Philosophy

The Catholic Psychiatric Pastoral Care logo as seen on the website heading and appearing also on the Catholic Psychiatric Pastoral Care badge, sums up our philosophy. The youthful shepherd reminds us of David. God has promised that starting with David, He will always provide shepherds for His flock. These successors to David find their high point in Jesus, The Good Shepherd, and those who follow him in imitation of his pastoral care. Jesus laid down his life for his flock on the cross and taught us the way of the cross as the way to follow him and find Life. The Good Shepherd wants his flock to have the fullness of life, represented by the circle, which also symbolises the Eucharist, which is the source and summit of Catholic living and Catholic pastoral care.

Pastoral care is concerned with the person, the whole person. Catholic pastoral care is particularly concerned to see the person as scripture presents. In other words, each person is made in the image and likeness of God; people are all children of the one loving Father, brothers and sisters of each other. Catholic pastoral care approaches people in the context of this overall reverence and sacredness of the person and the community.

This is the context from which followers of Jesus operate as pastoral care persons. They strive to grow into the likeness of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. They do not take the place of Jesus as the Good Shepherd, but they see that their task is done best when they can lead their flock to the knowledge and care of the Good Shepherd.

As we continue to reflect on our pastoral ministries, we become increasingly aware that Jesus and the Church are particularly about building community. People are then set free from their isolation to experience a sense of belonging in the Catholic community. This is where each person is brother and sister to each other, where individual stories are shared and where faith, support and encouragement are nurtured.

Sufferers of mental health disorders are in a very real way the marginalised people for whom Jesus came.

For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me....And the King will answer, "I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me". 

Matthew 25: 35-37, 40