Issue #196 – April 27, 2015
(Items marked with a * are new or updated items)
1. Executive Director’s Reflection*
2. We are grateful to the many contributing to the May 2-3, 2015 Certification Interviews!*
3. Last call – please consider serving in NACC leadership roles: Board of Directors, Governance Committee, Commissions, and Panels*
4. Calling all Chaplaincy advocates! Would you consider joining a new NACC ministry?
5. Upcoming NACC networking calls in April and May*
6. Watch later this week for the May-June Vision dedicated to 2015 NACC Conference!*
7. Important reminder regarding your NACC membership renewal process!
NACC – 50 YEARS OF CONTINUING THE HEALING MINISTRY
50th ANNIVERSARY CONFERENCE – March 6-9, 2015!
CHAPLAINCY NEWS, EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL SUPPORTS
Early last week I attended the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network’s 2nd Annual Caring for the Human Spirit® Conference. Several excellent plenaries and workshops were offered. On the final morning, Rev. John Swinton challenged us to expand our imaginations and invited chaplains to embrace the role of assisting colleagues to be attentive to the world and life about us, beyond the obvious and empirical, to mystery, wonder, and uncertainty, to the recovery of time. He shared a quote from Augustine that implied that time itself needs to be redeemed. Then he gave the example of thinking about time and the need to slow down from the book, Three Mile an Hour God: Biblical Reflections, by Kosuke Koyama (also author of Water Buffalo Theology). “’Love has its speed. It is a spiritual speed. It is a different kind of speed from the technological speed to which we are accustomed. It goes on in the depth of our life, whether we notice or not, at three miles an hour. It is the speed we walk and therefore the speed the love of God walks.”
He appealed to the writing of Walter Brueggemann and his concept of Sabbath as resistance to a frenetic world where speed leads to violence and high levels of anxiety. He challenged us to model “rest” in systems that are highly anxious, to be catalysts by first being true to ourselves, bearers of peace by being attentive to the sacrament of the present moment and fostering Sabbath space: Chaplaincy can change the speed of healthcare, slowing it down through the fundamental principle of peace which is that “each person is important.” Chaplaincy creates room for the heart, and the heart is the deepest and most fundamental aspect of the human being that is touchable and transformed. “We care for the heart in the everydayness of our practice.”
John urged us to turn to the person next to us and say, “It is good that you are here. I am glad you exist!” The room was ignited with this childlike, fun, and sacred exchange! So is the challenge to our everyday ministry!
John’s presentation on attentiveness to each person’s importance came to mind again, as I reflected on yesterday’s fourth Sunday of Easter’s reading, especially the good shepherd laying down one’s life for those he loves, of John 10:11-18. “I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.” And in John 3:1 “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God.” As we know the roots of “pastoral” care are in the buon pastor, the good shepherd.
George Handzo offered his perspective on the direction of chaplaincy, and began with urging us to adopt common definitions to often-used words, such as chaplain referring only to a board certified chaplain, spiritual care being the domain name for everybody’s job in healthcare, chaplaincy care being what chaplains specifically do, and pastoral care being the religious care of our faith groups. I have heard George express this appeal before, and this time the pastoral care designation to the religious care of a faith group struck me as a little limiting. I agree with George’s point on needing a consistency in definition, and I agree with his definitions provided here, except I think faith groups other than Christian might not want to embrace the “pastoral care” designation for their religious care. However, I had viewed, from a Catholic Christian perspective, the “pastoral” not so much as the type or form of care (such as George’s reference to a form of religious care) but the motive or faith grounding of the care, continuing the healing ministry of Jesus, the buon pastor. So the dialogue on terms and definitions will continue!
However, I hope you would find as refreshing as I did some of the challenges of John Swinton. In the midst of very important content on the need for and work of developing an evidence-based chaplaincy profession, the focus of the HCCN conference, John’s message spoke to “Caring for the Human Person.” I look forward to sharing more of the Conference as we move forward.
Blessings on your Easter season,
David Lichter, D.Min.
