Ensuring visits to sick parishioners

On Wednesday evening, 3rd May, the Ministry Pillar launched the new strategy for visiting sick parishioners across APA. About 25 people attended the meeting, held in St. Joseph’s parish hall, and heard Geraldine White, the Chair, explain that the lynch-pin of the service are the Coordinators for each setting, i.e. hospital, care home, or a person’s own home. The visiting service also supports young Catholics in Aylesbury Young Offenders Institution.

The aim

Vulnerability visits each of us at some point in our lives. Sometimes, it comes to stay. Spiritual support from a fellow parishioner cannot take away the fact of vulnerability, but it can make all the difference to how we live it: in our society, to be weak often means being pushed out, marginalised. But in our parishes, it is the opposite: weakness brings a person to the very heart of our parish community. These visits honour that Gospel truth, and make Jesus’ promise a reality across our APA.

Requesting a visit

The traditional way of asking for a visit is by speaking to your priest, and informing him of a person in need. The new visiting service offers a second way as well: simply contact Maddy Dearan, the Volunteers’ Coordinator. Maddy will then contact the Coordinator for the appropriate setting to ensure that the vulnerable person gets a visit. There will be two ways to contact Maddy, when the system is up and running: either phone her on 07539 236 344. Or, you will be able to fill in one of the attractive new Visit Request Forms which will soon be available in each church (see below).

Training

The next stage in implementing the strategy is to provide essential training to any person wishing to become a visitor. Two dates have been set aside for this training: Saturday 10th June and Saturday 17th June. On both days, the training will take place between 10.45 a.m. -1 pm, at St. Joseph’s parish hall, starting after the Saturday morning mass. Many have already said they would like to volunteer in this way. Many already volunteer in link with parish organisations like the SVP, KSC or Legion of Mary. You are more than welcome to come along even if this is totally new to you.