Welcome to Hospitaller Order of St. John of God St. Thomas Province, India

Hospitaller Order of
St. John of God

Chaplain & Vulnerability

“In the hospital the attitudes of the staff will be formed by the way we respond to pastoral calls. This is especially true in those instances where it becomes clear that the staff are seeking help and support as well as the patient and family. An understanding of the National Health Service and of that factors affecting moral and working relationships, can help the pastor to respond more appropriately to evidence of staff stress and vulnerability.

Whilst staff in hospital and community rightly expect a prompt, reliable and professional response from those who share with them in the care of sick people, they nevertheless find it reassuring if we can also express our vulnerability and the fact that we don’t have it all wrapped up and neatly package. So many of the pastoral situations which arise in hospital are not clear cut with easy and obvious answers. The ability of the chaplain to say, “I don’t know, I don’t fully understand - but I believe that’s all right”, can indeed be a saving grace in the midst of so much technological know-how, and on-going professional assessment, ... it is the possibility of isolation and vulnerability that the chaplain has to come to terms with and which can be a most valuable asset and link with patients and staff, enabling him or her to be a key person in initiating and establishing ways of caring for the carers.” (From: SPECK Peter, Being There. Pastoral care in time of illness, SPCK, London, 1988, p. 126-127.)

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