The National Office and many volunteers have been busy completing preparations for the May 2-3, 2015, certification interviews. The interviews are being held in four locations: Chicago, IL; Rockville Centre, NY; St. Louis, MO; and San Diego, CA. There are, at least, 106 people involved in the interview weekend: 43 applicants, 45 interviewers, 9 Interview Team Educators, 4 Site Coordinators, 1 Certification Commissioner-on-Call, and 4 Pastoral Presence Volunteers/Other Volunteers. Thanks so much for all our volunteers’ hard work and dedication to the NACC Certification process! Please keep our certification applicants in your thoughts and prayers as they prepare for their interviews.
Applications for these roles will be accepted until this Friday, May 1, 2015!
The NACC Board of Directors will need to fill one elected-member seat at the end of 2015 when Fr. Jack Crabb, S.J., completes his Board term. In the coming weeks, the NACC Nominations Panel will be reviewing the names of potential candidates for election. If you would like to offer your name for consideration, please go to www.nacc.org/aboutnacc/boardofdirectors for a Board application form. Please encourage other qualified members whom you think would be good candidates for the Board to complete an application.
In addition to the Board vacancy, the NACC Governance Committee, Standards, Certification, Ethics Commissions, the Nomination Panel, and the Certification Appeals and Editorial Advisory Panels all seek to add members. Please contemplate offering your name to the Nominations Panel to be considered for any of these other leadership bodies. Applications can be obtained at the links below and sent to Tim Charek, Administrative Specialist Association Support ([email protected]). Applications will be accepted until Friday, May 1, 2015.
- Governance Committee – appointment position for 2015
- Certification Appeals Panel – one appointed position for 2015
- Ethics Commission – one appointed position for 2015
- Nomination Panel – one appointed position for 2015
- Standards Commission – two appointed position for 2015
- Certification Commission – one appointed position for 2016
- Editorial Advisory Panel – one appointed position for 2016
From Jane Mather, M.A., BCC, on behalf of the NACC Board of Directors: Calling all chaplaincy advocates! Would you consider joining a new NACC ministry, and become an active voice in sharing the role of Chaplain with those who might never have heard of it?
We feel privileged to do the work that we do – called to it as vocation and humbled by its demands. Some of us heard the call after raising families, working in other careers or professions, or after many years of discerning where God might best use our unique gifts. Is it not likely that there are many others out there, like us, ready to take the next step in their lives?
And there are a few younger chaplains who answered the call while engaged in studies for undergraduate and graduate degrees. Might there not be a host of dedicated young Catholics interested in such a rich professional adventure who would love to be exposed to chaplaincy?
For the past many years, David Lichter has addressed both of these groups in his efforts to reach the fertile hearts ready to be nurtured in this ministry. But he is one person and there are many places. As we began to think more creatively about how to plant and nourish the seeds of chaplaincy, it occurred to us as the Board of Directors that, like the places and people and possibilities, we NACC members are many as well! Why not equip a cadre of willing ambassadors for NACC who could go out into their locales, plant seeds of interest and inquiry and even water these seeds as appropriate?
Here is what we were thinking: NACC will provide PowerPoint programs, videos, brochures, lists of CPE centers, volunteer opportunities that are accessible, etc. We would ask our Ambassadors to be willing to invite themselves (or advertise in diocesan papers, bulletins, etc.) to churches, universities, Catholic high schools, civic groups – anywhere there may be groups of people open to learning and new pathways for their lives – and utilize the tools we will provide. We would also go to ACPE Centers where there are likely to be Catholic interns and invite them into our fold. Nurses and medical technicians who might be serving in Catholic settings or medical students who might encounter Catholic patients are also potential chaplains.
Anyplace where we can plant the seeds of understanding, curiosity, interest or inspiration regarding the role of spirituality and/or the chaplain is a place that we might wish to go. And there are likely many we haven’t even considered! What we know is that there is a growing interest to incorporate the values and the skills that chaplains have learned into a wider field, and a growing need for those who can integrate spirituality into the health of their person, their work, or their world. That is our stock in trade, so how can we not share it?
Of course, the most precious resource we will be sharing is the individual Ambassador’s experience as a living witness to chaplaincy and its gifts for growth, for healing, and for ministry. In a world hungry for the language we as chaplains have cultivated – of hope, integrated spirituality, and attention to the deepest needs of creation – we feel the time is right to reach out and invite into our midst those who might not easily just wander in.
