Event will educate health ministers

By Anne Marie Amacher
Parish nurses and trained health ministers who serve in Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Davenport are invited to a new ministry gathering next month in Bettendorf.
The first parish nurse/health minister gathering will be held Sept. 29 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Bettendorf.
“I invite all parish nurses and trained health ministers to come together to learn, share ideas and promote this ministry in our diocese,” said Cathy Thennes, parish nurse at Our Lady of Lourdes.
The day begins with Mass at 10:30 a.m. in the church. Father Tim Sheedy, the parish’s pastor, will bless the parish nurses and trained health ministers in attendance. A lunch will be provided at 11:30 a.m. Participants are asked to bring a dessert to share.
From noon to 1:30 p.m., a learning session on “Understanding Your Catholic Faith” will be facilitated by IlaMae Hanisch, coordinator of Ministry Formation and of Adult Family Formation for the Davenport Diocese.
“Parish nurses often minister to individuals and families who face some of life’s deepest questions of faith — such as: How does suffering fit into our faith?” Hanisch says. She will share Catholic beliefs on heaven, judgment and God’s mercy. How does what we believe about salvation differ from other Christian religions? Who might benefit from the sacrament of anointing?  How does one prepare for one’s own death or that of a family member or friend?
“I will also plan to tailor the ‘learning session’ to what the questions and needs of the group are,” she said.
The last hour will focus on sharing of program ideas by those in attendance.
For more information or to make a reservation by Sept. 6, contact Thennes at Lourdes at (563) 359-0345, at home at (563) 332-6273 or email lourdesnurse@qwestoffice.net.
Thennes hopes to make this ministry gathering a yearly event. “I have wanted to do this for so long,” she said. She also hopes parish nurses and trained health ministers can meet more frequently throughout the year.

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