“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

“Ignite the Inner Spirit”

Saturday, November 21, 2020

The Pittsburgh Mercy Parish Nurse & Health Ministry Program is hosting a Health Ministry Prayer Gathering: Ignite the Inner Spirit on Saturday, November 21, 2020 via Zoom meeting from 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET.

The event will provide 2 continuing education (CE) credits to registered nurses, resources, and fellowship opportunities to individuals who are interested in spiritual care and health ministry. Attendees learn from our Pittsburgh Mercy Parish Nurse Team, guest speaker Anne Papinchak, and each other as they enhance their knowledge of caring for people in need in their faith communities as well as the community at large.

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

After twenty plus years of both individual and team leadership experience in various for-profit organizations, Anne Papinchak decided to become an independent management consultant and executive coach. She partners with her clients in both for profit and not for profit organizations to create great cultures by developing strong leaders and high performing teams. She identifies herself as a “serving leader” and has years of leading change through influence without direct authority. Anne is a Professional Credentialed Coach (ICF, PCC) who works with clients to achieve immediate results. She builds trust, and holds her clients accountable (individuals and teams) by empowering them to name their purpose, create what matters most, and bring forth the courage to grow and experience desired outcomes. In addition, Anne is a qualified spiritual director who works with persons who long to understand and/or strengthen their relationship with God. This includes individual persons, parish leaders, groups and teams, and faith communities. Her spiritual formation is based in Ignatian Spirituality. Anne has completed extensive education as a Spiritual Director via Pneuma Institute in Pittsburgh, Pa and the West Virginia Institute of Spirituality. Through God’s grace, Anne creates trust, empathy, respect, and understanding while providing directees guidance, techniques, and resources for spiritual growth and spiritual health. Note: The speaker has no relevant financial or nonfinancial relationships to disclose to Pittsburgh Mercy Parish Nurse & Health Ministry Program.

The Prayer Gathering is expected to draw faith community nurses and parish nurses, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified nurse practitioners, clergy, health ministers, pastoral and social ministers, physicians, health and social service professionals, licensed professional counselors, health care educators, nursing students, seminarians, and others interested in promoting whole-person health (balancing body, mind, and spirit).

The cost is $30 for registered nurses wishing to receive continuing education credits (2), $15 for those who do not wish to receive continuing education credits, and $10 for undergraduate nursing students, seminarians, religious, and clergy.  Cost includes Zoom invitation and handouts.  Partial, limited scholarships upon request.

Registration and full payment is accepted by U.S. mail only. Virtual space is limited. Early registration is encouraged.  Registration must be postmarked by Wednesday, November 11, 2020. For more information, please contact the Pittsburgh Mercy Parish Nurse & Health Ministry Program at 412-232-5815 or email ParishNurse@pittsburghmercy.org.

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

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Health Ministry Education

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.

Spiritual Retreat 2021


Saturday, April 17, 2021

The Pittsburgh Mercy Parish Nurse & Health Ministry Program will offer a Spiritual Retreat at Martina Spiritual Renewal Center, 5244 Clarwin Avenue, Pittsburgh (West View) 15229. https://martinacenter.com/ Registration and continental breakfast at 8:00 a.m.  The retreat will begin at 9:00 a.m. and end at 4:00 p.m. with lunch served around 12 Noon. The retreat theme and facilitator information will be coming soon.

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

2020 Pittsburgh Pastoral Care Conference:

“Feeling Stuck in Ministry”

Friday, October 9, 2020, a virtual event

The Pittsburgh Pastoral Care Conference and The Beaver-Butler Presbytery’s Encouraging Churches to Flourish Unit together will host a half-day online conference, “Feeling Stuck in Ministry,” offering hope to clergy burnout. The conference will be held Friday, October 9, 2020 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and include presentations and Q&A.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Josh Packard, a professor of Sociology at the University of Northern Colorado and the Director of the Dechurched Project. His current research project, “STUCK,” focuses on clergy who may be feeling stuck or disillusioned with the church but are reluctant to walk away from a distinct life-calling. Other clergy concerns include anxiety and worries about declining congregations, income loss, seminary debt, and other issues.

Dr. Packard is the co-author, with Ashleigh Hope, of the book Church Refugees: Sociologists Reveal Why People Are Done With Church But Not Their Faith. This book explores why previously active church members step away from institutional religion. He also wrote The Emerging Church: Religion at the Margins. He is also the author of numerous journal publications. He received the Award for Excellence in Social Science Engaged Research at the University of Northern Colorado. He received his Ph.D.& M.A. in Sociology from Vanderbilt University and a B.A. in English from Texas Lutheran University.

Registration is required.  Fee is $10.

Pittsburgh Mercy Parish Nurse & Health Ministry Program is part of the planning team. For details, visit http://www.pghpcc.org/.


Health Ministry Candle Meditation and Prayer Gatherings: “Sharing Our Light”

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.

Thursday, August 6, 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, August 26, 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 24, 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, November 12, 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, December 8, 7:00 p.m.


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

Health Ministry Virtual Meetings … Peer Support, Learning, & Conversation

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. The facilitator will offer educational tools and resources to be added to the health ministry “toolbox.”

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

August 18 – “Current Concerns & Challenges of COVID”

September 15 – “Strategies to Decrease Loneliness & Isolation of COVID”

October 20 – “Fulfilling the Healing Mission . . . Being an Integrator of Faith & Health”

November 17 – Theme TBD

December 15 – Theme TBD


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

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.