If you think this new NACC ministry might be one to which God has invited you, please contact Tim Charek ([email protected]) for more information. This is a work in progress and will evolve gently as we test the field for fertile ground and willing workers, so please also feel free to share your ideas and your insights, even if you do not feel called to be an Ambassador. Thank you for the gift of your ministry!
In the coming weeks, the NACC will be hosting several networking calls.
If you would like to participate, please contact Tim Charek ([email protected]).
- Monday, April 13, at 10:00 a.m. Central Time — NACC Retired/Emeritus Members
- Tuesday, April 14, at 2:00 p.m. Central Time — NACC Retired/Emeritus Members
- Thursday, April 23, at 11:00 a.m. Central Time — Palliative Care/Hospice Group
- Thursday, April 23, at 1:00 p.m. Central Time — Deacon Members
- Monday, April 27, at 1:00 p.m. Central Time – State Liaisons
- Tuesday, April 28, at 10:00 a.m. Central Time – State Liaisons
- Tuesday, April 28 at 11:00 a.m. Central Time – African Members
- Wednesday, April 29, at 1:00 p.m. Central Time – One Person Department Group
- Thursday, April 30, at 11:00 a.m. Central Time – Latino/Hispanic Members
- CANCELLED – Thursday, April 30, at 1:00 p.m. Central Time – Corrections Group
- Monday, May 4, at 2:00 p.m. Central Time – Long Term Care Group
- Tuesday, May 5, at 1:00 p.m. Central time – Directors of Spiritual/Pastoral Care
- Wednesday, May 6, at 1:00 p.m. Central time – Corrections Group
- Friday, May 8, at 9:00 a.m. Central time – CPE Supervisors
- Tuesday, May 12, at 10:00 a.m. Central Time – NACC Age 45 & Under Group
- Thursday, May 28, at 11:00 a.m. Central time – Palliative Care/Hospice Group
Later this week the May-June 2015 issue of Vision will be available online. You will find many excellent stories and coverage of the NACC 50th Jubilee National Conference of March 6-9 in Arlington, VA. Watch for the email alert!
We want to remind our members that since our conversion to the new NACC database last fall (that made possible your ability to enter your profile information and make membership payments via the NACC website), we needed to change the membership expiration date to the first day of your renewal month. So we now are sending your first membership renewal notice two months prior to your renewal month, and indicate that your dues are to be paid by the first day of your renewal month. Our second notice is sent to you via email, the beginning of the month prior to when your dues are expected to be paid. Please note that we are still providing you with two months in which to remit payment. However, we are providing you with two months prior to your due date in which payment should be received. We do apologize for any inconvenience this might initially cause you the first time around with this process, and ask for your prayer and patience with the implementation of our new system. Thank you.
NACC – 50 YEARS OF CONTINUING THE HEALING MINISTRY
The NACC received letters of congratulations and recognition for its 50th Jubilee from Bishop John Quinn, Bishop of Winona and Chair of the USCCB Subcommittee for the Certification of Ecclesial Ministry and Service, and from Professor Dr. Anne Vandenhoeck, Coordinator of The European Network of Health Care Chaplains, who also serves on the faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. To read these letters, go here.
Hope springs eternal: The rest of the story
By James J. Castello, BCC
My absolute favorite chaplaincy story began in my favorite medical center unit: pediatric intensive care in a major trauma center in New Jersey. The incoming gurney held a beautiful 4-year-old-boy with curly blond hair, pale skin and blue eyes. He looked like he was merely asleep that night, but after three days of testing, doctors learned that Sean (all names have been changed) had a rare, virulent infection which was aggressively attacking his brain. He might live two weeks more.
Of course, the beautiful parents were devastated by this terrible news but always remained gracious to the hospital staff. The situation didn’t seem to bother the patient’s 9-year-old sister, Rebecca, as she put on a daily entertainment show for us. About a week later, the father called an Ethics Review Committee meeting, which had the staff more than a little worried. But once the team was gathered in an unused patient room, the father thanked all of us for the tremendous care we had given his little boy and their whole family. I could hardly believe it.
