November 23, 2015
(Items marked with a * are new or updated items)
1. Executive Director’s Reflection*
2. Member news: recent death of our NACC member, Sr. Kathleen Foley, SND.*
3. November 30 is the deadline for submitting prayers for the World Day of the Sick cards*
4. Please help us reach our NACC 2015 Annual Member Campaign goal!*
5. Vision seeks writers on palliative care*
6. What do you think of the “Chaplains” documentary?*
7. Upcoming NACC networking calls*
NACC – 50 YEARS OF CONTINUING THE HEALING MINISTRY
2016 NATIONAL CONFERENCE APRIL 22-25, 2016
10. Mark your calendar for April 22-25, 2016, for the NACC 2016 National Conference!
11. Registration Brochures for the NACC 2016 Conference have been sent out!*
12. Preconference Day of Reflection will provide time for reflection and renewal.*
13. Please see more background on our 2016 Award Recipients!*
CHAPLAINCY NEWS, EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL SUPPORTS
14. Request: Do you have system-level policies regarding the training and use of Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist?*
15. Request: Programs and initiatives to support staff*
16. Last Call Request: networking/learning for screening tool/training for referrals?*
17. Last Call Request: professional liability insurance for chaplaincy practice.*
18. Have you ever considered chaplaincy research? Fellowships are available now!!!*
19. One remaining NACC 2015 Webinar*
20. Final 2015 NACC Local Gathering*
21. Healing Tree: a request for prayers*
22. Recent job postings*
Last November (2014) on the feast of the Solemnity of Christ the King, Pope Francis framed the emphasis of this feast when he said, The starting point of salvation is not the confession of the sovereignty of Christ, but rather the imitation of Jesus’ works of mercy through which he brought about his kingdom. The one who accomplishes these works shows that he has welcomed Christ’s sovereignty, because he has opened his heart to God’s charity. In the twilight of life we will be judged on our love for, closeness to and tenderness towards our brothers and sisters. Upon this will depend our entry into, or exclusion from, the kingdom of God: our belonging to the one side or the other. Through his victory, Jesus has opened to us his kingdom. But it is for us to enter into it, beginning with our life now, by being close in concrete ways to our brothers and sisters who ask for bread, clothing, acceptance, solidarity. If we truly love them, we will be willing to share with them what is most precious to us, Jesus himself and his Gospel.
Pope Francis continues to call us to mercy, justice, and charity, does he not? I find that every time this man speaks, he calls me to conversion of mind and heart, clarity of purpose, and a greater unselfishness. As you know, we are entering into what Pope Francis has designated as the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. The Vatican has a remarkable website dedicated to this year. We find there Pope Francis emphasizing:
With the approach of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy I would like to focus on several points which I believe require attention to enable the celebration of the Holy Year to be for all believers a true moment of encounter with the mercy of God. It is indeed my wish that the Jubilee be a living experience of the closeness of the Father, whose tenderness is almost tangible, so that the faith of every believer may be strengthened and thus testimony to it be ever more effective. (My bold for emphasis)
That emphasis on closeness of the Father took me back to the same homily I noted above wherein Pope Francis remarked that: First, how Jesus brought about his kingdom: he did so through his closeness and tenderness towards us. Thus Pope Francis calls me/us again and again to experience the deep personal intimacy with God out of which our modeling and living out God’s mercy can flow. I find this particularly challenging these days as we read and witness horrific killing and destruction by ISIS members. So many of us struggle with this.
Our colleague, Jim Letourneau, shared at a recent gathering a prayer that I extend to all of us, as it embodies a prayer of outcry and for mercy.
We carry the people of Paris in our hearts and prayers as they struggle to heal from unspeakable violence. In 1981, then Pope John Paul II offered this prayer at Hiroshima. Its message certainly applies today:
To you, Creator of nature and humanity,
in truth and beauty I pray:
Hear my voice, for it is the voice of victims of all wars and
violence among individuals and nations.
Hear my voice, for it is the voice of all children who suffer and
will suffer when people put their faith in weapons and war.
Hear my voice when I beg you to instill into the hearts of all
human beings the wisdom of peace, the strength of justice
and the joy of fellowship.
Hear my voice, for I speak for the multitudes in every
country and every period of history who do not want war
and are ready to walk the road of peace.
Hear my voice, and grant insight and strength so that we
may always respond to hatred with love, to injustice with
total dedication to justice, to need with the sharing of self,
to war with peace.
O God Hear my voice, and grant unto the world your everlasting peace.
As we commemorated yesterday the feast of Christ the King, celebrate later this week Thanksgiving, and look toward marking the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, my prayer for us is that God’s closeness, God’s intimacy with us deepen, and bring forth from our hearts lives of tenderness and mercy toward one another, as we continue to cry out to God for and work toward world peace.
