Parish nursing program helps professionals give back to their communities

https://goo.gl/mgUkLm

BRAINTREE -- For up to a dozen hours each week, Barbara Logan visits the sick and the elderly. She visits them in assisted living facilities, in hospitals, in their own homes, going to them because often they cannot come to her. She brings them Communion and holds their hand, speaks to them about their health and their health care, and sometimes just about life and about death. She might check their medications or their blood pressure, and refer them if something seems wrong.

A parishioner of Holy Trinity Parish in Quincy, Logan is a parish nurse. It's a volunteer position, something to keep her busy since retiring in 2010 after decades of working as a recovery room nurse.

"I didn't want to just retire and not do anything," Logan told The Pilot April 21. Parish nursing "keeps me doing what I love."

Medically-based and incorporating spirituality, parish nursing, also called faith community nursing, is motivated by the idea of giving -- giving one's time and experience to lend support to a local or parish community, particularly to those in the community who cannot support themselves.

The Archdiocese of Boston has a ministry dedicated to parish nursing, the Faith Community Health and Parish Nursing Ministry. Led by director Deacon James Greer, the ministry serves as a way to educate, create, and lend support to parish nurses throughout the archdiocese and beyond.

Logan's daughter, Karen Wenger, a former ER nurse and a nurse educator, is the Faith Community Nursing Educator for the archdiocese. She runs the faith community nursing courses, and is responsible for forming parish nurses. Since first coming to the archdiocese about four years ago, Wenger has formed and educated dozens of parish nurses.

Speaking to The Pilot April 20, Wenger said she has had people in her classes from other dioceses, and has educated people of different faiths. Faith community nursing, she explained, isn't just open to Catholics, or even Christians for that matter. It is training that can be beneficial to anyone, and to any community.

In essence, she said, parish nursing is about helping communities, helping people, and "Everything we do is to promote the inherent dignity of the human person."

Lately, there has been a push to aid in the opioid epidemic, and many area parish nurses are putting up posters and signs, handing out flyers, and collaborating with community groups to explain the dangers of drug abuse and the disease of addiction.

Many other parish nurses aid the elderly or the sick with after-hospital care, including speaking with them about medications and their plan for health care. Other times, a parish nurse might host a free blood pressure clinic at his or her parish, or give an educational talk.

"There's all different things we can do, it really depends on who's in our parishes, what are their healthcare needs (and) what are people looking for in terms of information," she said.

Logan and Wenger took a parish nursing course together back in the early 2000s. Earlier this month, the two also attended an international conference on faith community nursing at the International Parish Nurse Resource Center in Memphis, Tennessee.

According to Logan, the conference was attended by about 300 people, and served as an opportunity to learn best practices and connect with other parish nurses.

The courses Wenger teaches are based on materials from the Memphis center. Typically, the courses involve a little less than 40 contact hours, and have taken place on Saturdays at the archdiocese's Pastoral Center in Braintree. They run all day on Saturdays, taking about five sessions to complete the course. Generally, said Wenger, courses are offered twice a year.

On April 21, Wenger's most recent course came to a close with the "graduation" of six prospective parish nurses. At the Pastoral Center, the graduates participated in a prayer service, and were given certificates and pins. A few family members of the graduates were present, and clapped as their loved one received their recognition.

At a small reception held following the ceremony, Charles Bergeron, one of the new graduates, told The Pilot the course was "very thorough," and had "a lot of spirituality involved in it," which, as a Catholic and a parishioner of St. Mary of the Annunciation in Danvers, was something he enjoyed.

Bergeron is a nurse case manager, and though he enjoys the job, he doesn't know how much longer he will do it. He is approaching retirement age, he said, and he's beginning to plan for life after retirement.

To him, after years of working to support himself and his family, retirement would mean "more time for the Church," and for the community.

"I want to do something towards the later part of my life for other people," he said, and thought that parish nursing would be a good step.

"I think it is my time to give back to the community," he said, his new pin pinned on his shirt, his certificate on the table that stretched out before him.

World
Be grateful to parents, never insult them, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Honoring mothers and fathers means being grateful for the gift of life and Christians should never insult anyone's parents, Pope ...

