Meeting People from all walks of Life
Sr Kim Barnes
I am sitting in my office at CatholicCare Social Services(CCSS) where I have been Chaplain since October 2014 and in front of me are two posters. One has a picture of a monkey lying between the branches of a tree looking up and the words underneath read "Relax - God has it covered." These words help me to realise whose work I am doing.
The other poster has a picture of 3 Meerkats looking in various directions and it reads: Four beautiful thoughts of life. Look back & Get Experience! Look forward & See Hope! Look around & Find Reality! Look within & Find Yourself!
While both of these help me to keep focused, little did I know they would be the topic of many a conversation with those who have come into my office. Many leave with their own copy!
My work involves:
- Spending time with staff members in all locations occupied by CatholicCare Social Services. I am based at the Mayfield Office and have spent time at our new Cardiff Office as well as Maitland and Taree.
- Preparing prayer/reflection for the staff for occasions such as All Souls/All Saints Day, Christmas and the Beginning of the Year. I always try to listen to the concerns of staff and their spiritual needs. Feedback from them has been very positive.
- Maintaining pastoral support with Staff and those served by CCSS. The number I am in contact with is steadily growing - I keep in touch in various ways - by ongoing visiting, phoning and emailing. My aim is to continue to make all relationships real and valuable. I will continue to build on that.
- Linking CCSS with the Diocesan Pastoral Plan. To give this a strong basis I have joined the 'Campus Ministry Team’ and 'Bishops Day' Team.
- The inevitable keeping of records. There are many documents to complete but I'm pleased to say my records are all current!
On a personal level, even though I have been challenged in many ways during my short time at CatholicCare I have loved every moment of it and I believe have risen to each challenge with enthusiasm and confidence! Perhaps this is because there is another significant poster for me - a picture of Jesus standing and knocking at a door, saying to me, "I stand at the door and knock; If any hear my voice and open the door. I will come into their house..." (Rev. 3:20) When I first saw this picture there was a challenge in it for me: Am I prepared to trust God and let God into my 'house' every moment of every day? For me it is a powerful reminder that as Chaplain my role is about spreading the good news - doing God's work!
I have the wonderful privilege of meeting people from all walks of life who in their own lives are facing various challenges. So, being trusted with their story and also being invited to walk a part of this journey with them is very special indeed. May I say our God conversations and shared experiences are truly amazing! I see my call to this ministry is a great privilege.