Health Ministry and Parish Nursing

"Kindness is a language that we all understand.
Even the Blind can see it and the Deaf can hear it."
--- Mother Theresa 

A Reflection on Jesus' Call for Equity

Jesus told the parable of the rich man and Lazarus to draw attention to the great chasm that exists between the poor and the powerful who are indifferent to their suffering. As part of Jesus’ healing mission, we are called to promote justice.

There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores. When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. (Luke 16:19-23)

Jesus calls us to be aware of the chasm in health care. He calls us to act for justice. He calls us to bring comfort and healing to those who are not sitting at the table today. He calls us to advocate for the poor, and to promote and defend human dignity.
With Jesus’ call in mind, let us pray together…
God, our creator and the ground of our being, we give you thanks for all of the blessings of this life, especially for the gift of each other and our work. Every person is a treasure, every life a sacred gift. May the work we do diminish the chasm of disparity and bring about greater justice and equity. We ask your blessings, in the name of Jesus, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Prayer for Caregivers

Let us reflect on what it means to be a “healing presence.”
It is a call …
To listen more than we speak
To remain calm even when others are in chaos
To stay clear and focused even when no clear direction is apparent
To value people exactly as they are and not as we think they should be
To be with people who are suffering, rather than trying to have all of the answers or explain that which ultimately is “mystery”
To let go of the temptation to show only the clinical and professional side and to hold back the personal and human side of caring
Healing presence is not about doing something, it is about being present. And, when we enter this vulnerable state of simply being with another person who is in pain or in sorrow, we experience the healing power of God. 
And so we pray … Good and gracious God,
You are the source of all healing. In you we have a share of the wonderful ministry we call “healing presence.” Today, we pray for caregivers, that your grace moves through each of them to reveal your healing touch, your compassionate glance, your consoling words. Bless them in a special way today and strengthen them so that they might continue to be your healing presence to others.
We ask this in the power of your Holy Name.  Amen.


Save the Date

September 24, 2017: Mass for Those Affected by Mental Illness

Save the date! – The Secretariat for Pastoral Ministry and the Office Catechesis will sponsor a Mass for those affected by mental illness on Sunday, September 24 at 1:30 pm at St. Thomas of Aquinas (4600 North Illinois St, Indianapolis, 46208). Fr. Michael Hoyt will say Mass for those whose lives are affected by mental illness: individuals, family, friends and health care providers. There will be a reception to follow in the Bethany Room. All are welcome! Please register at . If you have questions please contact Keri Carroll at (317) 236-1521 or .  

September 28, 2017: Annual White Mass

You are cordially invited to join Archbishop Charles Thompson and the St. Raphael Catholic Medical Guild of Indianapolis at this year's annual White Mass on Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 6PM. It is a celebration of Catholic physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals. The Mass will take place at Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, located at 1347 N. Meridian St, Indianapolis. No tickets or registration are required to attend the Mass. All are welcome. For further information, go to: and click “White Mass Info: Get the details” button.

The White Mass Dinner Reception begins at 7:30PM at the Catholic Center (across the street from the Cathedral), at 1400 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis. Dress code is business casual. Families are welcome. Tickets are available for purchase on the website (regular admission: $25, medical students: $5, children younger than 13: free). Free parking will be available behind the Center.

At the Reception, we will be honoring Catholic healthcare workers from the Indiana community. The Indianapolis St. Raphael CMA Guild is seeking nominations for three awards St. Giana Catholic Physician of the Year Award, St. Luke Catholic Clinical Healthcare Professional of the Year Award, St Raphael Catholic Non-Clinical Healthcare Worker of the Year Award (submission deadline: Aug. 31, 2017). Nominations can be submitted online on the website.


  • Archdiocesan Parish Nurse Meeting
  • Archdiocesan Annual Parish Nurse/Health Ministry Retreat
  • CPR & AED Training for Ushers and Liturgical Ministers
  • Safe Sitter Classes

The word “Parish” comes from a Greek word which means “to walk with.”
The word “Nurse” comes from a root word which means “to nourish the soul.”

Parish nursing is a unique, specialized practice of professional nursing that focuses on the promotion of health within the context of the values, beliefs, and practices of a faith community.

Roles of the Parish Nurse include but are not limited to:

  • Health Educator
  • Communication link and support – for those who need referrals for other services
  • Health advocate – classes on maintaining health and weight loss
  • Facilitator of pastoral care and comfort – integrator of faith and health

~Diane Reynolds, Ed. D, RN, OCN, CNE
National Association of Catholic Nurses USA – Annual Meeting, March 2013.


Mission Statement for Parish Nursing

Parish Nursing is the intentional integration of the practice of faith with the practice of nursing so that people can achieve wholeness in, with and through the community of faith in which parish nurses serve (The fourteenth Annual Westberg Parish Nurse Symposium 2000).

The concept of parish nursing is relatively new, but the role of parish nurse is deeply rooted in the Catholic Church’s healing tradition. Not only does the parish nurse often provide under represented individuals with a valuable link to health care but acting of his or her own faith the parish nurse becomes a healing hand of the Church. The Parish nurse always includes a focus on the spiritual dimension of health, often utilizing prayer, support groups and sacraments to promote healing. The parish nurse is an advocate, an intercessor, and a representative of God’s healing love.


Health Advocate

Educator on health issues

Advocate and Resource Person

Liaison to faith and community Resources

Teacher of volunteers and developer of support groups

Healer of body, mind, spirit and community

(Source: Canadian Association for Parish Nurse Ministry 2005)

Description: InstructorDescription: TrainingDescription: AED





For information about Health Ministry and Parish Nursing , please contact Scott Seibert, Interim Director at 317-236-1527 or


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