As a pastor, one of my many jobs is to provide pastoral care to those in our parish. As part of our on-going commitment to provide the best care possible to our parishioners, I have been in a Pastoral Care Practicum Class at AU Hospital. This class teaches up the best practices when visiting patients in the hospital or nursing home.
One of the thing I have learned is how multifaceted Pastoral Care can be. When working in a parish, the dynamic can be different. It can take years to develop relationships with your parishioners and to see any noticeable changes in their spiritual walk. However, in the hospital or nursing home, you see more of an immediate result or connection. The opposite can also be true. You can see an immediate mistake or missed opportunity to connect with someone.
I believe this class is also helping me to be a better pastor. Many of the skills I have learned and continue to learn in the hospital setting, I can apply to my work in the parish as well. Not just when a parishioner is hospitalized, but also when they need Pastoral Care while dealing with a crisis in their lives.
At Saint Francis Parish, we are always looking for ways we can improve not just the parish, but our ministry team as well. In the next few weeks, you will start to notice those changes. One of those changes is the start of our new Hospitality Team. Some one from the parish will be stationed at the front door of the mission and the parish to greet visitors and regular parishioners as well. It will be their responsibility to help visitors find all the information they need on our parish. They will also give them the materials they need to participate in the Celebration of the Eucharist.
This is all part of our continued effort to make you feel more welcome and included in our parish family. We will also start hosting our monthly potlucks starting in December. As always, you do not need to bring anything to come and enjoy our potluck. It is just a time to visit and fellowship in a more relaxed environment.
It is our hope and prayer that you will come and support Saint Francis Parish. We are trying to live a different way to be Catholic!