One of the great things about my work here at Fordham is that it brings me into contact with people from all over the country and beyond who are involved in a wide variety of church ministries. Moreover, many of the conversations in which I am involved concern the ministry opportunities that are available to Fordham GSRRE graduates. In a recent conversation with David Lichter from the National Association of Catholic Chaplains, David shared the following reflection he had written about exploring a call to the ministry of chaplaincy:
What will your future service or ministry be? Did you know that some men and women are drawn to be with people in their moments of crises, suffering, illness, or nearness to death to provide a compassionate presence and help them cope emotionally and spiritually with their life circumstances? Chaplains are remarkable people. Have you ever considered this profession? In health care and other such settings, men and women have found great satisfaction in the pastoral/spiritual care ministry. Over half of the members of the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) are lay women and men, endorsed as lay ecclesial health care ministers serving in hospitals, hospices, long term care, and a variety of other settings. For more than 47 years our NACC members, priests, religious men and women, deacons, and lay men and women, have continued the healing ministry of Jesus in the name of the Church. Would you consider this profession? Go to http://www.nacc.org/about/default.asp to find answers to many questions, as well as testimonies by many serving in this spiritual care field.
A number of times over the past five years, I have heard David speak about ministry as a chaplain. He always speaks with great clarity and insight as well as passion about the ways chaplaincy can be life-giving and life-sustaining work. After our most recent discussion, I wanted to share David’s words, and I encourage those of you exploring how you can make use of your talents and gifts to consider the ministry of chaplaincy.
n Harold (Bud) Horell, Assistant Professor of Religious Education