Blessings to you,
David Lichter, D.Min.
Our long time NACC member, Sr. Kathleen Foley, SNDdeN, BCC, died peacefully on Saturday, November 21, 2105.at Notre Dame Long Term Care Center, Worcester, MA. Certified with NACC in 1985, she just went through her renewal of certification this year. For the past twenty years she offered a devoted and compassionate ministry as Chaplain at Campion Health Center, until her retirement this past October. May God bless her with eternal peace.
To read more go to www.legacy.com/obituaries/bostonglobe/obituary.aspx?n=kathleen-foley&pid=176611065&eid=sp_shareobit
The NACC will again be preparing prayer cards for the February 11, 2016 World Day of the Sick, for use in hospitals, hospices, long-term care facilities, parishes, and anyone else interested in the spiritual needs of sick persons and caregivers. We invite our members to write prayers to be used on these prayer cards. We will again publish two cards: Prayer for Sick Persons and Prayer for the Caregiver. You may submit prayers for either or both. Prayers may be written in any style or format you like, but they should be no more than 32 lines long, with an average line length of not more than 10 syllables. To see examples of past prayers, click here. All submissions must be received at the NACC office by Monday, November 30. We will notify the person(s) whose prayers will be used by December 7. We are not able to offer payment, but the authors will be credited. We will share a total of two prayers in print, although some honorary selections may be featured on our website later in the year. Please send your submissions to Tim Charek ([email protected]). Thank you in advance for sharing your gifts.
We are deeply appreciative to our members who have been able to contribute to our 2015 Annual Member Campaign. Our 2015 goal is $52,000, and we are at $50,304. We are only $1,696 shy of our goal. If you have not yet contributed, and can do so, please help us reach our 50th Anniversary goal!
The theme for the January-February issue of Vision will be new developments in palliative care. If you are working in a palliative setting and watching the field grow or change, we’d like to hear your idea for an article. Please send your thoughts to Vision editor David Lewellen, [email protected]. The deadline for the issue is Dec. 7.
Filmmaker Martin Doblmeier’s new documentary, “Chaplains,” is scheduled to begin airing on PBS this month: journeyfilms.com/chaplains. We know that some of our members have scheduled group viewings, and we would like to hear reports of who gathered, what was said, and what reactions the film inspired. Also, even if you watched the film on your own and have thoughts you want to share with others, please let us know; we would like to assemble a range of reactions for inclusion in the next Vision. Please write to editor David Lewellen at [email protected].
We have scheduled the following NACC networking calls this week and next.
If you would like to participate, please contact Tim Charek ([email protected]).
- Friday, December 4, at 10:00 a.m. Central Time – CPE Supervisors
- Thursday, December 10, at 10:00 a.m. Central Time – Palliative Care/Hospice
NACC – 50 YEARS OF CONTINUING THE HEALING MINISTRY
In October 2007 the NACC partnered with the Catholic Health Association to host a three-day summit, entitled Decision Accelerator, at which over 50 representatives from Catholic Health Systems, along with researchers, academic leaders, patients, and other spiritual care leaders gathered to focus on identifying metrics for pastoral care. The Summit concluded with a resolve to continue to collaborate to address the critical and urgent issues facing pastoral care. While the work of task forces concluded, CHA and NACC continue to collaborate to strengthen the pastoral care ministry through the CHA Pastoral Care Advisory Committee. For more information about the Omaha Summit, please go to these two Visions of January and May 2008.
One of my favorite chaplain visits actually began as one of my least favorites.
On a night when I was on call, a nurse phoned to tell me that a Catholic patient with Stage IV cancer was requesting a visit from a Catholic chaplain — but not a priest, which I found unusual. I arrived at the hospital not knowing what to expect. Upon walking into the room, I introduced myself to the patient, who was awake in bed, and his wife. “I understood you requested a Catholic chaplain,” I said. “What are you feeling at this moment?”
“I’m not sure what to believe about death,” he said. “If there is an afterlife, God would not want me because of the horrible things I’ve done.”
I was surprised. I wondered what was going on in his mind and heart, but he didn’t respond to my reflective statements. The Prodigal Son parable came to my mind, and I asked him if he knew the story. When he indicated that he was not sure, I shared the story, emphasizing our non-judgmental, forgiving, and loving God who never turns away from us no matter what we have done.
After a few moments of silence, the man said that his daughter had died two years ago from cancer, and his mother-in-law died two weeks later. I could tell that he was still grieving their losses and commented on it, but once again, I was met with silence. After several minutes, during which time he dozed off and reawakened, I asked him how I could support him. “There’s nothing you can do,” he said. “But I’m glad you came.”
He fell asleep again, and my attention shifted to his wife. She told me how difficult the past two years had been, and the change she had seen in her husband after their daughter’s death. She said she was not Catholic, and that her husband’s first wife divorced him while he was in the military in Vietnam. She thought that his divorce and remarriage to her could partly explain the “horrible things” he had done.
