Our Healing Ministries
A Focus on HIV/AIDS

oblate healing ministry

Oblates involved in healing ministries work with the sick and suffering in what ever way they can. Some are involved through their parish ministry whereas others are hospital chaplains.

The province has four men who are full time hospital chaplains. A number of others are responsible for hospital chaplaincy as part of their parish responsibilities

One Oblate is a registered clinical psychologist . Others are counsellors. Some are involved in alternative therapies such as Neuro-Linguistic programming, Transactional analysis, and nutritional therapies.

The ministry of prayer, word and sacrament remains, however, the central component of the Oblate healing ministry.

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ministries to those affected ain infected by hiv and aids

The care of people infected and affected by the AIDS pandemic forms part of the Oblate healing ministry in the province.

Hospital Chaplains and other Oblates regularly minister directly to People with AIDS (PWA), those who are HIV+ , family members who are affected by the pandemic and those groups who are at particular risk of contracting the virus.

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aids hospices

A number of parishes have hospices for AIDS sufferers particularly those in the final stages of life as the opportunistic infections wear down the body. Many are under the care of religious sisters (Inchanga, Sydenham, Inanda Newtown, and Elandskop).
The Oldest Oblate in the Province, Father McMAHON, who is 95 years old, has established the Sukumawenze Place of Care which offers a multi faceted approach to AIDS hospice in a Durban Township. It provides counselling and testing, educational programmes as well as a feeding scheme for homes in the area headed by orphans whose parents have died. It also has a hospice on site which provides care for those in the terminal stages of AIDS who can no longer be cared for by their families. Inchanga parish also has a similar set of institutions.

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care and support groups

There are a considerable number of care groups and support groups for people infected and affected by AIDS. Here people share their concerns and difficulties within a caring supportive environment. This pastoral care for people affected by the pandemic is found in Oblate parishes such as Bluff, Woodlands, Umbilo, Machibisa, and Bergville. Oblates regularly provide counselling for HIV+ people often in formal counselling centres such as in Wentworth Parish in Durban.
Oblates have also helped their communities to set up caring structures for PWA including crèches for children, hospices and Home Based Care structures. Very often these involve the women of the various Catholic societies especially retired nurses who wish to help (e.g. Ntshongweni, Henley, and Inchanga). Some Oblate parishes provide support through food parcels, clothing and finances for HIV/AIDS projects in their area (e.g. St Mary’s Pietermaritzburg, Westville and Virginia).

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theological empowerment

The construction of effective Christian ministry underpinned by a coherent pastoral theology is an essential component of the struggle against the pandemic. For this reason a response to HIV/AIDS is an important aspect of Pastoral Theology today. Father Stauart Bate OMI has given a number of papers and participated in a number of workshops and conferences examining theological responses to HIV/AIDS both locally and internationally. In 2003 he edited the book Responsibility in a Time of AIDS which was a compilation of papers presented at a conference of Catholic AIDS activist and pastoral workers. In 2002 he was commissioned by the Southern African Bishops Conference AIDS Office to conduct a study on the activities and effectiveness of the many projects sponsored and supported by them. A summary of this study was published in the Journal of Pastoral Care and Counselling. In 2007 he presented a paper to several Clergy conferences throughout South Africa.

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For more information on our Oblate Healing Ministry, please Contact us.