Friday, March 12, 2010

"Go beyond your border"

At our last General Chapter, Roman Union Ursulines throughout the world were encouraged to “go beyond their borders”; i.e., to be agents of reconciliation and communion in our often embattled and divided world.

For many years my work has been pastoral care of the sick and dying, with Board Certification in the National Association of Catholic Chaplains. But what about the broader world of Pastoral Care of the Sick? Was there an invitation for me to enlarge my view, to cross a border even in some small way?

With that thought in mind, I spent an evening at Tibet House in Manhattan with a group of people who were engaged either professionally or non-professionally in caring for the sick, the elderly, the dying, and the physically and mentally challenged. They were all associated in some way with a recently formed Buddhist Group, the Zen Center for Contemplative Care.

We prayed silently together; the leader of the group gave a short conference or “teaching”; and then we spoke with one another, sharing our experience and seeking one another’s support and help. We closed with a brief prayer and ritual, wishing one another well until our next meeting.

As I rode the subway home, I was certain that St. Angela would have been very much at home at Tibet House!

Sr. Pascal Conforti

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