Though he was raised as a Catholic, all the years they were married, he did not practice his faith, she said; he never talked about his experience in Vietnam or his marriage to his first wife. Never, even after their daughter’s death, did they discuss their beliefs about death and life after death. She assumed that he believed in God and heaven, but was surprised by his questions about death and his feelings of unworthiness.
“What do you need most at this time to help with the journey ahead?” I asked. She answered, “I just want my husband to be at peace with his life and his death.”
We concluded our visit with a prayer in which I asked the Lord to visit his peace, the peace that passes all understanding, upon the patient. I prayed that in these final moments, husband and wife could open their hearts and receive the love they felt for each other and for their daughter.
The next day I reflected upon my visit and wondered if it was more for the wife than for the husband, as I felt I had not really made any progress with him. In fact, I severely questioned my ability to be an effective chaplain. Perhaps I was losing my touch?
But about five weeks later, the wife called me, quite unexpectedly. “I wanted to let you know the impact your visit had,” she said. “It turned out to be an opportunity for us to converse. When he woke up, we talked about some of the questions you asked, off and on for several hours. It was the most we ever talked about serious issues.”
When she returned the next day, she said, her husband was not in the mood to talk and remained silent up to the moment of his death. But that chance to unburden himself allowed him to die peacefully while looking forward to his joyous reunion with their daughter in heaven. Their conversation also allowed her to better understand her husband. “I’m grateful for your visit,” she said, “and the gift of this opportunity to talk.”
I thanked her as I choked back my tears. After we ended the call, I prayed in gratitude, thanking the Lord for answering the prayer of weeks ago. Needless to say, the Holy Spirit worked through my feeble attempts to bring peace to a man filled with guilt and unworthiness so that he could leave this life and embrace the new life to come. The postscript reminded me that I am a vessel for God’s sacred work. I never need doubt that again.
Evelyn Steiner Sanchez, BBC, is a volunteer spiritual care provider at Banner Baywood Medical Center in Mesa, AZ.
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 Evelyn’s reflection to inspire you in writing this year one of your “gifts” of ministry. Your own reflection is welcomed! If you want to share a reflection, please contact David Lewellen ([email protected]).
2016 NATIONAL CONFERENCE APRIL 22-25, 2016
Please mark your calendars for our 2016 NACC National Conference to be held Friday, April 22, to Monday, April 25, 2016, at the Chicago Marriott near Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
The 2016 Conference registration flyer has been mailed out. Watch for it in the mail. If you would like a sneak peek, visit the NACC website where you can view the registration flyer and registration forms today!. Please note the new format for the registration brochure. Rather than the traditional full registration brochure, we have moved to a streamlined registration flyer. This flyer contains much of the key information regarding our 2016 conference, and all other detailed information (like workshop descriptions) will be found on the NACC website. The conference webpages are a “one-stop shop” for all conference-related information. Can’t find something you are looking for? Email us at [email protected] and we will be happy to help.
Conference Registration and Payment Options
There are three options for registering and paying for the Conference.
- Register online using the registration portal and pay with Visa or MasterCard. Click here to register online.
- Register online using the registration portal and indicate you wish to be billed and will mail your payment. Click here to register online.
- Register by completing a paper registration form and mail the form with your payment (check/money order) to the NACC office
A limited number of scholarships will be available from the National Association of Catholic Chaplains for registration fees for the 2016 NACC National Conference. The applicant must apply no later than Thursday, December 31, 2015.
Visit the NACC website for more information.
Roommate Referral Service
The NACC is pleased to again facilitate a Roommate Referral Service. Follow the link below to find out how to submit your information and get onto the list. We will send you a list of potential roommates. It will be up to you to contact individuals on the list to discuss the suitability of rooming together. The last date that names will be accepted is Wednesday, March 30, 2016.
To sign up for Roommate Referral click here.
On Thursday, April 21, 2016, the preconference Day of Reflection will take place at the Techny Towers Conference and Retreat Center in Techny, IL. The theme will be the Making: A Spirituality of Creation, Call, and Engagement and will be led by Monica Meagher, MDiv. Please plan on joining your colleagues for this day. For more information go to: www.nacc.org/conference/default.aspx#reflect
You can go to www.nacc.org/conference/default.aspx#awards to read more about our 2016 Award Recipients:
- Distinguished Service: Sr. Mary R. Skopal, SSJ, BCC
- Emergent Leader: Ms. Kay I. Gorka BCC
- Outstanding Colleague: Supportive Care Coalition
CHAPLAINCY NEWS, EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL SUPPORTS
We have had some requests on policies/practices for training and use of extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist. If you have such policies and are willing to share them, please send them to David Lichter ([email protected]). We will gladly share what we receive.