When Sean died, I was privileged to sing/play guitar softly to him, his family and our staff as his mother held him in her arms. This is what makes working in the PICU so hard. Since the family was unchurched, they asked me to conduct a short religious service for the family at the funeral home. The entire PICU staff who served this patient and family attended. The small Styrofoam casket was very difficult to look at. I did not think we would see the family again, but two weeks later, the father called and invited the PICU team to lunch. He told us he had taken Sean’s cremated remains back to their country of origin and spread them over a lake where they had just vacationed two months earlier.
The family moved to Virginia, as the father had a new job. I thought that would be the end of the story for us, but it was not. About six months later, Sean’s mother called the PICU nurse she knew best and said she had told her daughter that she was going to the OB/GYN. Rebecca said, “Why, are you sick?” Mom said, “No, I am going to see the doctor to see if you might have a baby brother or sister.”
Rebecca answered, “I know. I am going to have both a brother and sister.” Mom was surprised by her confidence and asked, “How do you know that?” And Rebecca said, “Well, Sean comes to see me every night before I go to sleep, and he told me I am going to have a brother and a sister!” In due course, the sonogram revealed that the mom was pregnant with twins – a girl and a boy who were born a few months later and are very healthy! God is good!
Jim Castello, BCC, is a retired chaplain in Kennett Square, PA.
In each NACC Now, during this 50th jubilee year, we are featuring a reflection by one of our NACC chaplains on his or her ministry and an experience of a gift of that ministry. Please allow Jim Castello’s, “Hope springs eternal: the rest of the story,” to inspire you to share in writing one of your “gifts” of ministry. Your own reflection is welcomed! If you want to share a reflection, please contact David Lewellen ([email protected]).
2015 50th ANNIVERSARY CONFERENCE
If you are interested in audio recordings of any of the 2015 National Conference offerings, you can place an order at www.dcprovidersonline.com/nacc/.
The ability to keep the conference fees reasonable relies very much on the willingness and generosity of a variety of sponsors. We received $49,850 in sponsorships. We are deeply grateful. To view the sponsors, please go to www.nacc.org/conference/default#sponsors.
CHAPLAINCY NEWS, EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL SUPPORTS
We are pleased to announce the NACC webinars set for 2015. They address often-requested topics by our members. All are scheduled, as in past years, on Thursdays, 12:00-1:00 p.m. Central Time. You should already have received an announcement regarding registering for the NACC 2015 Webinar Series. For the April webinar, we are using the old-fashioned paper registration process, but for future webinars we will be offering the option of registering (and paying by credit card) online. The registration form may be accessed by clicking on this link: REGISTRATION. Mark your calendars now, and stay tuned for the special invitation to register online coming later this week!
May 7 & 14
Trust Heals: Journeying with faith, hope, and patience.
Presented by Charles W. Sidoti, BCC, and Rabbi Akiva Feinstein
June 11 & 18
Weighing Spiritual Care and Other Priorities: A Dialogue with a Chief Executive
Presented by Ann E. Hurst BCC, Kay I. Gorka, BCC, and Alexander Jackson
July 9 & 16
Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services: Implications for Spiritual Care Decision-Making
Presented by Rev. Thomas A. Nairn, OFM, Ph.D.
Renewal of Certification with the NACC
Certification with the NACC
September 10 & 17
Pastoral Care of the Sick and Dying: Theology and Practice of the Rites
Presented by Bruce T. Morrill, SJ
October 15 & 22
The Journey of Mental Illness for Chaplains, Family Members, & Caretakers.
Presented by Kathleen Hagerty, CSJ, BCC
November 5 & 12
Practical Theology and Implications for Professional Ministry.
Presented by Kathleen A. Cahalan, MA, Ph.D
“Honoring the Gift: NACC and Chaplaincy Going Forward”
Presented by David A. Lichter, D.Min and Mary Lou O’Gorman, BCC
Several local gathering are being scheduled for 2015. We ask you to “hold the date” with details to follow. If you would like to consider hosting and helping plan an NACC local event to mark our 50th Anniversary, Please contact Andris Kursietis ([email protected]).
