National Chaplain Center
The Mission of the National Chaplain Center is to empower Department of Veterans Affairs Chaplains in the achievement of excellence in meeting the Spiritual Healthcare needs of Veterans.
- Provide Supportive Spiritual Care
- Are Members of a Patient Care Team
- Design and Lead Religious Ceremonies of Worship and Ritual
- Lead or Participate in Healthcare Ethics Programs
- Educate the Healthcare Team and the Community on Religious & Spiritual Issues
- Act as Mediators and Reconcilers for those who Need a Voice in the Healthcare System
- Serve as Contact Persons to Arrange Assessment for the Appropriateness and Coordination of Complementary Therapies
- Certifying Organizations Encourage and Support Research Activities to Assess the Effectiveness of Providing Spiritual Care
"Hospitality: Cultivating Inclusion” is this year’s theme for Pastoral Care Week October 22-28, 2017.
Pastoral Care Week gives organizations and institutions of all kinds and types an opportunity to recognize the spiritual caregivers in their midst and the ministry which the caregivers provide. Organizations and institutions throughout the world recognize the spiritual needs of those we serve and the spiritual care given through professional chaplaincy and pastoral counseling within our communities.
Regardless of spiritual, religious or cultural background, Pastoral Care Week celebrates those who provide spiritual support to others. It is supported by the COMISS Network: The Network on Ministries in Specialized Settings, (formerly known as the Coalition on Ministry in Specialized Settings) provides support for the celebration. Their members provide care in specialized settings such as hospitals, prisons, businesses, industries, long-term care facilities, pastoral counseling centers, hospices, military settings, nursing homes, corporations, congregations of sisters, priests and brothers, schools and universities throughout the world.
This year’s theme, "Hospitality: Cultivating Inclusion,” acknowledges the role of Chaplains in supporting the sense of identity as people find meaning in belonging to a common humanity and particular cultures. The idea of our sharing a high regard for life and dignity of human beings has found its source in religious, philosophical and societal communities. Hospitality as practiced by so many cultures and religions breaks through walls of alienation and marginalization which deny human belonging. Welcoming, understanding, and celebrating the place of those who have been isolated make for a wonderfully diverse expression of community. Cultivating (growing and nurturing) attitudes and actions of inclusion means that people are cared for as valuable members of the human family.
Many institutions will celebrate Pastoral Care Week by honoring the work and gifts of pastoral/spiritual care givers locally and internationally, as well as the spiritual needs of those who serve. Among the variety of celebrations will be hand-blessing ceremonies for health workers; open houses; poetry jams by clients; lecture series and luncheons.
Please take a moment to stop by your local VA Chaplain’s office to thank them for the work they do, or chat about how they can provide assistance when needed. Other resources are available, including governmental proclamations, artwork, at www.pastoralcareweek.org* .
*Link will take you outside of the Dept of Veterans Affairs (VA)Website. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked websites. The link will open in a new window.