“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 

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

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 anywhere 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.

For more information, please contact Bill Connolly at 412-759-5115.

Virtual Candle Meditation & Prayer Gatherings

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 1 p.m. ET on the gathering date of your choice.

  • Tuesday, March 21, 2023, at 7 p.m. ET – Spring Solstice
  • Tuesday, June 20, 2023, at 7 p.m. ET – Summer Solstice
  • Friday, September 8, 2023 at 7 p.m. ET – Autumn Equinox
  • Tuesday, December 19, 2023, at 7 p.m. ET – Winter Solstice.


For more information or to register, please contact Bill Connolly at 412-759-5115.

Reflections from Our Retreat

Two women standing
Sister Donna Smith, SHS, of Martina Spiritual Renewal Center and Jo Ann Paradise, retreat presenter

The Pittsburgh Mercy Parish Nurse & Health Ministry Program offered a one-day spiritual retreat, “The Great Divide,” on Saturday, March 5, 2022 at 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, JoAnn Paradise, brought her insight, expertise, and creativity to this special group of 23 retreat participants.

The purpose of this 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 of us through our thoughts, feelings, actions, behaviors, and silence. By reshaping our spiritual practices, we can give God our joy and draw closer to our loving Creator, which is our primary purpose in life. We build trust with God, ourselves, and others so that we can explore new and meaningful approaches to spiritual disciplines.

The Pittsburgh Mercy Parish Nurse Team gave a “toolkit” to each retreatant as  encouragement to practice one’s faith and draw closer to our delightful Creator. Each “toolkit” included items to awaken the inner child in us, such as a spiritual journal, colored pencils, coloring Mandala, a small devotional book, a rock or wooden décor with inspirational words, and much more.









Many of us left our day together with a commitment for a deeper prayer life and an appreciation to our Creator for spiritual healing that is most needed during this challenging time in our world’s history.

We close our retreat reflection with a prayer from Joyce Rupp titled “The Weaver.”

I am the loom full of promise.

You are the divine Weaver.

The colorful threads you merge

Consist of my life’s components.

I do not see your interfacing

But I sense a steady movement.

As the cloth of love develops.

I trust in what you are creating

As the shuttle of your action

Lifts in and out of my loomed self. 


For more information about other offerings, please contact Bill Connolly at 412-759-5115.

Page Updated: September 19, 2023