A.A.A. Hospital Chaplain Wanted, Please also quote refrain: unable to work, unemployed job seekers and problematic varies made

- health ministry -

A.A.A. CHAPLAIN HOSPITAL WANTED, PLEASE REFRAIN: Unable to work, UNEMPLOYED IN SEARCH OF IMPEGO PROBLEM AND MADE OF VARIOUS

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and so we chose to go around the hospital keeping our religious habit in order to be immediately recognized, among many white coats, as Friars Minor Capuchin. And, I must say: it worked. After some time, in the hospital, they realized that the two men in brown clothes, with girdle around the hips, sandals and beards, were the new chaplains.

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Author
Ivano Liguori, Ofm. Capp.

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Cagliari, Church of Saint Lucia: St. Catherine Laboure of distributing the Miraculous Medal [by Aurelio Galleppini]

Let me try to shed light identity the hospital chaplain, as strange as it may seem, I realized that in fact the evidence shows, between the various pastoral figures within the Church, It is a being almost mythological.

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First, it is necessary to clarify the canonical and pastoral appearance: the chaplain is a priest chosen by the bishop for the pastoral care of that portion of the People of God which is living the time of disease at a health facility, for example a hospital, a clinic, or in an assisted geriatric nursing home.

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Already this first definition It allows you to do some special considerations: the place of action of the chaplain is not the parish or monastic church, but a care place where he performs a specialized operator function along with other figures. Understanding this is crucial because, within the healthcare facility, the chaplain is not the master, even the legal representative, as it happens instead in the case of the pastor. In facts, It is therefore one of the many. Understanding this aspect, What is crucial.

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Often, the spirit of vanity of us belonging to the clergy, It does not digest this nuance that is ill-suited to the priest, nor what certainly it helps to create opportunities in which God can reveal in a ministry as sensitive as the hospital, there is no doubt that the priest is a man, but never forget that he is - and it is called to be - a man given to God, that the chaplain and through the chaplain and through a dynamic of ordinariness and concealment that I like to approach the biblical period of the youth of Jesus in Nazareth.

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The place where the work is the hospital chaplain, clinic, l’hospice, assisted nursing home. All non-places consecrated by the scented oil of Chrism that the bishop used to consecrate to God a place for the worship. That is why today, the chaplain, It operates within a health resort that takes on highly secular connotations. Therefore, we can also forget the old black and white films of the fifties of the twentieth century, in which they could see the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de 'Paoli with their starched white hats, intent to ring the bell on the wards to announce the arrival of the priest carrying the Blessed Sacrament. None of this is happening today in these structures, within which the chaplain is silent presence, often confused between the various professionals in the health world.

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Having said that I open a small digression now: I arrived at the hospital Brotzu Cagliari, in 2013, sbrigate hiring practices was offered us the use of white coat: that common to all healthcare professionals. After a few moments of reflection, I and my brother, We decided to reject the proposal, not simply to increase the gap of anonymity and uniformity that the white coat gives. Thus, We chose to go around the hospital keeping our religious habit, especially in order to be immediately recognized among many white coats as Friars Minor Capuchin. And, I must say: it worked. After some time, the hospital realized that the two men in brown clothes, with girdle around the hips, sandals and beards, were the new chaplains.

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Now I wish to share with the readers of The island of Patmos some other interesting consideration: in health facilities, the chaplain, day after day has the task of earning a right of citizenship. Or to clarify: if the role of the chaplain - to date - is still recognized by the Law, The person filling this role needs to be known, therefore it must necessarily implement a sociability in the healthcare community in which it operates.

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The Daughters of Charity before yesterday – image of the Blessed Giuseppina Nicoli [1863-1924]

It is not my intention to make sermons, However I must say that the identity of the chaplain is inherent in his being priest. Only the priest can be chaplain [cf. can. 564 of the Code of Canon Law]. A good reason, the chaplain is for this required a style suited to its identity, social relations, expressing his devotion to God. And this I have to specify it clearly, because it often happens that the chaplain is instead identified as a kind of social worker, as a psychologist or as a confidant friend to all. And if from a certain point of view this is the consequence of a type of secularism increasingly rampant that tends to reshape what is alien, on the other hand it is necessary to ensure that the priest does not exercise his identity, distorting, up to assume other more attractive identity that are well accepted to modernity on the one hand, the spirit of secularism on the other hand.

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In health resorts, the priest chaplain is a prophet speaking on behalf of God because it is able to listen. It is the angel of Gethsemane who comforts the dying and reconciles with God [cf. LC 22, 43]. It is the guardian of mercy and justice for the Kingdom of God is realized between the platforms of many sick and weak, and father and teacher to guide and instruct men to the Gospel which is good news for all.

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the Daughters of Charity yesterday - image of Mother Suzanne Guillemin, Superior General from 1962 to the 1968

Before this priestly identity It fits the varied work of God, creating every man, It gives to each characteristic personal gifts, thus enriching the ministerial priesthood with their charisms at the service of God's people and of the Church.

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Finally, I wish to highlight a critical note concerning the figure of the hospital chaplain and a certain style of doing Health Pastoral. From what little I have written on the figure of the priest appointed to the position of chaplain in a health facility, it is clear how these should be a good quality element or, at least, unproblematic. Unfortunately,, the objective data derived from the facts as from the experiences, however this is not always. Indeed, in a historical moment in which the Church is suffering from a growing shortage of priests in the face of a lot of work to be done, the pastoral area of ​​health care is often discriminated. Our pastors prefer to employ their best priests in parishes, in family ministry, in the catechetical formation of young people, in welcoming the marginalized and so. It is a choice that one can also understand, does not share.

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Christ never made a hit parade in their ministry, but all the men who came to him were worthy of your attention and all received help and salvation.

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the Daughters of Charity today - formation meeting for religious

Some examples pastoral bad health implies that the figure of the chaplain. Let's start with the first case: appoint a chaplain elderly priest and sick because no longer able to sustain the parish pace that in itself calls for dynamism, equivalent to thinking that the hospital can provide prompt assistance for his injuries. To follow with the second case: appoint a chaplain priest without a parish in keeping placement is forced out of obedience to his bishop to stay in the hospital, but what with the risk that this person will end soon to be intolerant to disease and death, until not stand the smell of disinfectant or the sight of blood, and soon it became a fugitive difficult to reach, except for the day 27 of the month, when he picks up the salary Ente Hospital. The third case, Perhaps the saddest, Hospital is seen by some bishops as a place of exile, a kind of new Saint Helena Island for priests disobedient and unruly that ultimately this placed among the sick, as a kind of punishment.

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In these three cases, how is it possible to live and practice in the priestly ministry, health ministry through the concreteness of the loving invitation from Christ the Lord who calls us: "I was sick and you visited me" [cf. Mt 25, 36], in the full knowledge that "every time you did it to the least of these my brethren, you did it to me " ? [cf. Mt 25, 40].

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Cagliari, 8 December 2018

Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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