Parish Health Ministry
St. Alphonsus is just one of three churches in the Diocese that has a parish nurse as the leader of their Parish Health Ministry. Parish Nursing is a partnership between Our Lady of the Lake Hospital and the church.
Parish nursing finds its roots in the early church where monks, nuns, deacons and deaconesses were involved in healing ministries. Parish nursing today allows the church to go back to its roots as a healing community. We can read in the Old Testament about God’s healing actions, “…I will bring health and healing…I will heal my people and will let them live in abundant peace and security.” In the New Testament there are numerous examples how Jesus spent time healing. His challenge to the church included preaching, teaching, and healing.
Modern parish nursing was started in 1984 in Chicago. The parish nurse is based at the church and her clients are members of the congregation and its surrounding community. The parish nurse serves as an educator, counselor, referral resource, coordinator of volunteers, developer of support groups, an advocate, and an integrator of faith and health.
The parish nurse combines nursing care and pastoral care and is part of the Pastoral staff.
Promoting health is the emphasis of the parish nurse ministry. Health goes beyond being free from disease. Health includes caring for your whole body phsically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially. It also means caring for your relationship with God and others. Health is wholeness. Each person is responsible for his or her own health.
The purpose of the parish nurse specifically here at St. Alphonsus is to reach out to the parish community in the ways listed above and to be available to the parish community. Promoting health and wellness through education, referrals, and health screenings are just a few of many roles that will be fulfilled for our clients, the congregation of St. Alphonsus.
The Health Ministry sponsors several events throughout the year as well as ongoing outreach. The biggest event is our yearly health fair. This year our “Happy Healthy New Year 2018” Health Fair was held on January 20, 2018 from 9 AM-12 PM.
Other events in 2018 are our quarterly blood drives, our 80th Birthday Party in August, our Bereavement Mass in October, and other events that will be added as time goes on.
Our Health Ministry is also involved with St. Alphonsus School with Human Body Day in October, Hearing and Vision Screenings done yearly and CPR training for the teachers.
Ongoing events include Blood Pressure screenings on Tuesday mornings after 8:30 AM Mass, bereavement planning, homebound communion, baby bags for baptisms, and assisting other ministries as needed.
Our Parish Nurse, Stephanie Gaudin, RN is in the office on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays during office hours.