Registration is now open for 12 diocesan workshops in pastoral care, hosted at the Diocese of Trenton Chancery and Pastoral Center, 701 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrenceville.
Sponsored by the Department of Pastoral Care, the workshops are offered two per day on six days, spread out from November through April.
“The training is pertinent for not only volunteers and ministers who visit the sick in hospitals, nursing homes, or their own homes,” said Deanna V. Sass, director of the diocesan Department of Pastoral Care, “but also jail and prison volunteers, those in ministry to the separated and divorced, caregivers, addictions/recovery, and seniors, as well as other ministries of care.”
Anyone may register to attend any of the workshops, Sass explained, with many participants being sent by their pastors or parishes to help lead or participate in a new ministry, or to sharpen skills. Other participants decide to come independently, seeking to grow in leadership in a particular ministry.
“It truly is a thorough and comprehensive training program, recommended for all who volunteer in a parish, in almost any ministry in which they relate to people, particularly, people in crisis,” Sass continued. “[The workshops take] participants through the Catholic theology of suffering, and ministry of pastoral presence in life’s most difficult circumstances, to the spirituality of ministry, the actual nuts and bolts of making a pastoral visit, to the ever-important listening skills, specific training on running a parish support group, bereavement ministry, specific ministry to the dying, to the grieving and planning a Christian funeral.”
Workshop instruction also includes canon law, healthcare bioethics, cultural competency, legal issues and mental health considerations. Parishes should note that while the Diocese formerly ran bereavement ministry training separately from other ministry training programs, it is now folded into six of the 12 pastoral care workshops instead.
The workshops will take place from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the following Fridays:
Nov. 17 • Morning session: Pastoral Theology: “Suffering and the Healing Mission of Jesus”; Afternoon session: Pastoral Spirituality: “Love of God, Neighbor and Self”
Dec. 15 • Morning session: Pastoral Visits: “The Nuts and Bolts of the Pastoral Encounter”; Afternoon session: Pastoral Care: “Rituals for Laypersons: Rites for Holy Communion and the Pastoral Care of the Sick and Dying”
Jan. 12 • Required for Bereavement Training – Morning session: “Pastoral Presence and the Art of Holy Listening: Part I”; Afternoon session: “Pastoral Presence and the Art of Holy Listening: Part II”
Feb. 16 • Required for Bereavement Training – Morning session: “Pastoral Care of the Dying: Companions on the Journey Home; Afternoon session: “Pastoral Care in the Face of Loss: Ministry to the Grieving”
March 16 • Required for Bereavement Training – Morning session: “Pastoral Care in the Parish Grief Support-Group Setting; Afternoon session: “Pastoral Care of Families Planning Christian Funerals”
April 13 • Morning session: “Pastoral Care in Special Circumstances and Cultural Contexts”; Afternoon session: “Pastoral Care: Legal, Medical and Bioethical Considerations”
Speakers for the workshops will include priests, psychologists, canon lawyers, deacons, medical doctors, nurses, social workers, board certified chaplains, religious sisters, spiritual directors, counselors and more. “We bring the best and most experienced persons in each area to train our participants,” Sass attested.
Registration is required for each workshop, with a fee of $25 per session, $50 per full day, or $300 for all 12. Those who register before Oct. 20 receive a discount: all 12 workshops for $250. Fee includes all materials. Coffee, bottled water and morning snacks will be provided; participants should bring a bagged lunch.
To register, visit www.dioceseoftrenton.org/pastoral-care. For more information, contact Deanna Sass, 609-403-7157, firstname.lastname@example.org.