Strength for the Journey

St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Riverside will launch the first of four monthly talks on “Accompanying the Sick and Dying” (Strength for the Journey) on Sunday, January 8, 2017.

Download the Flyer
The four-part symposium will begin with Works of Mercy, Faith Centered Care by Dr. Gregory Bottaro, a Clinical Psychologist (with a private practice in Byram) and Founder and Director of the Catholic Psych Institute. It will be held from 12:30 to 2 pm in the parish auditorium, 4 Riverside Avenue. “Dr. Bottaro will explore how we can be merciful, loving and charitable caregivers, as well as “take care” of our own emotional and spiritual needs while caregiving. He is a captivating speaker and his talk will be very rewarding,” said Dr. Lisa Rooney, Faith Community Nursing (FCN) minister and one of the coordinators of the Faith Community Nursing Ministry at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Riverside.

Dr. Rooney said each of the speakers in the four-part series “are pillars of care in our local community, with a reputation for approaching those who are in need of care with dignity, love, and charity within their respective vocations.” “I know so well, through my own profession, personal experience with my own family and my Faith Community Nursing (FCN) Ministry work these past few years, that these topics generate fear, dread, and avoidance,” Dr. Rooney said. “We are called to be joyful people. How can we remain so, while living with or witnessing the sadness of sickness and dying? And how can we live with loss afterwards?” she said.

She said the symposium is meant to bring knowledge and fortitude, hope and peace as people accompany those who are suffering. “No one can avoid this journey-if not called upon to personally accompany someone, we will at least be called upon to comfort or advise someone who is suffering or their caregiver,” she said. She said the lessons and topics of the symposium do not apply to just the elderly or those who care for the aged but for everyone. “We know that ‘as for that day and hour, nobody knows it…’ (Matthew 24) when someone we love and cherish will need our accompaniment through sickness, tragedy or death. How will we respond?”

The Faith Community Nursing (FCN) ministry at St. Catherine’s was started three years ago in response to a need to care for our fellow parishioners’ physical, emotional and spiritual well-being through times of sickness, death and other loss, emotional crises, and other hardships. FCN ministry assists the priests and deacons of the parish in ministering to all parishioners in need. “Our role is to support the work of our dedicated priests and deacons who are also visiting the sick and the dying, bringing them great comfort as well as the Sacraments,” said Dr. Rooney. “With Christ as our Center, we try and live the Gospel while visiting, assisting and bringing Communion to the sick, dying and homebound and providing referrals and other information for parishioners on issues of daily living,” she said.

The ministry makes bereavement calls, following up on the families of the deceased from the parish, offering comfort and support in addition to offering prayers. And we are a source of prayers, for our parishioners and each other and forming people in ministry to the sick and dying. It has made over 1000 visits in two years. Those who participate in the program are also invited to attend the 10:30 am Mass at St. Catherine of Siena Church, followed by a light lunch at noon in the school gymnasium. The talk begins at 12:30. All talks will be held in the parish auditorium, 4 Riverside Avenue.

Symposium Dates and Topics

January 8, 2017
Works Of Mercy — Faith Centered Care
Dr. Gregory Bottaro, Clinical Psychologist; Founder/Director of The Catholic Psych Institute

February 19, 2017
Peace Through Preparation — Talking About End-of-Life Decisions
Dr. Donna Coletti, Founder and Medical Director of Palliative Care at Greenwich Hospital

April 23, 2017
Pastoral Care -Stories from a Life of Service
Msgr. Alan F. Detscher, Pastor; Reverend William F. Platt, Parochial Vicar and Deacon Robert Henrey, St. Catherine of Siena Parish May 7, 2017 Letting Go While Holding On – Living with Loss Dr. Heather Wright, Ordained Minister, PCUSA; Licensed Professional Counselor and Executive Director of the Greenwich Center for Hope and Renewal

May 7, 2017
Letting Go While Holding On – Living with Loss
Dr. Heather Wright, Ordained Minister, PC
USA; Licensed Professional Counselor and Executive Director of the Greenwich Center for Hope and Renewal