Several NACC members are seeking to learn and share on programs and initiatives undertaken to support staff members regarding emotional stress, spirituality, and resilience. If you would like to share yours and be part of this learning please contact David Lichter ([email protected]).
Several systems are testing different screening tools to help nurses and physicians identify those needing to be referred to spiritual care. Several have requested networking and sharing tools for screening. If you would like to participate and/or would be willing to share your screening tool, please contact David Lichter ([email protected]). We have received a couple of examples already. If you want to participate, please let us know. Thank you.
We have not heard from any NACC member regarding the request for information on the need and type of professional liability insurance that might be needed if one offers chaplaincy services outside of an employee situation. If any of our members or readers of NACC Now has professional liability insurance or knows of a board certified chaplain who does, would you please contact David Lichter ([email protected]) and he will put you in contact with the person requesting this information. We are appreciative of any help that can be provided. If we do not hear from anyone after this announcement, we will assume no one can help with this. Thank you.
In recent past NACC Now’s we have alerted you to the new website on research for chaplaincy www.researchliteratechaplaincy.org. Please give special attention to the fellowships being offered to study research! Applications for (8) Round 1 fellowships are now being accepted. Find the online application here. Application deadline is January 6, 2016, with award decisions on March 15, 2016. The NACC hopes that NACC members will consider applying for this fellowship! It will be very helpful to the profession to have NACC also represented among the fellows!
The Fellowship will pay for all tuition and associated fees as well as a yearly stipend of $43,300. Some research funds as well as support to attend program conferences will also be provided. (The Kickoff Conference is scheduled for July 27-29, 2016, in Chicago, IL, and will include Cohort 1 Fellows and the Transforming Chaplaincy Advisory Committee. It will be designed to orient Fellows to the program, research, and graduate-level studies. Further details will be posted as they become available.) For further questions, please contact Catarina Mako ([email protected]), the representative on the Project Advisory Committee.
Join us as we complete NACC’s 50th Jubilee year with the December 17th webinar, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Central Time. You can register for this webinar (and pay by credit card) online: ONLINE REGISTRATION. The paper registration form may be accessed by clicking on this link: REGISTRATION. Mark your calendars now!
90 minutes – Please note time of 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Central time
“Honoring the Gift: NACC and Chaplaincy Going Forward”
Presented by David A. Lichter, DMin, and Mary Lou O’Gorman, BCC
Please see the final local gathering scheduled for 2015. If you would like to consider hosting and helping plan an NACC local event in 2016, please contact Andris Kursietis ([email protected]).
- December 12, 2015, Seattle, WA, see details
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: Albert Rinaldi, Maritza Ramos-Pratt, Jane Chiamaka Onuoha (very young baby of our NACC member Michael Onuoha), Kathleen (Kate) Sullivan, Sandy Tiefenbrun (spouse of Anita Barni), Marie Coglianese, Nancy and Sheila Amrich (nieces-in-law of NACC member Sr. Paracleta Amrich), Isabelita Boquiren, Diana Annunziato (Mother-in-law of NACC staffer Jeanine Annunziato), Sister Patricia Watkins, GNSH, Rev. Gerald U. Onuoha, David Markiewicz (grandson of NACC member Roberta Markiewicz), Sister Stephanie Morales, FMI, Marybeth Harmon, Renato Fallico, Susan Balling, Maria Meneses, Chaplain Julia Mary Sweeney (mourning the death of her sister, Margaret Maureen Lewis, BA Honors), Sr. Sheila Prendeville, CPPS, Sister M. Dianna Hell, Sister Maria Theresa Hronec, Betty and Louis Skonieczny, Jim Castello, 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, 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, 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/positions/available.aspx for more information.
La Crosse, WI – Gundersen Health System
Warwick, NY – Bon Secours St. Anthony’s Community Hospital
Ketchikan, Alaska – PeaceHealth’s Ketchikan Medical Center
Fond du Lac, WI – Agnesian HealthCare
St. Petersburg, FL – Bon Secours Maria Manor
Nashville, TN – Saint Thomas Health
ON-CALL NIGHT PDM CHAPLAIN
Lafayette, CO – Good Samaritan Medical Center
Canton, OH – Mercy Medical Center
Portland, OR – Providence Portland Medical Center
SPIRITUAL CARE MINISTERS/HOSPITAL CHAPLAINS (Full-Time or 24 hours per week)
Green Bay, WI – Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS)
Meadowbrook, PA – Holy Redeemer Health System
Rochester, MN – Mayo Clinic
VICE PRESIDENT, MISSION INTEGRATION
Kalamazoo, MI – Borgess Health
Buffalo, NY – Sisters of Charity Hospital
PRIEST CHAPLAIN (Part-time)
Baltimore, MD – Mercy Medical Center