Hospitals, Higher Education, Armed Forces and Prisons
In the gospels Jesus was very present to those who were sick, and brought them healing and comfort. That is why there is always a Catholic presence in hospitals to bring the healing of the sacraments and the assurance of the presence of God’s people to the sick and those who accompany them at this difficult time. Please always contact the Catholic chaplain at any hospital – there is always a designated chaplain who will ensure that any sick person will be supported in their faith in the time of need.
Many people have had the exciting experience of leaving home to go to a College or University to study. It is a time of change and discovery. At such a significant time, the Church wants to support her members as they explore life and their own understanding of their faith, which may seem very different from life at home. A chaplain or chaplaincy team will be there at College or University to sustain and support the faith of those who are making this transition, and will listen and help equip those who are having their world opened up. The Catholic Church has always encouraged her members to explore and discover the extraordinary world that study opens to God’s people; you will be warmly welcomed.
In this part of the country there are many bases for the Army, Navy and Air Force and their training establishments. Part of the sacrifice that those who join the Armed Forces make is to be separated from their family and friends. This can be especially difficult when big problems arise with the person themselves or with those who are important to them. At times like that it is important to know that the people of God – the Church – want to support you and bring you the consolation of the gospel. It also wants to rejoice with you when good news comes – such as the birth of a child. The Armed Forces have designated chaplains, who minister in each of the services. Their role is to help and support you in your faith and keep you in contact with your Church community. Always feel free to contact your chaplain and share your joys and sorrows.
In the gospel of St Matthew (ch 25) Jesus makes specific reference to caring for those in prison. It is an important part of the Christian message. That is why there are always Catholic chaplains, and often support teams, designated for every prison and similar facility. Many of those who find themselves in prison will be far from family, friends and their local community; the chaplain is there to remind them in a concrete way that they are always members of the Church – brothers and sisters with Christ and his people. Chaplains are well-trained in their calling, seeking to offer help and support, and their purpose is always to encourage and assist all those who they encounter in their faith and to know that they are always held in God’s love.