World
Canadian cardinal: Women should help screen, train priest applicants

Poznan, Poland, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- Increasing the role of women in screening and training priests is among the steps that should be taken to prevent future ...

World
Vatican delegation will travel to China this month to finalize agreement, Chinese newspaper reports

Beijing, China, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- A newspaper tied to the Chinese Communist Party reported Tuesday that a delegation of Vatican officials will head to ...

World
Cardinal Marx says mistakes were made, calls for change in German church

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German bishops' conference, admitted that mistakes were made in the German church's handling of sex abuse of minors ...

Nation
Church crisis response: Healing Masses, listening sessions, fasting

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In response to the sexual abuse crisis in the church, Catholics are praying for victims, talking about their frustration and anger, ...

Nation
Pope names Minnesota priest as auxiliary bishop of Hartford

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Francis has appointed Father Juan M. Betancourt, a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as auxiliary bishop ...

World
Listening church: Pope gives new vision for Synod of Bishops

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Synod of Bishops increasingly should be a structure for listening to the Catholic faithful, demonstrating a local bishop's concern ...

Nation
Director of Courage releases letter on Penn. abuse report

Washington D.C., Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Courage International, an apostolate to support people with same sex-attraction in leading chaste lives, has issued ...

Nation
Richmond bishop apologizes to victims; commits to opening, reviewing files

RICHMOND, Va. (CNS) -- In celebrating the Diocese of Richmond's first Mass of Atonement for victims of abuse Sept. 14, Bishop Barry C. Knestout apologized ...

Nation
Stanford University to remove saint's name from some properties

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- California's Stanford University will strip the name of 18th-century Franciscan friar, St. Junipero Serra, from some of its properties ...

Nation
Catholic Charities distributes disaster relief to areas hit by Florence

RALEIGH, N.C. (CNS) -- The Carolinas were hard hit with record rainfall and flooding rivers from tropical storm Florence since it made landfall Sept. ...

Nation
Archbishop Lori assures diocese he's with them in journey toward healing

WHEELING, W.Va. (CNS) -- In his celebration of Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling Sept. 15, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore said ...

World
Bishop takes a (sky) dive to get pilgrims to Lourdes

HOVE, England (CNS) -- "The Moth has landed," tweeted the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. The tweet Sept. 14 and a similar post on the diocesan Facebook ...

World
Words, promises are not enough to prevent abuse, archbishop says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Inviting presidents of the world's bishops' conference to the Vatican to discuss abuse prevention reflects an understanding that ...

World
Pope praises Capuchin order's charism of authenticity, simplicity

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Capuchins are called to be men of peace, reconciliation and prayer and to be close to all people, Pope Francis told members of the ...

Nation
Path to healing starts with seeking forgiveness, Cardinal Wuerl says

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A "Season of Healing" for sexual abuse survivors began in the Archdiocese of Washington with a Sept. 14 Mass at the Cathedral of St. ...

World
Archbishop McCarrick's unofficial role in Vatican-China relations

Vatican City, Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Following reports that the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China could be about to sign an agreement ...

Nation
Archbishop Chaput: When we forget faith, we forget our humanity

Spokane, Wash., Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- When man tries to cling to reason and separate himself from faith, he forgets who he is and loses his source of hope, ...

World
Pope Francis warns priests against living a double life

Palermo, Italy, Sep 15, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- During a day trip to Sicily Saturday, Pope Francis told priests and religious to fight their vices and strive ...

World
What is the pontifical secret?

Vatican City, Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- Following the allegations made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò about the case of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, ...

World
Vatican publishes list of synod participants, including papal nominees

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- To the list of members of the Synod of Bishops elected by national bishops' conferences, Pope Francis added cardinals from 14 countries, ...

Nation
Addicts and their loved ones talk about life with opioid addiction

ARLINGTON, Va. (CNS) -- It was a Saturday night, and Billy was eating pizza and watching a sporting event in the basement bedroom of his residence, a ...

Nation
Signers of letter hope Vatican meeting will bring needed steps on crisis

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Signers of an open letter from Catholic women to Pope Francis urging "truth" and "transparency" on the growing sex abuse crisis expressed ...

