“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 

Peer Support, Learning, & Conversation 2021

The goal is to emphasize the importance of networking, fellowship, learning, and peer support for faith community nurses and health ministers as they assist their congregations and local community to better health and well-being.

The target audience is faith community nurses, health ministers, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, clergy/laity, and anyone interested in learning about wholistic care (whole-person health) approach as we commit to health advocacy and education of others.

Participants will take part in a brief learning activity such as a PowerPoint presentation, a video clip, a short article, or case study, then participate in group discussion on the chosen topic. There will be time for Q&A by using peer discussion and brainstorming.

These virtual offerings are FREE.  Registration is required to receive the Zoom link, meeting ID, password, and agenda. Dial-in option is available. Registration deadline is by 3:00 p.m. ET on the date of your choice.

Each meeting is held on the 3rd Tuesday evening of the month beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET (except where noted below) and lasts one hour.

February 16

March 16

A special Saturday session will be offered March 20, 11:00 a.m. ET and will include the same presentation as March 16.

April 20

May 18

June 15

September 21

October 19

November 16

PEER SUPPORT, LEARNING, & CONVERSATION FLYER

For more information or to register, contact the Pittsburgh Mercy Parish Nurse & Health Ministry Program by email ParishNurse@pittsburghmercy.org or call 412-232-5815.


Candle Meditation & Prayer Gatherings 2021

A wonderful opportunity to experience spiritual awareness and group faith sharing through a virtual setting. All are invited to this quiet place and time to prayerfully reflect on whole-person health … balancing body, mind, and spirit. You are invited to this special time away to continue with safe, better health and well-being.

These virtual offerings are FREE.  Registration is required to receive the Zoom link, meeting ID, password, and agenda. Dial-in option is available. Registration deadline is by 3:00 p.m. ET on the date of your choice.

Thursday, February 11, 7:00 p.m. ET – Preparing for Lent

Thursday, March 11, 7:00 p.m. ET – Spring into Action

Thursday, June 10, 7:00 p.m. ET – Summer Solstice

Thursday, September 16, 7:00 p.m. ET – Welcome Autumn

Tuesday, December 14, 7:00 p.m. ET – Winter Frost

VIRTUAL CANDLE MEDITATION FLYER

For more information or to register, contact the Pittsburgh Mercy Parish Nurse & Health Ministry Program by email ParishNurse@pittsburghmercy.org or call 412-232-5815.


Faith Community Nursing & Health Ministry Education: Customized for Your Ministry

The Pittsburgh Mercy Parish Nurse & Health Ministry Program offers creative heath ministry workshops and education programs for laypersons and health professionals who want to serve their faith communities. We’ll work with you to prepare programs that will meet the unique needs of your faith community or organization. We’ll also tailor topics to fit your learning needs.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • What is Health Ministry?
  • Advocacy & Referral
  • Building a Health Ministry Team
  • Coordinating Volunteers
  • Promoting Health & Wellness in Your Faith Community
  • Spiritual Care of the Elderly with Dementia
  • Understanding Grief & Loss
  • Visitation Ministry.

Depending on the topic, health ministry education programs can last from two to six hours.

We encourage a minimum of 10 participants per program.

Health ministry education programs are offered at no cost to faith communities and faith-based organizations. However, to cover the costs of travel, education materials (hand-outs), and advertisement in “The Faith Connection,” our monthly e-newsletter, we gladly accept donations.

To design a health ministry education program to meet the needs of your faith community or organization, please contact us at 412-232-5815.


Pittsburgh Pastoral Care Conference 2022

Please check back in the spring 2022 for the annual conference date.

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


Virtual Day Retreat 2021 … Gathering Reflections

On Saturday mid-morning, April 17, 2021 the Pittsburgh Mercy Parish Nurse & Health Ministry Program hosted their Annual Day Retreat titled “From Darkness into Light: Encountering the Heart of Christ” via a virtual format (Zoom invitation only). It was a special time of contemplation, prayer, music, self-reflection, learning and fellowship.

2021 Retreat Facilitator & Spiritual Director, Carrie Nickerson

Our retreat facilitator and spiritual director Dr. Carolyn (Carrie) Nickerson brought her insight, expertise, and creativity to this special group of 15 retreatants.  The purpose of the retreat was to spend time away from our busy lives and to focus on self and Creator. We learned about contemplative prayer and to pay attention to what emerges inside us as we listen to music, practice silence, and listen to specific words in Scripture. Many of us left our day  together with a commitment for a deeper prayer life and an appreciation to our Creator for contemplative healing that is most needed during this challenging time in our world.

We are grateful that our retreatants chose to spend their Saturday with us so that we could  encourage each other in our ministries and professional work. May we feel renewed and spiritually stronger to lead our faith communities through our ministries of health and healing. May God bless our retreatants as they  continue to serve God in their families, faith communities, and neighborhoods.

We closed our retreat with “Suscipe” from Ignatius of Loyola:

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my intellect, and my will—
all that I have and possess.
Everything I have and think of as my own,
You have given to me, now I return it!
Everything is yours, do with it what You will.
Give me only the grace to love You, this is enough for me.

For more information about our next Spiritual Retreat, please contact us at 412-232-5815 or email ParishNurse@pittsburghmercy.org.


Pittsburgh Mercy Health Ministry Prayer Gathering 2020 Reflections

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

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.

We are appreciative of those who chose to spend their Saturday morning with us so that we could encourage each other in our ministries and professional work. Participants left with encouragement and joy as they continue to serve their Creator, families, faith communities, neighbors, and friends. We learned from each other and became better equipped to lead our faith communities through the ministry of health and healing. God’s blessings to all in the new year 2021!

Encourage one another day after day….

Hebrews 3:13 (NASB)


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.