“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 Breakfast

Save the date!

Saturday, November 21, 2020

UPMC Mercy
Sister M. Ferdinand Clark Auditorium
1400 Locust Street, Second Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-5144 (Uptown)

Registration for the Prayer Breakfast begins at 9 a.m. with fellowship, followed by breakfast and program from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event will provide continuing education, resources, and networking opportunities to individuals who are interested in starting or enhancing health ministries in their faith communities, as well as in the general public. Attendees will consider what is working and not working within their ministries, how they can acquire needed resources and people, how they can rejuvenate an established health ministry, and what established programs can help them care for people in need within their faith communities.

This prayer breakfast is expected to draw parish and faith community nurses, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified registered nurse practitioners, health ministers, clergy, 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).

Overnight accommodations are available at the Martina Spiritual Renewal Center, 5244 Clarwin Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15229 (West View) at a reasonable cost. For details, contact Sister Donna Smith, SHS at 412-931-9766.

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


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

“Sacred Dance to the Rhythm of Life”

Saturday, March 7, 2020

The Pittsburgh Mercy Parish Nurse & Health Ministry Program offered a spiritual retreat on Saturday, March 7, 2020 at the Martina Spiritual Renewal Center in Pittsburgh’s West View area. A special thanks to Sister Donna Smith, SHS at Martina for providing a wonderful space and lunch. Our retreat facilitator, The Rev. Dr. Joan Prentice, brought her insight, expertise, and creativity to this special group of 28 retreatants.

The Rev. Dr. Joan Prentice, M. Div., D. Min.

The purpose of the retreat was to spend time away from our busy lives and to focus on our relationship with our Creator. We learned about contemplative prayer and to pay attention to what emerges inside us in silence such as our feelings, emotions, thoughts, surprises, words, images, and music. Through contemplation and the holy dance with our Creator, we become more self-aware of what needs to be freed in us in order to dance… like our vulnerabilities, challenges, hesitancies, fears, joys, peace, excitements, freedoms, etc. 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.

May we close with these special words from our retreat facilitator Joan… Today, dance, tomorrow, dance. May your days be filled with dancing and may you find yourselves in rhythm with the One whose music and rhythms fills all creation. And may the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen!

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

20th Annual Pittsburgh Pastoral Care Conference

For professional and lay caregivers

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

Health Ministry Prayer Gatherings – Virtual Conversation and Sharing!

Thursday, June 11 at 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, June 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, June 30 at 4 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.

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.