Salvatorian Sister Jenada Fanetti asks God each morning to inspire her ministry to people who are homebound or live in skilled or assisted care facilities. She says, “As I travel from one place to another, I keep silence in my car and lift my heart to God. I pray even when I’m walking up to knock on a door.” She reminds herself, “It’s not me. It’s God working through me to reveal His presence,” often, to people who are sick or dying.
Many of our sisters who have retired from full-time service in education, social work and health care embrace the sacred privilege of pastoral care giving. They’re answering a call from God to restore hope, faith and love to the hearts of people who are hurting.
Sr. Jenada’s visits with a woman living with Alzheimer’s disease are just one example:
“When I arrived one day she was very anxious and no longer spoke. I took her hand and began singing a spiritual song. Her hand began to move with the rhythm; then her leg began moving. Later, sounds came from her mouth as if to sing with me. Peace and calm radiated from her. Later, when I got to my car, tears of joy ran down my face. I thanked God for showing me the way to convey His love. After that day, I spent my weekly visits singing with her until the day God took her home.”
As Christians, we believe care for the soul is vital to wholeness. Through pastoral care, a person can find wholeness even in the face of terminal illness, the unexpected death of a loved one, or incarceration.
Our 2016 Christmas appeal will support all our sisters God has called to the 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.
For Sr. Jenada, the sacred and holy experience of her pastoral care ministry deeply connects her to God. She says, “I feel His presence in a profound way.”
When we celebrate the birth of our Divine Savior, we feel God’s presence too. You can help us bring His blessing of hope, faith and love to others with your gift this Christmas.