The Friendly Visitor Ministry
The Office of Social Justice in Pastoral Services at the Archdiocesan centre in Ottawa is working on a pilot project with a dedicated group of volunteers from the Seniors Ministry at Holy Cross parish to address some of the social and physical challenges senior citizens are facing in our parishes. The model of parish based community caring we are now pioneering is called the ”Friendly Visitor Ministry”.
In designing and pioneering a model of appropriate Christian caring we have chosen to focus on the basic needs of the fulfilled life; we recognize that meaning and purpose in life are located in the context of our connectedness, that is, in meaningful relationships of faith and trust in God and each other.
We are seeking to train “friendly visitors” capable of bringing the human compassion of friendship to homebound frail elders and homebound caregivers. We will offer four, three hour training sessions for our friendly visitor volunteers. These sessions are led by outside volunteer professionals and include these topics: enhancing knowledge of community resources for seniors within the community; recognizing and understanding dementia and mental illness in the elderly population; the art of active listening and a reflection on the spiritual dimension of caregiving; finally the ‘do’s and dont’s’ of friendly visiting in keeping with the requirements of responsible ministry for a vulnerable population.
Members of the parish interested in this ministry will be given a full description of the tasks and expectations of this ministry of caring and.compassion including the requisite steps necessary to provide ministry to a vulnerable sector of the population (such as, for example, the necessity of a police background check to work with members of a vulnerable population.)
This project for our parishes has been initiated by: Patricia Marsden-Dole, D. Min., Social Justice Coordinator, Archdiocese of Ottawa. Frances Hadley, RN (retired), MHA/MBA, Holy Cross Parish, Archdiocese of Ottawa.
For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org