“SO glad you are stepping up and helping us when others are telling us to stay away” is a comment from the heart of COVID-19 isolation in Brisbane.
It was one of many grateful responses Catholic Psychiatric Pastoral Care has received from members of its community since it began offering pastoral care by phone to members in their homes.
Since members have been unable to visit the CPPC’s Fortitude Valley centre because of COVID-19 restrictions, the CPPC team of volunteer pastoral carers has been offering the chance to stay in touch by phone.
The CPPC team, which operates under the umbrella of Centacare Pastoral Ministries, has also offered the chance of pastoral care by phone to members from hostels who would normally visit the centre.
Hospitals, mental health centres, community care units and parishes were also contacted with that offer of support for those requesting it.
“But the immediate priority has been the support of our members isolated out in the community without hospital or hostel support and without many of their regular support networks and the (CPPC’s) members’ day centre being closed,” CPPC chaplain director Fr Jim Smith said.
Fr Smith said the ministry was following the call of Pope Francis for the Church “to look for creative ways of responding to this pandemic situation”.
“We believe that a comprehensive support system spiritually and therapeutically is our focus,” he said.
Part of the support offered included sending out spiritual resources and offering prayer support.
“As prayer intentions come in from members and pastoral carers we continue to forward these each week to the (CPPC’s) prayer ministry,” Fr Smith said.
“As we all endeavour to be creative in the ways we care for our people during the COVID-19 crisis, may we be together in prayer and united in the Risen Lord and the Holy Spirit.”
Meanwhile, CPPC has cancelled its 2020 training course for pastoral carers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.