Pastoral Care: At the Center of Our Mission

Sep 30, 2015 | Leadership

Anne and residentBy Mike Brauer, Mission Advancement Officer

Milwaukee Catholic Home is unique because it offers residents three distinct, yet interrelated, pillars upon which their lives here will be based.  We strive to create a range of experiences for all residents from group activities, outings, and events to more intimate opportunities for interaction and friendships.  We build community in a variety of ways as well, always seeking to create an environment that, fosters camaraderie and fun, and provides support.  And we do it all by keeping the nurturing of the spirit at the center of what we say and do.

Our pastoral care program is in the midst of a transformation that seeks to build on our strengths and to optimize the opportunities to minister more personally to our residents.  Our Catholic identity is a guide for this work.  Thankful for the service of Anne Spoerl for the past thirteen years, we have a very strong foundation on which to build as we bid her farewell as she embraces her new role as a pastoral associate in a parish.

We remain committed to providing for the sacramental needs of our residents through daily Mass and regular opportunities for confession, daily Communion services and anointing of the sick as needed.  This is made possible by the part-time presence of Fr. Chuck Keefe who is in his 23rd year at the Catholic Home.  Recently, as a result of our partnership with the Franciscan Friars of the Assumption Province, we have welcomed Fr. Joel Szydlowski and Brother Justin Kwientkowski to our community as the newest members of our pastoral care team.  In addition to administering the sacraments, their ministry of presence will include facilitating scripture reflections, spirituality groups, and visits with residents.

Plans are presently underway for the expansion of our bereavement ministry for residents, families, and employees.  We want to affirm that loss is a part of life and that all of us experience loss in many ways throughout our lives, no matter what our age or station.  Our goal is to be intentional in framing this ministry according to our Christian, Catholic calling.

As we build on over a century of pastoral care, we prayerfully recognize all who are involved formally and informally in this work.  Employees and residents minister to one another regularly and MCH has been further blessed by numerous volunteers whose presence and service further animates our mission and helps reaffirm our identity.