Catholic Healthcare Council of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference

This Council comes under the Episcopal Commission for Pastoral Care

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Contact details

Fr John Kelly
Healthcare Chaplaincy Board
Irish Bishops’ Conference
Columba Centre
Co. Kildare W23 P6D3

Email: [email protected]

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Episcopal Members, who form the Council for Healthcare of the Irish Episcopal Conference:

Bishop Michael Router (Chair)
Bishop Ray Browne


Health is integrally related to human dignity and human flourishing. Human flourishing is enjoyed when persons experience themselves as attaining and expressing their human potential as fully as possible at all levels of existence. Significant developments in the appreciation and understanding of the nature and experience of health, and its importance for human flourishing are reflected in health literature, philosophy and theology. 

Recognition of the multi-dimensional aspects of health is increasingly more evident in international and national policy documents. Eight dimensions of human life and experience which collectively comprise health and wellness are now widely recognised: spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical, cultural, occupational, social and environmental. The spiritual dimension of health, which includes the quest for meaning and for experiences of hope and well-being through belief and faith-based practices, is increasingly more appreciated.

Catholicism recognises that every human person is created in the image and likeness of God. It promotes a profound respect and reverence for the innate dignity, unique life experience, and eternal destiny of each one. Its engagement in holistic healthcare, in compassionate and inclusive outreach, and in advocacy for access to healthcare for the less well-off, is rooted in a Gospel-inspired world view. Following in the footsteps of Christ it strives to bring healing, hope, comfort and care to persons who are suffering from illness, pain and disability, as well as to persons who are experiencing vulnerability at any level of their human existence. The Church collaborates with other healthcare providers and stakeholders with a view to ensuring holistic healthcare for all in society. It is also actively involved in the promotion of life, provision of healthcare, protection from disease, and prevention of the spread of infection.

Health is defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (WHO). Healthcare is defined as the care of those who are in general or specialised hospitals and related ancillary facilities, hospice care, nursing homes, community residential care units for the elderly, centres for persons with intellectual and/or physical disability and those in receipt of care in their homes or other centres committed to healthcare.

Catholic Healthcare Chaplaincy

Standards for Certification Roman Catholic Healthcare Chaplaincy: STANDARDS FOR CERTIFICATION HCB December 2023

Qualifications Required for Appointment and Continuing as a Roman Catholic Healthcare Chaplain HSE qualifications

Application Form for Certification as a Catholic Healthcare Chaplain