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Western Maryland Health System to celebrate Pastoral Care Week

October 15th, 2018 by WCBC Radio

Once again this year, Western Maryland Health System (WMHS) will celebrate Pastoral Care Week from October 21-27. This year marks the 33rd year for the event.


This year’s theme, “Hospitality: Cultivating Time”, offers a rich opportunity to develop relationships and extend hospitality to those who extend spiritual care, to those who collaborate with spiritual care providers and to those who are the recipients of the spiritual care. 


Cultivating and nurturing time is challenging in an age of instantaneous communication, and it takes time for mutual trust to develop. This year, the WMHS Pastoral Care team hopes that time will be more appreciated and dedicated to the spiritual care of patients and staff.


“Caring for the spiritual needs of patients and staff at WMHS is our priority and mission,” said Rev. Bruce McBride, Director of Pastoral Care. “We strive to show compassion with the love of God to hurting families. Our chaplains are available 24/7 to minister to any family in need.”


In addition to McBride, the WMHS Pastoral Care team includes full-time staff chaplain Charles Shelquist, chaplain associates and volunteer prayer partners. Clergy, eucharistic ministers and other religious professionals from throughout the tri-state area are always welcome to provide spiritual support to members of their faith who are receiving care at WMHS.


Pastoral care services also are available for persons receiving home care or hospice services. The support a chaplain provides during these home visits can be very beneficial for patients and their families who are dealing with a serious illness or end-of-life issues.


During the week, the team will host a special dedication service in the chapel for all the WMHS chaplains and prayer partners who serve at the Health System. The Pastoral Care team will also strive to visit every patient in WMHS this special week.


Rev. Charles Shelquist, Staff Chaplain, added, “I encounter former patients out in the community and they recognize me and come up to me and speak about how pastoral care provided to them was appreciated.  One my former patient’s even introduces me as her chaplain to store clerks or anyone else who is in the vicinity when we meet. Their reactions confirm, in my mind, how vital pastoral care is in the healthcare setting.”

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