Franciscan Footprints

A Reflection on Serving as a Pastoral Care Volunteer at our OSF Hospice Home

OSF Hospice Home ExteriorServing our residents and families at OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home is a joy and a blessing to me. Currently I am missioned to live and serve here at our Motherhouse in East Peoria, IL. As a part of that service Sister Judith Ann, our Major Superior, asked me to visit the Hospice Home as a Pastoral Care volunteer.

Each time I encounter and visit with the residents, their families, and our staff, I am aware that I have been given the opportunity to serve Christ in my brothers and sisters.  At first the thought of ministering to the dying and their family and friends was intimidating to me. I thought, "What can I possibly do to help ease their pain?" and, "I feel unfit." Later,  I realized that I'm not there to necessarily do anything, but to bring Christ's presence to them in their need. And in this I find joy.

OSF Hospice Home ChapelPeople, whether they are conscious of it of not, are searching for God. It is in times of intense struggle, such as a death of a loved one, when a person may be more open to the Lord. Witnessing to the reality and centrality of Christ by being present to the dying and their families and friends is another way to serve with the greatest care and love. As it is stated in our OSF HealthCare Mission Statement, “ In the spirit of Christ and the example of Francis of Assisi, the Mission of OSF Healthcare is to serve persons with the greatest of care and love in a community that celebrates the gift of life. “

In all that I am missioned to do, whether at our Motherhouse or at the Hospice Home, I pray that I may be God’s instrument. As Blessed Teresa of Calcutta said “I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.”

OSF Hospice Home Room

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