Workshop on end-of-life issues from a Catholic perspective

Now and At the Hour of Our Death 2014, Samaritan’s eighth annual educational workshop on end-of-life issues from a Catholic perspective, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 18, at St. John of God Community Services Campus located at 1145 Delsea Drive, Westville. Registration and continental breakfast begin at 8 a.m.; program runs from 8:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Journey with the Suffering: Empowering Practices is presented by Via Lucis — the Samaritan Ministry for Catholic Patients and Families — in collaboration with the dioceses of Camden and Trenton.

The workshop will feature presentations by Father Francis Berna on Rituals of Healing and Dying and Marge McGinley on Finding Blessing and Hope in Suffering.

Father Berna, of La Salle University, will discuss how official sacraments and other rituals can be valuable means for the sick, their family and care-givers, and professional healthcare staff to find strength, comfort and hope.

Marge McGinley is pastoral administrator at Sacred Heart Parish in Mount Holly, a hospital chaplain and mem­ber of the board of directors of the National St. Vincent de Paul Council. Her presentation will offer demonstrations of appropriate responses for professional and family caregivers to the spiritual needs of their patients/loved ones at the end of life, both for patients who have received the sacrament of the anointing of the sick as well as those who are not open to it due to a lack of involvement in the faith or the inability of a local parish to respond.

Admission is $15 in advance and $20 at the door. The seminar has been approved for two contact hours for nurses and 2.5 continuing education hours for chaplains, but is open to healthcare professionals of all disciplines, family caregivers, parishioners and pastoral care personnel of any faith who minister to Catholic patients and their families.

For information or to register, contact Christine Alston at 856-552-3258 or christine.alston@SamaritanNJ.org.

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