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This is a new, comprehensive and encouraging guide to Catholic pastoral care. With its deep and overt foundations in the ministry and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth and on a Catholic tradition of caring that has marked its identity since the earliest days of Christian community, the book deeply reflects on the meaning of care.
It also confronts a challenging question for our time: Why have we lost the ability to care? Thus, the author’s insistence that Catholic pastoral care begins not with those who need our caring, but with our relationship with God revealed in Christ because in Christ we have already experienced and known love and hope, compassion and mercy.
Assuming that relationship, the book offers reflections and informed commentary on various models of caring, the reality and meaning of suffering, the qualities of carers, and the need for acceptance (and love!) of oneself as a forerunner to caring for others. Then follows extensive, detailed information and practical guidance on pastoral occasions where care is required in response to the real needs of our fellow humans: times of crisis, serious illness, death and grieving.
Behind the text is the assumption that people matter; that current Western society’s emphasis on the material as the primary criterion for valuing individuals is contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ. In such a society that measures worth on the criteria of success, wealth and popularity, Catholic pastoral care is counter cultural, whether its focus is young people growing up, discovering what matters in life or older people experiencing the consequences of our ‘throw away’ society that no longer values them.
The book is about caregiving that involving physical effort, practical assistance, spiritual wisdom, relationship development, faith nurturing, justice seeking; about growing together and, in the light of the Jesus tradition, making the world we live in a more welcoming, forgiving and caring place.
About the Author
Dr Margaret Ghosn is a Maronite Sister of the Holy Family. She graduated as a Doctor of Ministry and has completed a Master of Theology, Master of Education, Bachelor of Theology of Theology and Bachelor of Science (Hons). Margaret's first book was Instrument of your peace (Challenge Books, 2012). She has published other books including Encounters between Jesus and Women, Models of Discipleship, along with numerous articles. She is currently Principal of the Maronite College of the Holy Family in Harris Park, NSW. $24.95