March/April 2020:
Pastoral Care Ministry Newsletter
Visiting an elderly person
Commission on Pastoral Care Reflection
- By Sr. Eleanor Guerin, RSM

Senior Services & Pastoral Outreach,
St. Vincent de Paul, Albany
"Have you ever heard this dialogue? “You have been such of a help.” With the reply, “All I did was listen.” Isn’t this the desire and longing of all human hearts, especially those who are marginalized and isolated because of age or illness?

When people are living in their own homes, or a care-facilities or with a relative, they can feel very isolate and lonely, not because people are not caring and trying to make life pleasant, but sometime there is just not enough time and energy to provide enough companionship." ...   Read more.
Notes from the Director
Lenten Greetings everyone . This is a time of year when many of our sick, elderly and pastoral visitors may be susceptible to the flu and other illnesses. I would like to stress the importance of all pastoral visitation ministers to follow the normal precautionary measures of washing your hands before and after visiting the elderly and sick.
Please do not visit someone if you yourself are feeling ill, as many seniors have compromised immune systems and are more susceptible to transmission of germs. In today’s news there is a lot of attention being given to the coronavirus and how easily it is transmitted. Please use all precautionary measures necessary if you or someone you know may have come in contact with someone who has flu like symptoms. Illness can easily isolate a person. If you are unable to visit a sick or elderly person, due to your own illness or theirs, you might consider talking on the telephone with them in order to remain connected and help avoid a sense of isolation and loneliness. Thank you for all you do for the sick, elderly and homebound in our diocese.  - Harley McDevitt
Emmaus Ministry
for Grieving Parents
One Day Retreat
Saturday, April 25
Corpus Christi Church, Round Lake

Losing a child under any circumstances is horrendous. Focusing on the spirituality of the grieving process can help tremendously. Just as He comforted His grieving disciples on the road to Emmaus, Jesus comforts us and we comfort each other in this very special ministry.
Join other Emmaus Parent Companions and our St. Clement’s Church Emmaus Ministry Retreat Team in a warm and loving place—
to think, to talk, to feel, and to pray. Find compassion, rest, and peace… at least for a time.  Retreat information and registration.
Pastoral Visitation to the Sick, Elderly & Homebound Formation & Skill Building Workshops
April 20 - May 9
St. Edward the Confessor Church
Clifton Park

Skill building and formation workshops for those interested in volunteering as a visitor to the sick, elderly, and homebound.

The weekly sessions are offered for those who are currently involved in the Pastoral Care Ministry as a Coordinator, Parish Visitor, Faith Community Nurse, or Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist.
Lenten Resources  
Lent is a beautiful time in the liturgical year to put aside some time for prayer and reflection. You can find some resources for retreats, prayer and reflection here:

  • Dominican Retreat House:
7th Annual Dustin Mele Memorial Concert

Saturday, March 7
T his is a fundraiser that is near and dear to members of our staff, and all proceeds  benefit suicide prevention programs and mental health intervention services  through 3 wonderful programs: our Diocesan friends, the Catholic Charities CoNSERNS-U Program; as well as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP); and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

In 2013, our local community lost a bright light. Dustin was kind-hearted, full of positive energy and always encouraging others. Proof that anyone can be lost to suicide in an instant. Dustin's family and friends believe that with advocating for suicide prevention programs that help erase the stigma of depression and making proper mental health care more easily available, lives can be saved. Read More .
March 7:
Spring Memorial Masses- St. Agnes Menands & Most Holy Redeemer, Niskayuna

March 11: Lenten Evening of Reflection, Dominican Retreat & Conference Center, Niskayuna

March 14:
Spring Memorial Mass- St. Mary's Troy

March 15:

March 24 or 26:
Path to God: Centering Prayer, Dominican Retreat & Conference Center, Niskayuna

March 25:

March 27 and 28:

March 31:
Lenten Day of Reflection, Dominican Retreat & Conference Center, Niskayuna

April 1:
Spring Clean-up in all Albany Diocesan Cemeteries

April 14:

April 20 - May 9:
Pastoral Visitation Training Workshops, St. Edward the Confessor Church, Clifton Park

April 23:
Adult Mental Health First Aid , Pastoral Center

April 25:
Emmaus Ministry For Grieving Parents One Day Retreat , Corpus Christi Church, Round Lake

May 20 - June 17:
The Serious Side of Food Program- St. Agnes, Menands

May 21:
Remembrance Garden Prayer Service- Most Holy Redeemer, Niskayuna

May 22:

June 11:

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Caregiver Resources
Self-care in Pastoral Visitation Ministry

Have you ever heard yourself saying “I just don’t have enough time to get everything done. ”  The ministries of pastoral visitation, bereavement and wakes/funerals, can take a toll on parish coordinators as well as volunteers as one tries to accommodate the needs of individuals and families at a time of crisis and vulnerability. It is imperative to have a good prayer life and take time to nurture yourself to avoid burn-out. If you are experiencing many signs of stress , it’s important to take the time necessary to talk to someone about how you might make some changes in your life/routine to remain healthy and avoid physical/emotional burn-out and illness.
Some helpful stress management resources can be found here:

Pastoral Care Ministry is a program of Albany Diocesan Cemeteries

If the Pastoral Care Coordinator at your parish changes, please notify Harley McDevitt . Thank you!