Social Services & Bereavement

The Pastoral Associate is a link between the priests, deacons and service to the parish especially with regard to social ministry. The Pastoral Associate collaborates with the parish staff, pastoral council, committees and various organizations in fostering social ministry and other areas of ministry as needed.

Pastoral care of the sick, elderly and homebound, ministry to the bereaved and outreach to the needy are the main areas of involvement of the Pastoral Associate. Pastoral care of the sick, elderly and homebound includes visits to nursing facilities, homes, hospitals on a regular basis and making known to the priests any additional pastoral requests such as a desire for confession or receiving the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. Providing listening ears, support and resources to those who are ill and to their families is of utmost importance.  The Pastoral Associate also coordinates the volunteers who provide a weekly Bible Study and Communion Service at the Grand Residence and a Communion Service at Friendship Village. Any other initiatives for the sick and homebound such as friendly visiting are supported through the pastoral ministry office.

With regard to ministry to the bereaved, the Pastoral Associate expresses compassionate sympathy from the parish, assists the family in planning the liturgy of Christian Burial, leads the vigil service supported by the Ladies of Charity, and directs participation in the funeral liturgy.

Continuing support of families through phone calls, resource materials, referral to support groups or bereavement programs is a vital part of bereavement ministry also.  There is also a Book of Remembrance which is updated and a Mass of Remembrance is celebrated in November annually at St. Louise. A Widows Group called New Beginnings meets monthly in the parish.

The Pastoral Associate coordinates and/or supports outreach to the needy undertaken by the Ladies of Charity and individuals or groups that minister to them.  There is a vital outreach to the homeless, to Michael’s Place, to Pride which provides clothing for those seeking employment, to various groups ministering to children etc.  The Pastoral Associate also facilitates parish awareness and response to catholic social teaching.

The Pastoral Associate is open to involvements at school, with the youth group, RCIA, etc. that focus on social ministry and/or are supportive of the objectives of their ministry.

For more information, please contact Sr. M. Faith Balawejder, CSSF, Pastoral Associate at 412-833-1240 or email sfaith@stlouisedemarillac.org.

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