Introduction to the Pastoral Care Training Program

Our Ministry

At the Last Supper, as an act of humility and servanthood, Jesus washed the feet of the apostles, and then said, "I have given you an example, so also you must do. (Jn 13-14-15). Your care of the sick is your way of carrying out Jesus' mandate.

Serving as a Pastoral Care Minister, an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, and any other type of ministry to the sick is a special honor and responsibility. It is through your ministry, that patients and, in many cases, their care givers discover that they are not alone because Christ is with them in their time of need. Parishes frequently require Pastoral Care Ministers to engage in some training before undertaking their ministry to the home bound.

About this Pastoral Care Training Program

This Pastoral Care Training Program is designed to assist volunteer Pastoral Care Ministers to build on their present knowledge and experience and expand their ministry skills so that they may bring the care and concern of their parish family, and that of Christ to those they visit more effectively. The Program was developed by Father Charles Vavonese who has taught all levels including the graduate level and has and over fifty years of pastoral experience.

The program is a hands-on and practical approach to pastoral care which is delivered in video format. Each of these videos provides a wealth of concrete information that volunteers will be able to begin using immediately. While each of the videos brings to our ministry a wealth of information, yet there is still more to learn.

The Program includes the three following three required videos.

It also includes any two of the following elective videos.

Feedback and Certificates

After viewing each video, you will be asked to complete a two-question feedback form, when you are done, click "Submit" and the form will automatically be sent to the Project Compassion Office. In return you will receive a certificate indicating you have successfully viewed that video which you may share with your pastor.

Pastoral Care Handbook

A Pastoral Care Handbook, which is a print version of the course material, available for you to download below. The Pastoral Care Handbook will serve as a reference for you as you undertake your ministry to the homebound. It also includes some topics not included in the videos.

Pastoral Care Handbook Download

Resource Articles

There are several one-page articles that deal very succinctly with End-of-Life Moral-Medical Issues and Palliative Care. These articles were written by Doctor Paul Fiacco and Father Charles Vavonese and published in the Diocesan Newspaper of the Diocese of Syracuse, The Catholic Sun. You are encouraged to download these articles and share them with the people that you visit. The articles are available at the Resources & Links page.

Other Videos on Project Compassion Website

There are a number of other videos on the Project Compassion website that deal with a variety of end-of-life issues. You are encouraged to view all these videos at your convenience so that you will be able to recommend the videos to the individuals and families you visit.

A Note from the Author

Thank you for participating in the Project Compassion Pastoral Training Program. I am confident that the information presented in this program will help you to build on the pastoral knowledge you bring to this ministry. It is my hope that this curriculum will further empower you to bring the care and concern of the parish family, and that of Christ, more effectively as you visit the sick.

I would like to conclude the Pastoral Care training by offering a blessing for you and for the people you will serve.

A Blessing for You Who Visit the Sick

Know that the Holy Spirit has called you to this ministry of Pastoral Care.
May that same Spirit come upon you so that you may unite your talents with
        the Spirit's gifts for the good of all you serve.
May you be blessed with the wisdom and understanding to recognize the deep
        Needs of those in your care.
May you be blessed with the courage to speak hope in darkness.
May you be blessed so that you may offer those you visit, your care by 
        listening, loving, and supporting.
I ask all of this in the Name of the Father and of the on and of the Holy Spirit.

Father Charles Vavonese