The Diocese of Trenton is encouraging all those interested in bereavement and similar ministries to attend a pastoral care training program, spanning 12 sessions, providing participants with the education and formation tools they need to serve in pastoral care ministries more competently and compassionately.
“We are not born with these skills; therefore as missionary disciples, we must make it a priority to take time and work on how well we listen to others, recognizing destructive habits that block and prevent good communication and personal growth,” said Mary Neary, who will present the first of the sessions, which begin in January.
Those preparing for any parish pastoral ministry are strongly encouraged to enroll in all 12 sessions of the certificate program. Among those who could benefit are visitors of the sick, jail and prison volunteers, bereavement ministers and separated and divorced group leaders.
Session topics include the theology of suffering, pastoral spirituality, the art of holy listening, parish support groups, mental health and disabilities, end-of-life health care ethics, ministry to grieving, self-care for caregivers and more.
For more information about the program, read this article from The Monitor.
Parishes in the Diocese of Trenton are scheduled to take up the annual Retirement Fund for Religious collection, during Masses the weekend of Dec. 7 and 8.
The special collection, which is coordinated by the National Religious Retirement Office in Washington, benefits some 32,000 Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests older than 70 currently living in the United States. Each year, the bulk of the collection goes to the direct care of aging sisters, brothers and religious order priests who combine these funds with their own income and savings to meet needs for nursing care, medications, therapies and other day-to-day necessities.
“The collection benefits those men and women religious who have served the people of God during the best years of their lives,” said Sister of St. Joseph Rose McDermott, diocesan delegate for religious, adding that in retirement, many religious will live in a convent or infirmary.
Sister Rose reported that in 2018, donations collected through the Trenton Diocese amounted to more than $304,000 to the fund, bringing to more than $10 million donated by parishioners of the Diocese of Trenton since the collection was launched in 1988.