Grant allows for pastoral outreach program

First Posted: 7/28/2014

The Mercy Consultation Center in Dallas, received a $3,750 grant from the Mercy Foundation at the second annual Mercy Foundation Grant Awards Ceremony and Luncheon at Mercy Center in support of establishing a pastoral outreach program in Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming counties.

Mercy Foundation, Inc., was established in 2011 through the generosity of Catholic Healthcare Partners as a result of the sale of Mercy Hospital in Scranton. The foundation is a nonprofit organization operated exclusively to benefit, support and carry out the religious, charitable, educational and other related programs and projects of the Sisters of Mercy Mid-Atlantic Community in Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming counties. The foundation honors the Sisters of Mercy’s legacy of service to develop healthy communities and to commit resources in support of programs that respond to the needs of the poor and underserved in the community.

The Sisters of Mercy are called and committed to a life of service, and are dedicated to the philosophy of their foundress, Catherine McAuley, “to serve the needy with courage and compassion.’’ The sisters spend their lives teaching and ministering in hospitals, schools and parishes. Their influence and untiring service have touched the lives of thousands of people in northeastern Pennsylvania.

The pastoral outreach project will enable parish volunteers to receive “Listening with the Heart” training – a spiritual, emotional and personal enrichment program. It will train parish volunteers to visit fellow parishioners who are homebound in hospitals or are living in nursing homes. The grant will benefit economically disadvantaged parishes of any faith that otherwise would not be able to offer spiritual growth and development to their parish communities.

Many parishes in the tri-county area have an older population and only one priest or pastor to offer spiritual support to all members of their congregation. The pastoral outreach-trained volunteers will be able to help the pastor by maintaining a connection between the homebound parishioners and the parish community.

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