at a hospital was a welcomed challenge that transformed any “preparations” that I could have made into simple “presence and prayer” that I had to rest in to make it through fruitfully.  My general progression was from Post-Intensive Care (PINS), Physical Rehab, Cancer, ICU and then Behavioral Health (mostly adults).  Each unit, as well as each individual room, brought their own challenges and blessings.  Going into rooms “cold” without much knowledge of condition or spiritualities left me at the mercy of Christ dependent on Him and allow the Holy Spirit to work without having to “try so hard” under my own abilities.

In identifying the poverty in those I ministered to, I came to recognize my own poverty that brings empathy with the poverty of Christ.  As I was stepping out in faith “giving” ministry unselfishly, I identified with the “heart of Christ” — then, in reflection, the receiving became more pure and made me more receptive to pure desires with greater confidence in the Spirit.  I found that praying within my own poverty opened opportunities in intimate relationship with God both in private prayer and with those ministered to.

On strong example was my first experience with a patient in ICU on a respirator, unable to speak a response to the open-ended questions I was trained to ask.  I quickly retreated in fear to my superior Josh, who help adjust my approach and engagement.  I returned to the patient with slightly more confidence in myself while becoming growingly dependent on the Holy Spirit to fill my poverty in encountering the non-verbal Christ with my “heart of Christ” in a distinct moment of Presence in my presence.  Using simple words of encouragement to comfort, taking time to ask important yes/no questions, and listening to the feeling of a hand-squeeze for an answer was a moment of fullness of grace.  Taking the experience to prayer and spiritual direction was easily seen as a growing echo to listen less to the words of my thoughts and more to the feelings of my heart when discerning with perseverance to God’s voice to me.

Thank you to all that ministered to me in the experience … Hospital staff, Pastoral Ministry staff, IPF staff and the Archdiocese of Miami for sending me on assignment.  I was truly blessed and I prayer all that I touched were indeed “touched” as I was.

Catholic military chaplains

July 29, 2007 4 comments

military Catholics @ MassI finally received a packet from the Vocation’s Director of the Archdiocese for Military Services (AMS).  It contained a couple brochures specific to Catholic chaplains, but mostly brochures from the Army, Air Force & Navy.  I asked for the Marines, but I guess they’re considered part of the Navy.  Anyways, there’s some interesting figures:military Catholics @ Mass

  • The AMS serves 375,000 Catholic soldiers — 520,000 family members — 204,000 in Reserves & National Guard — 29,000 Catholic patients in 172 Medical Centers — & 66,000 Catholics in government service overseas (in 134 countries).

  • Geographically, the AMS is the largest in the Church, trans-national without borders at 220 installations in 29 countries.

  • To meet all those needs, they have fewer than 350 full-time Catholic military chaplains with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines & Coast Guard.
  • They have 480 priests serving part-time with Reserve forces & National Guard.
  • The priests serving full-time are on loan from 142 dioceses and 44 religious communities.

Catholic miliary chaplainAs excited I am about the military, I also realize the needs and dynamics of serving soldiers can be extremely diferent from Miami pastoral ministry.  I’d like to stay open to the possibility of a summer internship (in a theology year), but I don’t currently feel drawn into any permanent call.  — I need to slow down and focus on the now.  

military priests

July 10, 2007 2 comments

Reading and writing about military chaplains over the past couple of days awoke my passion for the military.  I wrote an email to the Archdiocese of Military Services, and got a response from Auxiliary Bishop Estabrook.Military Catholics @ MassThe Archdiocese of Military Services doesn’t take priests directly but rather accepts priests “on loan” from individual dioceses for a period of three years and up.  They don’t have a seminary or incardinate priests. All their priests must have been priests and had a pastoral assignment for at least three years before coming on active duty.Each Service has a seminary program. When accepted by that Service and with permission of your diocese, you could be commissioned a reserve officer while in theology and have a chance to serve at an installation sometime during your studies just to see what the chaplaincy is like.

Father Chandler, the Vocations Director, will be sending me materials and be in touch.  — I’ll see what happens.