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When a Community of Hope training center is established in a church or other institution, the rector or administrator appoints lay leaders to facilitate the 14-week, 42-hour training. The training modules focus on helping trainees discover their spiritual gifts, share their spiritual journey, practice Christain mediation and silence, and read and reflect on Holy Scripture (lectio divina).

Each training center chooses their faculty for teaching other modules, which include Benedictine spirituality, theology of pastoral care, pastoral identity, listening skills, making a pastoral visit, family systems, grief, death and loss, confidentiality, debriefing, care for the caregiver, and commitment to ministry. Six hours of the training include actual hands-on pastoral visitation.

Lay Chaplains are commissioned when the training is completed and are sent out two-by-two for ministry. They serve in any setting where adults, youth, or children are sick, in crisis, at risk, or underserved - especially the poor, the homeless, the imprisoned, the elderly and the marginalized.

The Community of Hope is unique in its balanced focus on growth through Benedictine spirituality and empowerment of laity for pastoral care ministry. It is intended to complement and augment, not compete with, any similar lay ministry training, such as Stephen Ministry.

Circle of Care

After their training, all volunteer lay chaplains become a part of the training center's Circle of Care where ongoing life of the Community of Hope is sustained through regular, twice-monthly gatherings. Members pray, worship, debrief, report their pastoral visits, and receive supervision.

Led by lay coordinators, Circle of Care provides continuing education, quiet days, retreats, and share gatherings with lay chaplains from other training centers. In Circle of Care, volunteer lay chaplains continue to study The Rule of Benedict and strengthen their spirituality and the bond of community.




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