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Graduates of new Centacare course commissioned

Ready to care: Centacare pastoral ministries director Judy Norris (back left) with a group commissioned at the completion of Centacare’s inaugural pastoral carers’ course.

A NEW group of pastoral carers has been commissioned for service in Brisbane archdiocese.

They were commissioned at Mass recently in St Stephen’s Chapel after having completed a new course being offered by Centacare.

Pastoral ministries director Judy Norris said Centacare introduced the course this year after the closure of the Multifaith Academy for Community Ministries which had trained hospital pastoral carers for the past 25 years.

About 70 people attended the commissioning Mass, including those being commissioned, their families and hospital supervisors of other Christian traditions.

Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital chaplain Marist Father Michael Carroll was  principal celebrant and Divine Word Missionaries Father Sunil Paul, of Kingston-Marsden parish, concelebrated.

Franciscan Father Stephen Bliss, of Ipswich parish, also attended.

Gympie parishioner Helen Long, who was among those commissioned, said she hoped the formation would help her as a volunteer in the parish community.

She had been volunteering at Little Haven Palliative Care for about a year and that was one of the reasons she enrolled in the Centacare course.

“I’d got involved (at Little Haven) through knowing people with cancer,” Ms Long said.

She said she had been “journeying” with people with cancer, and had been taking Communion to the sick and elderly.

“I felt absolutely elated (when I finished the Centacare course),” Ms Long said. “The course was spiritually uplifting.”

De La Salle Brother Brian Cunningham will continue as a pastoral carer at Logan Hospital after having completed the Centacare course.

Through the course he was supervised for a 100 hours visiting at the hospital, where he and two other parishioners from Kingston-Marsden were pastoral carers among 26 chaplains from various denominations.

“I look forward to promoting the course next year,” Br Cunningham said.

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