What is the BeFriender Ministry?
BeFriender Ministers establish caring relationships with individuals in times of special need by visiting them and supporting them with prayer and the Eucharist. They bring emotional support and God’s compassion to those who are sick, frail, in grief, or homebound. BeFrienders participate in monthly education, prayer, and reflection on their ministry. We welcome anyone wanting to join us.
The Befriender Ministry Touches Lives
Befrienders reach out to the community by visiting the following persons:
- Homebound elderly
- Homebound sick, not elderly
- Those in Convalescent Homes
- Bereaved persons (who have experienced the death of a loved one)
- Hospital follow-up (with those who have been sick)
- People who are new to the community
The BeFriender Ministry Gives Support
Grief takes many forms, but we all experience the profound feeling of loss at one time or another. BeFrienders from our parish spend time with widowed persons and with those who are seiously ill, sharing themselves and generally being a support during this time of transition.
BeFrienders are trained lay persons who visit with people with many different kinds of needs, trying to provide emotional and spiritual support to them. It is not just a social visit.
“The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not during, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.
Henry Nowen, Out of Solitude
What does the BeFriender Program offer the parish?
- a group of people trained in caregiving
- on-going support in our lay ministry program and affirmation for the BeFriender ministers.
- an opportunity for sharing of the talents and generosity of people.
- an opportunity to develop skilled leadership in the parish.
What does the BeFriender Program offer the participant?
- skills that are not only applicable to caring ministry, but also to one’s own life and relationships for mutual support.
- an opportunity to work closely with others in helping relationships for mutual support.
- theologically based education for ministry.
A Reflection on the Befriender Ministry by Roberta Williams
Who is your best friend? Most likely it is someone you trust who listens to you in such a way that you feel understood, valued, cared for, and loved. That friend doesn’t give you advice or solve your problems but listens to you. By allowing you to talk about your feelings, that friend helps life your burden.
Listening and caring is what the BeFriender Ministry is all about. BeFrienders bring emotional and spiritual support to those who need it. In this ministry, BeFrienders discover their own gifts and learn to be open and accepting of the gifts and the differences in others. In the BeFriender Ministry you recognize your own and your neighbor’s worth simultaneously. It is a wonderful way of carrying out the great commandment to love your neighbor as yourself.