Spiritual Care at Maristhill

Compassionate, holistic care is our standard here at Maristhill. Beyond providing high-quality clinical and rehabilitative care, our Pastoral Care Department is available to provide spiritual support, access to religious services and connections with each resident’s previous church or synagogue.

Our Spiritual Care Director Janet Hutchinson focuses on the integration throughout the facility of Maristhill’s mission “to continue the healing ministry of Christ.” This includes facilitating daily Mass and other services, visiting patients and residents and offering spiritual support to them, their families and the Maristhill staff.

In addition, Janet shares comforting thoughts in the form of “Spiritual Care Notes” each month. Here is an example of her note for next month:

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We begin August with those hazy, hot and humid lazy days of summer – and then are bombarded with advertisements about preparing for “back to school.” We were all once children and perhaps remember the feeling that summer would soon come to an end. So, what are you preparing for? Are you utilizing these warm and long days of summer or every day?

At Maristhill we are always in a state of planning and preparation that keeps us on our toes and delivering the best healing and care for our patients and residents.  (Notice the themes of passing time, decreasing light and preparedness!)

In the August Church calendar, we continue to honor many saints and martyrs. (Neither title is given to the living or the unprepared!) There are themes of light. Often God can be called Light. Sometimes Love is God’s Light in the Darkness.  The Transfiguration of the Lord is celebrated on August 6. The Book of Daniel describes the transfiguration as “…the Ancient One took his throne. His clothing was bright as snow, and the hair on his head as white as wool…. A surging stream of fire flowed from where he sat.” In the Gospel of Mark 9, Jesus led Peter, James and John up a high mountain and “…was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white…and a cloud came.. and from the cloud came a voice… This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” This was a dazzling Light! The disciples needed to share this. Are you still listening?

August 15th is a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics as we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In 1950 Pope Pius XII declared as Church doctrine that Mary was bodily and spiritually assumed into heaven (as was Jesus). She was always declared free of sin and in 431 AD it was decreed that she was Theotokos, or Mother of God. It is not determined whether she was assumed before or after her death, but she was free of sin and the Mother of God, so she was always prepared and ready. A week later, on August 22 we honor Mary as Queen. She is described in the book of Revelation 12:1 as “…a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”  More light! Mary is Queen by her Grace and Jesus is eternal King by his nature – both purely human and purely Divine. Divine Light!!!

August 28 is the memorial of St. Augustine of Hippo who died in 430 AD. He was later recognized as a Doctor of the Church in 1298 by Pope Boniface VIII. He is the patron saint of brewers, printers, theologians, and for those with sore eyes. He was a prolific writer who probably never wasted a day! He has had a huge influence on philosophy, theology and Church teachings. Saint Augustine believed that God created in our human nature the moral capacity for doing good which will never be lost but gave us our freedom to act or not to act in a righteous way.

May we all receive God’s light and love, recognize the truth, and be prepared to provide peace, justice, righteousness and light to all those we meet!

Peace, Light and Love!
Janet Hutchison,
Director of Mission and Spiritual Care

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