Pastoral Care

What is Pastoral Care?

Pastoral Care is what sets us apart from other aged care providers. It is the emotional, spiritual and religious support that each of us needs throughout our life journey. This support can be given by listening, talking together, prayer, music, nature and religious and ecumenical services. Catholic Care of the Aged respects diversity, offering spiritual care to people of all faith traditions or who express no faith.

The Heart of our Identity

The Good Samaritan is the major founding story of all healing ministries. At the heart of this story is the call to love one another as Christ loved us. The love of God and love of neighbour are at the heart of our identity. Pastoral Care is the healing, sustaining, guiding and reconciling activity based on another Biblical concept of God’s “Shepherd” relationship with his people. God is often portrayed as the Good Shepherd, providing to all his people their needs and as the one who gently leads us on through life.

We take our lead from Jesus. He shows us, through example and teachings, the ministry of relationships and offering someone who understands, connects and comforts.

Pastoral Care Services

The Pastoral Care Team offer many services to our residents, carers, families and staff:

  • Pastoral visitation to all in our care
  • Support for staff, families and volunteers
  • Weekly Mass or Liturgy of the Word with Communion services
  • Services for all faiths and denominations on special feasts and occasions
  • Carer and relative support groups
  • Memorial services
  • Other services as requested

The CCA Pastoral Care program has been awarded five Better Practice Awards from the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency (NSW).

A wide range of pastoral care is available for our team of staff and volunteers, our residents and their family members with these being offered by our Pastoral Care Team, the priests of the parish and the extensive team of volunteers.

These include:

  • Pastoral visitation to our residents in care, and those living in the villages
  • Support for staff, families or residents and CCA volunteers
  • Monthly Mass and weekly Communion Services in residential care homes and Services for other Faith traditions
  • Liturgies for special occasions
  • Memorial services
  • Grief Counselling and Support – Seasons for Growth Program and Carer/Relative Support Groups & Growing Old Gracefully Program
  • Liturgy of the Word for special occasions
  • Spiritual Reminiscence Groups
  • Funerals, if requested and
  • Training for all team members
The main role of the Pastoral Care team is to walk with people as they search for meaning in their life as it is now – it is about being with the other, holding their hand as they journey onwards, often on a path on which they are not comfortable.

It is about companionship, protection and guidance. It may even be an opportunity just to reflect on life in general and have a chat.

The team regularly visit residents to help them feel comfortable and trustful enough to share their hopes, dreams, fears and spirituality.

The Pastoral Care team support residents and families of our residents when requested. Often that support is informal, or a family member can make an appointment to see Sister Anne or a Pastoral Care team member.

Just as the families and residents need support, our staff and volunteers can at any time be confronted by uncertainties and life experiences which threaten to exhaust their emotional and spiritual resources. The Pastoral Care team is often called upon for assistance in these timePastoral support is particularly important as residents approach death. The team supports the staff members in the facility to assist the person to die peacefully with dignity.

There is a comprehensive training program in which each volunteer participates. On the completion of training each volunteer member of the Pastoral Care Team receives a “Certificate of Pastoral Ministry to Ageing Persons”.

The Pastoral Care Training Program covers:

  • Vision & Mission of St Agnes Parish and CCA
  • Person-centred philosophy
  • Stages of the life cycle
  • Ageing in the Context of the Life Cycle
  • Communication
  • Active Listening
  • Loss and Grief
  • Dementia
  • Spirituality of Ageing
  • Holistic Care
  • WHS and Infection Control

In addition to this training program ongoing training and support is offered regularly. Meetings are held monthly.