- May 1, 2015, Camp Hill, PA see details
- June 6, 2015, Braintree, MA see details
- June 18, 2015, Spokane, WA details to follow
- June 19, 2015, Portland, OR, details to follow
- June 20, 2015, Seattle, WA, details to follow
- September 14, 2015, St. Louis, MO, details to follow
- September 17-18, 2015, Alexandria, MN, details to follow
- November 6, 2015, Buffalo, NY
- November 17, 2015, Washington, DC area
As in past years, the NACC has collaborated with Trinity Health (formerly CHE-Trinity) to plan their Trinity Health Webinars. For the 2015-2016 Webinars schedule go to: www.che.org/mission/index.php?id=49. To register for the webinars go to:
The Association of Professional Chaplains continues to offer its high quality webinars. To view its offerings and to register, go to: www.professionalchaplains.org/calendar_list.asp.
Please let us know if you would like our membership to pray for your health and healing. Also please let us know when you want us to remove your name from our Healing Tree.
We continue to pray for: Rev. Gerald U. Onuoha, Carol Tafoya (sister of NACC Board member Sr. Margo Tafoya), Renato Fallico, Kathy Ponce, Konstanty Pawicz (husband of former staff member Mary Pawicz), Pam Kimmel, Susan Balling, Maria Meneses, Chaplain Julia Mary Sweeney (mourning the death of her sister, Margaret Maureen Lewis, BA Honors), Sr. Sheila Prendeville, CPPS, AnaLisa Bischoff, Sr. M. Dianna Hell,
Sister Maria Theresa Hronec, Betty and Louis Skonieczny, Mary Theresa (niece of NACC Chaplain Sister Dorothy Kline), Jim Castello, Kelly Bigler (mourning the death of her father, Vernon),
Jeff Michel (brother-in-law of David Lichter), Thomas from Chicago (12 years old), Thomas Smiley (brother of member Diane Smiley),
Marga Halala, Donn Renfro (son-in-law of Karen Pugliese),
Amy in Atlanta (friend of NACC member Theresa Sullivan),
Thomas (grandson of NACC member Ginny Grimes Allen), Beth from Boston (friend of NACC member Dana Sandlin),
Sr. Janet Bielmann, Kelly Folan (daughter of NACC member Marty Folan),
Mary Potts (twin sister of Deacon Francis Potts), Elizabeth A. Walsh,
Francesco Marshall, Glenn and Pat Teske,
Susan Murphy, Fr. Jim Radde, SJ, Sr. Mary Clare Boland, SP,
Sr. Phyllis Ann DiRenzo, Kathy Brier (daughter of NACC member Theresa Brier),
Gloria Troxler, Fr. Kevin Ikpah, Lourdes B. Ruta (wife of Peter Ruta), and
Kelly Elizabeth Sexton (daughter of NACC member Melyssa Sexton).
The following positions have been posted recently on our Positions Available page. Please go to www.nacc.org/resources/positions/ for more information.
Omaha, NE – School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, Creighton University
Texarkana, TX – CHRISTUS Health System
Olympia, WA – Providence St. Peter Hospital
DIRECTOR of MISSION
New York/New Jersey/Pennsylvania – Bon Secours Charity Health System
DIRECTOR of PASTORAL CARE
Philadelphia, PA – Holy Redeemer
MAYO CLINIC CPE
Rochester, MN – Mayo Clinic
BILINGUAL CATHOLIC CHAPLAIN
Dilley, TX – CCA’s South Texas Family Residential Center
Green Bay, WI – St. Vincent Hospital
Faith Hospice in Grand Rapids, MI – Faith Hospice
SUPERVISOR CLINICAL PASTORAL EDUCATION
Buffalo, New York – Sisters of Charity Hospital
STAFF CHAPLAIN, PASTORAL CARE
Chicago, Illinois – The University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System
STAFF CHAPLAIN, Full-Time
San Bernardino, California – Dignity Health
DIRECTOR, MISSION INTEGRATION
Portland, Oregon – Providence Portland
DIRECTOR of PASTORAL SERVICES
Indianapolis, Indiana – St. Francis Health
Newport, Rhode Island – Salve Regina University
Waterloo, Iowa – Covenant Medical Center
La Crosse, Wisconsin – Gundersen Health System
MANAGER, SPIRITUAL CARE
Denver, Colorado – Centura Health
MANAGER, PASTORAL CARE
Chicago, Illinois – The University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System
MISSION LEADERSHIP DIRECTOR
Torrance, California – Providence Medical Institute