The parish and locally
Whatsoever you did to the least of these, you did to me.
The Church is essentially community, and so most pastoral care of people happens within the life of the local community – be that parish or through chaplaincies. The local priest is the pastor of that community, and assisted by other members of the clergy, religious and lay people he will respond to the pastoral needs of those who make up the parish and also those who come for assistance of some sort – be it spiritual, personal or material. Many parishes have support groups – for the elderly, for the frail, for mothers with small children, the bereaved and for young people and others identifiable groups.
Most parish buildings are equipped with the Loop system for the hard of hearing, will have access for wheel chairs, large print books and other equipment to assist those with special needs. Designated welcomers or stewards as well as normal parishioners will always be available to offer assistance and help to those who require it
Parishes offer a variety of support – you can check your local parish here.
Chaplaincies in hospitals are an important part of the pastoral care offered by the church to those who are in need because of illness. It is always helpful if the local catholic parish or chaplain can be contacted in advance or at the time when someone goes into hospital – otherwise they may not get the pastoral care we would want them to receive. You can check your local hospital chaplaincy here.
Catholic Schools are regarded as an important part of the church and pastoral care is offered to pupils, staff and parents. In primary school this is usually done through the local parish priest who will be familiar with school and active in its daily life. In large schools there may also be dedicated chaplains. You can check your local school here.
As well as schools, the church is present in higher education and a Catholic chaplaincy service exists in all institutions of higher education in the Diocese, where there are people who can offer support and pastoral care to students. You can check Higher Education chaplaincy here.
Military bases and prisons also have a system of Catholic chaplains recruited and employed by the armed forces and Prison service. These often include local Catholic clergy and lay people as well as full time chaplains. They offer specialised care for the men and women in these establishments and are trained for this work. You can check Military chaplaincy here and Prison chaplaincy here.