The National Conference on Pastoral Care in the Health Care Institutions of India

The National Conference on Pastoral Care in the Health Care Institutions of India, held at St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences in Bangalore on February 28 and 29, 2024, was a significant event that brought together healthcare professionals, chaplains, and pastoral care providers to discuss and explore various aspects of pastoral care in healthcare settings.

The conference commenced with the celebration of Holy Eucharist presided over by Bishop Lumen Monteiro, setting a spiritual tone for the event. The inaugural session featured esteemed dignitaries such as Most Rev. Lumen Monteiro, Rev. Fr. Jesudoss, Rev. Mathew Abraham, Fr. Santhosh Dias, Fr. Teji MI, and other prominent figures in the healthcare and pastoral care sectors. The conference witnessed the presence of esteemed participants of Camillian confreres, including Fr. Joy, Fr. Teji, Fr. Bacil, and Fr. Tinto, who actively participated, contributing valuable perspectives from their experiences.

The session included welcome addresses, a keynote address, and a presidential address, emphasizing the importance of integrating Gospel values into the governance and operations of Catholic healthcare institutions. The conference program included a series of educational sessions covering a wide range of topics crucial to pastoral care in healthcare. These sessions delved into areas such as compassionate communication, cultural sensitivity, ethical dilemmas in healthcare, mental health support, palliative care, and the role of prayer and meditation in healing. Expert speakers, including Rev. Dr. John Thekkakara, Dr. Arvind Kasturi, Dr. Nandini Vallath, and Dr. Thomas Mathew, shared their insights and expertise on these critical subjects. Engaging panel discussions provided a platform for in-depth conversations on pastoral health care directives, the role of pastoral health care ministers, counselling, sacraments, and supporting patients and caregivers in diverse cultural contexts. The discussions were moderated by experienced individuals such as Rev. Fr. Mathew Abraham and featured a panel of chaplains and pastoral care associates from various healthcare institutions.

The conference concluded with a sharing and consolidation session, followed by a valedictory function. This session highlighted key takeaways from the conference and provided a platform for participants to reflect on the learnings and experiences shared during the event.
Overall, the conference served as a valuable platform for attendees to boost their knowledge, skills, and understanding of pastoral care in healthcare, ultimately aiming to improve the quality of care provided to patients and their families in healthcare institutions across India.

Fr. Tinto Augustine Valamparackel MI