Pastoral caregiver honors each soul’s journey

No matter what each new day brings, Sister Darlene Pienschke, SDS stays mindful of the Salvatorian mission to make known the goodness and kindness of Jesus. It helps her focus on caring for the spiritual needs of residents at St. Anne’s Salvatorian Campus in Milwaukee.

“At St. Anne’s, I try to foster the compassion of God’s love among residents in the skilled care and assisted living areas. And, I extend it to their families, and our staff and volunteers who share awareness of our mission,” says Sr. Darlene.

Formerly a missionary in the Amazon basin, Sr. Darlene served villagers who had no access to conventional medical care. She established health teams, practiced midwifery, and taught and published herbal remedies. She also provided pastoral care to impoverished people in rural areas and “favelas” of São Paulo, Brazil.

Before joining St. Anne’s team as Director of Mission and Spiritual Care in 2011, Sr. Darlene had spent 20 years in Tucson, most recently as a full-time hospice nurse. Returning to Wisconsin brought Sr. Darlene full circle, back to where she was born and raised and began her life as a Salvatorian. She describes her companioning ministry at St. Anne’s.

“For me, it’s about journeying alongside others and respecting all aspects of their human spirit. At times, I find I need to be still so I can be attentive to emotional and spiritual pain, and respond tenderly to the disorder and confusion brought on by illness or hardship.

Other times, companioning engages us in the joy and laughter of life. It’s about honoring the sacredness of the soul’s journey—yours, mine, and those we meet along the way. There are so many dimensions to caring for each other’s hearts.”

Our 2016 Christmas appeal supports Sr. Darlene and all our sisters God has called to the sacred ministry of pastoral care. Whether comforting the sick, offering grief support, or visiting prisoners, our sisters are the face of Christ to people in need. Help us bring His blessing of hope, faith and love to others with your gift this Christmas.

 

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