Pastoral Care Week will take place Oct. 25-31, with the theme “Collaborative Health Care: Chaplains Complete the Picture.”

Celebrated annually in October since 1985, Pastoral Care Week (or Spiritual Care Week) provides an opportunity for chaplains, pastoral care counselors, educators and providers to share their story and celebrate various ministries. Objectives of the week include expressing appreciation for pastoral care practitioners and to promote continuing education for clergy, laity and institutional employees regarding the value of pastoral care.

This year’s theme is based on the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words,” encouraging professionals and constituents throughout health care environments to “view the work of chaplains through a lens whereby they collaborate to provide holistic interdisciplinary care that otherwise would not be complete if the chaplain were not included,” explained The COMISS Network: The Network on Ministry in Specialized Settings, which hosts the annual observance.

Caring for the spiritual needs of a patient, Catholics recognize, is essential – and having the presence of a chaplain as part of an interdisciplinary health care team makes them “visible and regarded as an integral part of patient care,” the organization says.

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