“The simplest and most practical lesson I know … is to resolve to be good today, but better tomorrow.”

Catherine McAuley, RSM, Founder of the Sisters of Mercy 

Pittsburgh Mercy Health Ministry Prayer Gathering Reflection

Anne Papinchak, M.Ed. BS, PCC, Qualified Spiritual Director

“Ignite the Inner Spirit”

Saturday, November 21, 2020

On Saturday mid-morning, November 21, 2020 the Pittsburgh Mercy Parish Nurse & Health Ministry Program hosted their annual Autumn event titled “Ignite the Inner Spirit” via a virtual format (Zoom invitation only). It was a special time of learning and fellowship. The purpose was to help participants network together and enhance their knowledge about spiritual care of self and others in need. There were a total of 26 participants who shared their ideas and suggestions about self-compassion, motivating others, safe space through connection, and spiritual health. Due to the Pandemic, there was much discussion about addressing the spiritual needs of our congregations as they isolate socially. Our guest speaker and facilitator, Anne Papinchak, brought her insight and words of wisdom about the topic of self-compassion by encouraging participants to be self-aware from both a professional and personal viewpoint. Anne divided participants into small break-out groups with specific topic discussion points. Participants were enlightened with learning new practices of self-love, self-kindness, connection, and mindfulness so to create space for healing and hope.

For more information, please contact us at 412-232-5815 or email ParishNurse@pittsburghmercy.org.


Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course

A new virtual course uniquely designed for adult learners … come & join us!

2021 course dates:  October 1, 2, 16, 22, 23.  Please check back for more details.

As an educational partner of the Westberg Institute for Faith Community Nursing (WI), a ministry of the Spiritual Care Association (SCA), Pittsburgh Mercy is an approved provider of the “Foundations of Faith Community Nursing” course. This five-day, 39.25-hour preparation curriculum is a hybrid course that includes virtual learning via Zoom and other self-directed and online learning opportunities. All of the course modules are taught in-person by our approved faculty instructors.

This course is designed for registered nurses, other health care professionals, and laypersons who are interested in:

  • Promoting health, wellness, and spirituality in their faith communities
  • Beginning or growing a visitation ministry
  • Coordinating volunteers.

Since 2001, we’ve educated and commissioned more than 400 registered nurses as faith community nurses and hundreds of others – including licensed practical nurses, social workers, physicians, and clergy – as health ministers.

The course covers the seven main roles of the faith community nurse:

  • Coordinator of volunteers
  • Developer of support groups
  • Health advocate
  • Health counselor
  • Health educator
  • Integrator of faith and health
  • Resource and referral agent.

The course modules include:

  • Advocacy, Care Coordination & Transitional Care
  • Assessment & Accessing Resources
  • Beginning Your Ministry
  • Behavioral Health and Faith Community Nursing
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Documenting Practice
  • Ethical Issues
  • Health, Healing & Whole-Person Health
  • Health Promotion
  • History & Philosophy of Faith Community Nursing & Health Ministry
  • Legal Aspects
  • Loss, Suffering & Grief
  • Prayer
  • Spiritual Care
  • Violence.

Course modules are taught by qualified faith community nurse educators and subject matter experts in the respective fields of practice.

Registered nurses who complete the course in its entirety will be commissioned as faith community nurses and receive 39.25 continuing education credits (CEs) and a pin.

Laypersons who complete the course will be commissioned as health ministers and receive a pin and a certificate.

For more information about the Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course, please contact us at 412-232-5815 or email ParishNurse@pittsburghmercy.org.

Continuing Education Credits:  UPMC is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC’s) Commission on Accreditation. UPMC and ANCC do not endorse any commercial products as a result of the continuing education (CE) activity.


25th Pittsburgh Mercy Parish Nurse & Health Ministry Symposium

Reflections from Our 25th Symposium: “Celebrating Health Ministry: Our Past, Present, and Future”

Our 25th symposium, held on Saturday, October 28, 2017, in Pittsburgh, Pa., and entitled “Celebrating Health Ministry: Our Past, Present, and Future,”  was a great success, assisting participants in reflecting more deeply on how we provide wholistic care (whole-person care) to those we serve in our faith communities. The symposium celebrated our past in faith community nursing, magnified our present service to those in need, and moved us forward to the dynamic vision for the future of health ministry.

We explored important health care trends:

  • Wholistic care
  • Cultural competency
  • Diversity appreciation
  • Complex community needs
  • Addiction
  • Behavioral health concerns.
Marlene Feagan (right) receives a Terrible Towel from Sister Rebecca Nolan (left)

Our wonderful guest speaker, Marlene Feagan, MA, BSN, RN-BC, president of Health Ministries Association, Inc. (pictured holding a beloved  Terrible Towel), encouraged all 52 attendees to address our own individual callings to health ministry as well as to look honestly at areas needing further discernment and prayer in our faith communities.

Marlene also facilitated roundtable discussions to move us beyond our ecumenical boundaries, and intersect faith and health concerns across social avenues focusing on those who are identified with homelessness, addiction, behavioral health concerns, and spiritual challenges.

She also engaged us with questions that may not always have answers when it comes to providing wholistic care in faith communities. The spirit-filled room opened and closed with prayer and singing as attendees bonded together.

Participants at our 25th Annual Symposium

We learned from each other and became better equipped to lead our faith communities through the ministry of healing. As it says in Isaiah 40:11 NIV, “He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads…”. God’s blessings to you in your ministry!

For more information about the 25th Annual Pittsburgh Mercy Parish Nurse & Health Ministry Symposium, please contact us at 412-232-5815.