Local
Community 'overwhelmed and shell-shocked' after gas explosions, says pastor

LAWRENCE -- Volunteers at St. Patrick Church's Cor Unum Meal Center were serving dinner when multiple natural gas explosions and fires broke out in homes ...

World
Down to earth: Vatican brings together world's meteorite curators

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) -- Rocks, mineral debris and even dust from space are kept in special collections, museums and laboratories all over the ...

World
Algerian martyrs to be beatified in Algeria Dec. 8

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The beatification of 19 martyrs of Algeria, including the seven Trappist monks of Tibhirine, will be celebrated Dec. 8 in Oran, ...

Nation
'Anything but a picnic' - Cardinal Dolan on the Church's summer of scandal

New York City, N.Y., Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- Cardinal Timothy Dolan has spoken about how the extended sexual abuse scandals facing the Church have taken a ...

Local
Restoring and reimagining: Transformation at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross

BOSTON -- Considered by many to be the heart of the Archdiocese of Boston, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross is the largest Catholic church in New England, ...

Local
Archdiocese says Cardinal O'Malley will personally review all abuse letters

BRAINTREE (CAN) -- The Archdiocese of Boston has announced changes to the way it will process and respond to letters addressed to Cardinal Séan P. ...

Local
CM receives $2.5M grant from Yawkey Foundations

West Roxbury -- Catholic Memorial, a college-preparatory school for boys in grades 7 to 12, announced Sept. 5 that they have received a $2.5 million grant ...

Local
Father Christian Ohazulume removed from ministry

BRAINTREE -- The Archdiocese announced on Sept. 11 that it had removed a priest from ministry after receiving an allegation that he sexually abused a ...

Local
From Cardinal Seán's blog

This week I am in transit to Rome in anticipation of the next meeting of the C9 Council of Cardinals. So, I have asked Vivian Soper to share some reflections ...

Nation
Kavanaugh's birth control comments spur controversy -- What did he say?

Washington D.C. (CNA) -- Opponents of Judge Brett Kavanaugh have suggested that a reference to birth control pills as "abortion-inducing drugs" during ...

Nation
Missouri to enforce abortion regulations in wake of appeals court ruling

Jefferson City, Mo. (CNA) -- Missouri's health department announced Monday that it will immediately being enforcing state laws regulating abortion clinics ...

Nation
Book tells about behind-the-scenes search for St. Peter's bones

HOUSTON (CNS) -- Two Houston men shared a journey through centuries of history and a decades-long archaeological dig under the Vatican to unveil a story ...

World
Update way priests are chosen, accompanied, pope tells new bishops

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The best way to help the Catholic Church, Pope Francis told new bishops, is not by pointing fingers and creating scapegoats, but ...

World
Vatican confirms ongoing Sistine Chapel Choir finance inquiry

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican confirmed an ongoing investigation into financial irregularities involving the directors of the Sistine Chapel Choir. ...

World
After meeting pope, cardinal says he's hopeful about addressing crisis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston struck a determinedly hopeful tone after his long-awaited meeting with Pope Francis ...

Nation
DA clears Indiana bishop of misconduct, says claim has harmed prelate

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (CNS) -- The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend welcomed findings by a Pennsylvania district attorney that cleared Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades ...

World
Cardinal DiNardo calls meeting with pope lengthy, fruitful

Vatican City, Sep 13, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Cardinal Daniel DiNardo has called a Sept. 13 meeting between Pope Francis and leaders from the Church in United ...

Nation
What do Church abuse policies mean by 'vulnerable adult?'

Denver, Colo., Sep 12, 2018 CNA.- A Vatican summit this February will gather the presidents of bishops’ conferences from around the world. While ...

World
'Elitist, clericalist' church allows abuse to thrive, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Sexual and physical abuse by priests and religious and the scandal of its cover-up by church authorities thrive in countries where ...

World
Cardinal Wuerl to ask pope to accept his resignation

Washington D.C., Sep 12, 2018 CNA.- An archdiocesan spokesman has confirmed that Cardinal Donald Wuerl will soon ask Pope Francis to accept his resignation ...

Nation
Pope accepts resignation of West Virginia bishop as inquiry into abuse claims launched

Vatican City, Sep 13, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Pope Francis Thursday accepted the resignation of Bishop Michael J. Bransfield from the pastoral government ...