13 Feb 2018

Pastoral Care 5th Annual Conference

The Pastoral Care Meeting at the English Province took place on 12 February in Addlestone. Under the theme Recreating Hospitality, Sr Isabel Cantón and Fr Martin Ashcroft reminded us how important is to be hospitable to others and particularly to our residents.

Their input was enlightening and gave room for thought

Hospitality begins when we seek to welcome another one, and understand where they come from. It is important to not impose our beliefs on them but to make the others be themselves.

How can we be an example of Hospitality?

  • Being attentive
  • Being empathetic
  • Being present to them
  • Being joyful
  • Engaging in reflective listening
  • Asking honest and open-ended questions
  • Asking questions that may be more difficult to answer
  • Understanding the other as best as can with humility and truthfulness
  • With a loving heart, open ears and eyes that see Christ in each person.

What are the enemies of Hospitality?

  • Selfishness
  • Pride
  • Loneliness. We cannot be hospitable if we are lonely because we don´t create space for others.
  • Stress
  • No time to listen
  • Busy inattentive mind
  • Looking sad

Hospitality should be part not only of our work but of our life. It should be present in every decision we make and be shown through all our actions. It was a good day to reflect on the work of all, sisters, co-workers, volunteers and residents and to be aware of the need to be with residents at their last moments. There is always something to remember and something to learn or make better in the future.

I have learnt how important it is to have the last rights before passing away; it gives peace of mind to that person and helps them to rest. It can be very important to that resident and their families, very settling.

There was a very positive group discussion about how we all support residents and about pastoral care at each home. We all should be more involved in it and interact with and care for our residents in the company of our fellow workers. Everything needs to be done so our residents have the best care in every way.

It was a very good spiritual day that makes you think about what you are or are not doing and what you can do more.