In response to restrictions, North and South, on visits to residents of nursing homes, hospitals and hospices, as well as to the challenges facing patients, management and staff who wish to participate in prayer services during Advent and Christmas, Bishop Michael Router, chairman of the Irish Bishop’s Council for Healthcare, has welcomed a new outreach initiative targeting those in need of spiritual support living in care facilities.
Bishop Router said, “The current pandemic has impacted most on the lonely and the vulnerable, and in particular on their wish to practice their faith. Currently, due to the pandemic, it may not be possible for many hospices, nursing homes and hospitals to have a visit from a priest or chaplain. Even where it is possible there are strict limits on what they can do and on the time they can spend with patients, residents and staff. To address this dilemma, which is accentuated during the holy seasons of Advent and Christmas, resources have been developed to support activity coordinators in nursing homes, and in hospices, so that people in their care can safely celebrate this special time of year in as a traditional way as possible.
“With this spiritual need in mind, I am delighted to say that the Northern Pastoral Network – a cross border group of pastoral workers from Catholic dioceses – is providing prayer resources on PowerPoint via https://www.northernpastoral.network/news–resources/carehomes for use during Advent and Christmas.”
Bishop Router concluded, “I wish to thank our Northern Pastoral Network for offering this much in demand resource for use by managers of nursing care homes, hospices or hospitals on both sides of the Border. We have also made contact with the Health Service Executive, Irish Hospice Foundation and Nursing Homes Ireland to alert them to the availability of our pastoral resources.”
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