Pastoral Care Training Pack

Unit 4: Care - My Brother's Keeper

4.1       Scripture & Worship



Heavenly Father, as you care for all your children, help us to be your hands and eyes and tongue as we commit ourselves to those in need; we thank you for your Son, Mary, the Mother of Jesus and all the Saints for the examples they furnish of the wonders of your grace in human service; may we, through that grace, learn to persevere in gentle creativity as we seek to be your loving agents. Amen.


Can: Lord, give us grace
Res: That our deeds may reflect your love

  1. Heavenly father, may we, as your hands, eyes and tongues, be human agents of your love; give us the strength to encourage where prospects are bleak, stay calm when we meet with indifference or rejection and look steadfastly when we feel like turning away:
  2. Heavenly Father, we thank you for the example of your son who cared for all he met; may we be open to the needs of all  your family, seeing you in every one of them:
  3. Heavenly Father, we thank you for The Holy Spirit who brings us strength in our hour of need; by that power may we discern our true ministry, always putting the needs of those we serve before our own emotional needs:
  4. Heavenly Father, who created us to choose to love and worship you, make us true witnesses of Word and Sacrament, bringing the strength of our faith to support those in need, and bringing nourishment to the faith of those we serve:
  5. Heavenly Father, we thank you for the fellowship of the saints and each other; may we by your grace combine the inspiration of your presence with us and the unique individuality we all possess to be agents of your will:

4.2       Introduction

Care is love in action; it is an indefinite and perhaps long-term commitment which frequently lacks the intensity and high emotion which the onset of serious illness can cause; and it therefore calls for patience, fortitude and resourcefulness; at the same time, we must be careful not to become so indispensable to a person that this imposes an undue stress on our own lifestyle. As a general rule, the longer the care is extended, the more it should be shared. When we care for people we are imitating Christ and his many saints whose lives provide us with vivid examples of long-term self sacrifice and persistence.

In this Unit we will consider:

The outcomes we hope to achieve are:

4.3       Key Concepts

  1. Care is:
    Love in action;
    • The planned, sustained and shared commitment to support a person in a holistic way to maximise their life choices and chances; and, in an appropriate way, to sustain their faith;
    • Transforming our feelings of empathy and our commitment into words, gestures and actions which are true to our commitments made in the love of God.
  2. Care & Faith
    The relationship between care and faith should be such that:
    • The carers and those receiving ministry should retain their independent religious identities;
    • Decisions about faith should be made in the context of free will and conscience which are gifts of God;
    • Faith should never be employed as a form of leverage;
    • Although we are all individuals with different outlooks on faith, we must accept any guidelines on the relationship between faith and caring.
  3. Independence and Dependence
    Carers and those receiving the ministry of care should be careful that:
    • Each maintains individuality;
    • Each does not become over-dependent on the other;
    • The relationship is equal and respectful, never patronising on the part of the carer nor exploitive on the part of a person receiving care;
    • The care commitment is shared if it is long term.

4.4       Presentation

4.5       Case Sketches

  1. Lottie is alert in mind and spry in body but she is lonely; when she talks she loses all sense of time.
  2. Burt is suffering from terminal cancer with variable pain; he is difficult to be with and increasingly resentful of his inability to do what he wants.
  3. Tony is lonely and one of his main outlets is caring for Phil to such an extent that Tony ends up needing Phil more than Phil needs Tony
  4. Jean is highly manipulative and is cruel to her carer, at the same time pushing her far beyond the usual commitments

4.6       Response

4.7       Resources