Catholic chaplains provide a compassionate presence and spiritual care to thousands of Victorians in hospitals, prisons and youth justice centres every year.
In fact, in in the 2022 financial year, CatholicCare Victoria’s chaplains supported 14,791 people, giving hope during what is often the most difficult time of their lives.
Helen, one of CatholicCare Victoria’s hospital chaplains, has been supporting families for the past 11 years. As she explains, ‘When they’re first told that their child is critically ill, parents are devastated. Often we’re called in just to be with and support those families in their time of need.
As a hospital chaplain, she cares for the emotional and spiritual needs of families by providing a listening ear, a compassionate presence and spiritual care to cope with emotional pain, loneliness and grief.
‘Being a hospital chaplain means a chaplain of faith, hope and compassionate love. We are on a journey with the patients and families in the hospitals, as we walk with them during some of the darkest times of their life,’she says.
CatholicCare Victoria have launched the 2023 Pastoral Care Appeal (previously known as the Chaplaincy Appeal) to ensure they can continue their vital work supporting families and individuals through pastoral care programs. According to Agnes Sheehan, CatholicCare Victoria CEO,
Our hospital chaplains are there to be a guiding light for patients and families. Our chaplains are there to support families and individuals in their time of need, regardless of their spiritual or religious belief or background.
For patients and families, the presence of a hospital chaplain offers someone to listen, to speak openly and discuss thoughts and worries with, to pray with, to sit silently with and help find a sense of calm, and to provide comfort through times of loss and grief.
CatholicCare Victoria’s hospital chaplains provide compassionate support across eight major public hospitals, including the Royal Melbourne, the Royal Women's, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the Royal Children's, Northern Health, Alfred Health, Monash Health and Barwon Health University Hospital Geelong.
Your generosity to CatholicCare Victoria’s Pastoral Care Appeal will ensure that chaplains can continue to bring hope to more Victorians, and be messengers of God's mercy, love and compassion.
When I was sick, you took care of me,
and when I was in jail, you visited me.
Safeguarding Unit31 January 2023
Melbourne Catholic20 December 2022