Identity of the Pastoral Agent of Health

8The pastoral agent of health is called and sent out by God to work on behalf of life in the world of health, they are the loving and liberating presence of Jesus who raises up and heals.

 Psychological and Human Aspects

A person rich in humanity, who communicates closeness, welcome, affection; capable of listening and welcoming the other with their personal history, their individuality and offering hospitality in their heart.

A balanced person, who possesses a human and psychological maturity that allows them to illuminate and orient conflictive and crisis situations.

Discreet, does not impose their presence; is attentive to capture what the other wants and needs; respects their silences and confidentiality. Recognizes their poverty, their limits, and is conscious of not being able to respond to so many problems, but has a heart capable of welcoming all suffering and communicating consolation, serenity and peace.

In their work, they do not let themselves be guided only by criteria of efficacy and of success.  Will constantly purify their motivations and in difficult moments, in which they feel discouraged and impotent, they will reinforce their trust in the Lord, the only one that can save them.

Dynamizes the processes of transformation of realities of suffering, pain and death in the realities of life and of hope. Is a person open to ongoing formation and training, desires to be up to date and offer an adequate and appropriate service.

Has leadership capabilities that enable them to encourage, coordinate, vivify and stimulate the living forces of a community and the work of pastoral groups.  Is a natural educator, capable of accompanying processes of change, discovering talents, fostering creativity, awakening and channeling expectations.

Respects the religious freedom and beliefs of the sick, their families and health care workers.  Recognizes and accepts the differences of a pluralist world.  Is a person of dialogue.  Cultivates patience, perseverance and constancy; knows how to carry out proposed plans and projects and is faithful to their commitments.

Believes in and encourages teamwork and interdisciplinary collaboration.  Knows how to work in joint pastoral projects and facilitates integration with other areas.  Possesses clear knowledge of reality and is trained to educate in the promotion of health and prevention of sickness.

The pastoral agent of health must accept and take on the reality that we live in a sick and wounded society.  Accepting and integrating their own wounds will help them to live out the call to share the ministry of healing, pardon and reconciliation, making themselves one with all human suffering, with a welcoming heart, full of comprehension, tenderness and love.

The sick evangelize us and remind us that our hope is placed in God.  Their courage and serenity challenge us and help us to grow spiritually; they enrich us on a human level and a level of faith.

Christological and ecclesiological aspects

12049159_10203794605705581_6577649881863654753_nThe missionary disciple has the significant mission of living and communicating the new life of Jesus Christ to our peoples.  Aparecida affirms it for us once and again: “Life grows by being given away. … Those who enjoy life most are those who leave security on the shore and become excited by in the mission of communicating life to others”

Pastoral agents are called to be a living image of Christ and his Church. They are the ones who, in a different way, update, reveal and communicate to the sick person not only the healing love and consolation of Jesus Christ, but they also express, in a continuous and often silent way, the miracles of healing that the Church has received from Christ and has the power to carry out.

In its therapeutic gestures and in its commitment, the Church puts into play in the field of health, its own credibility. Working in communion, pastoral agents express the totality of the therapeutic closeness of the good Samaritan, who, when he cures, announces the good news of the Father.

The model of service, of diaconia, that the Church is called to express today in the world of health, as a sign of the Kingdom, is the ecclesial communion that tends towards the full insertion of the sick person into the community and family, and also the elderly, the person with special needs, those who are weak and vulnerable, they are all accepted for who they are, without barriers or prejudices, valuing the unique contribution that they can make.

There are many requests for health and needs that await attention and an answer. There are many sick that suffer in hospitals, in our families, in our communities.  It is impossible for us to “personally” wash so many feet and bind so many wounds.

The Church is a community with diverse charisms and ministries and it exists together with the sick and their families, in the parish, just as in the hospital.  It is the capacity for acting together in communion that can transform it into a healing community

What is missing are not the people, or the good will, or the professional capacity for responding to different needs; what is often missing is a “presence that knows how to see”, that intercedes and knows how to patiently build relationships that lead each individual to give their healing answer.