Chaplains playing important roles in our communities
Providing support and spiritual guidance, Carinity chaplains play an important role in the lives of Queenslanders every day.
Our chaplains are there for people in need in hospitals, schools, correctional centres and aged care communities.
As a chaplain at the Carinity Hilltop aged care community, Glenys Page supports seniors who may be experiencing a difficult time in their lives.
“Many people coming into aged care feel a loss of independence, are concerned about their family not visiting, and need reassurance at this time of their life,” Glenys said.
“The chaplain is there to listen to and comfort everyone, regardless of their lifestyle or beliefs, and encourage people as they walk through issues such as grief and loss.
“I enjoy engaging with a range of people to assist them in any way that is possible. I enjoy hearing the stories of people who often have lived amazing lives, to acknowledge their journey and just be there for them.”
When Carinity Kepnock Grove aged care chaplain Nefret Vickers worked as a nurse in aged care, she saw the need for emotional support for residents.
“As a carer I tried to connect with residents as much as possible to support their social, spiritual and emotional needs. But there was not always time to do this to the extent that I would have liked,” Nefret said.
“The role of a chaplain in aged care entails being proactive about connecting with people and building trust and relationship, because relationship itself is healing and supportive to any person.
“Chaplains need empathy and the ability to display unconditional positive regard for those with whom they work, regardless of their beliefs or lifestyle.”
As school chaplain at Carinity Education Southside, Sonia Davies offers non-judgmental support to young people – and staff – who may be experiencing a difficult time in their lives.
“My role is very varied and unique to each student or staff member I am with. I can be in a staff prayer group, playing games or doing art with the students to supporting them emotionally, physically and spiritually,” Sonia said.
“I felt like God had called me to work with teen girls. I am blessed to work with these incredible students and staff who inspire me every day.”
Students at Carinity Education schools such as Skylah feel supported and confident knowing they can have confidential interactions with chaplains.
“Sonia will always listen and treat you as equal. She has never judged me and has guided me many times. By knowing she is there my anxiety eases a little bit. I know if I need her help she will be there,” Skylah said.
Dianna Holloway, chaplain at the Carinity Clifford House aged care community, said her desire is “to encourage purpose in life” at a time when people are going through a significant change.
“The chaplain’s role involves a lot of listening and offering connection and love. It also involves encouraging spiritual growth,” Dianna said.
“I enjoy the privilege of building relationships with the residents. I remind those of Christian faith they are being renewed and refined on the inside, despite their failing bodies.
“I love singing with memory-affected residents and see them blossom with the music that revives their memories. I leave each day fulfilled and at peace that God is so close and cares for us all.”
Contributions to the Carinity Chaplains Appeal will help ensure our chaplains can continue their vital work in communities across Queensland. Donate online or phone (07) 3550 3737.