At all times, this ministry calls for compassionate listening and non-judgmental, inclusive presence, and acceptance.
Sisters in the past 20 years or so have taken up appointments as pastoral associates in parishes. These roles vary according to the needs of each particular parish. These appointments have occurred in metropolitan and rural parishes.
Some Sisters have been the pastoral leader of the parish, whilst some have been involved in a broad range of activities including Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), training of catechists, liturgy leaders, interfaith gatherings, sacramental programs, and funeral ministry. A more recent development in this regard is the role of parish pastoral nurse – a new pioneering opportunity.
At times, Sisters are called upon to lead prayer services and communion liturgies as well as take Communion to those who are sick and housebound or in hospital.
As Sisters moved away from leadership, teaching, and administrative roles in schools, a new opportunity for the ministry of presence and pastoral outreach to families began to develop.
This ministry has enabled many families especially those experiencing need and hardship to be reached and supported.
Other areas in which pastoral ministry has occurred include the establishment of a centre within the Parish at Liverpool to teach English to migrants and refugees who are unable to access this from any other source.
Sisters of Charity are committed to bringing the reign of God into our world and therefore work collaboratively and with passion in formal and informal settings. The exercise of pastoral ministry is a privilege and an opportunity to make the love of God known and lived in our world. It has many faces and brings many graces.
To read more on the early work of the Sisters of Charity in pastoral work, click here.