Definition of Pastoral Care

Pastoral Care or Spiritual Care through Chaplaincy

Pastoral care or spiritual care is a ministry of support to any person in their pain, loss and anxiety and their triumph, joys and victories.

Pastoral care reaches out to such people wherever they are, offering consolation and encouragement, in whatever form is appropriate to the person at the time. The type of support needed may vary from day to day. The chaplain must accept them irrespective of their condition, their religious background, their virtues and their vices. The chaplain shows no prejudice, judgmental attitude, or superior air toward their social position, their faith belief use of language or their ethnicity.

A chaplain must respect the theological position or otherwise and not set out with an agenda of proselytization of the prisoner. In fact, where faith beliefs differ there must be an acceptance of the common elements that exist in all religions and provide reassurance and support through their own faith, in a spirit of respect for all belief systems.