Our Lady of Sacred Heart, Parish Randwick &  St Margaret Mary's, Parish Randwick North
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  + Hospital Ministry
  Almost from their beginnings in Australia, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart have been involved in Hospital Chaplaincy. Randwick Parish has always provided chaplains to the nearby Prince of Wales hospital. Over the years this hospital has developed into one of the largest Campus of Hospitals in Australia, so the nature of Chaplaincy has changed. Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care is no longer the traditional stereotype of priests simply visiting members of their congregations when hospitalised, or only being called to a patient at time of death to give the Last Rites.

The modern role of Chaplains is multifaceted, combining a broad range of health concerns. It also now includes non-ordained members of a Chaplaincy Team. Chaplaincy is understood to include all activities in support of pastoral, spiritual and religious care of patients, their families and staff.

It is a personally challenging and demanding ministry, but such a privileged and graced time to be with people in their living and dying moments. We work in a ‘secular’ setting and for many at the hospital, staff as well as patients, we are the face of the Church. For an increasing number of the patients and their families, we are the only face of the Church to be seen in many years. We work within a multi-faith Chaplaincy Service, consisting of about fifteen chaplains from Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist and the various Christian faiths, who are on Campus on a variety of days during the week.

The present Chaplaincy Team consists of Fr Paul, Peter Hearn MSC and other MSCs at Randwick Parish. The team is supported by volunteers from Randwick and surrounding parishes, who are accredited by the hospital and who visit the wards, taking communion to those who wish, on Tuesdays and Fridays. Mass is celebrated in the Chapel on the Campus on Wednesdays at 12.00 noon and on 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month at 3.00 pm. You are most welcome to join us. Mass is broadcast through the adult public hospitals on the Chapel Channel, Channel 24, which is a free channel. The interfaith chapel is open 24 hours a day and is situated in the foyer of the Barker Street entrance opposite the Pharmacy.

Each day there are around 250 patients on Campus (Prince of Wales, Prince of Wales Private, Royal Hospital for Women, Sydney Children’s Hospital), not to mention their families and the large number of staff. It is impossible for us to visit everyone on the wards who has nominated as Catholic. We try to get to each ward in the hospitals at least once a week. However, if you or one of your family is in hospital and you want to see a chaplain, ask one of the nursing staff to page the Catholic Chaplain. We will respond immediately to emergency situations, or arrange a time of meeting if the matter is not urgent. You can ring The Prince of Wales Hospital on 9382 2222 and ask the operator to page the Catholic Chaplain for you. Alternatively, you can ring 9382 2123 and leave a message on our voicemail. Non-urgent messages can be left at the Parish Office and will be forwarded to us at the hospital.

We are always on the lookout for volunteers to help on Tuesdays and Fridays, or on other days that might be suitable for you, especially on Sunday. There is an accreditation process for the hospitals which requires a brief interview with several of the chaplains, and signing a Confidentiality Agreement, giving permission for a Criminal Record Check, and signing a Non-Prohibited Persons Statement.

Hospital Chaplaincy is one aspect of life in the Parish that you may not have been aware of. I hope this has helped, and you might consider becoming a volunteer.

Fr Peter Hearn MSC
Part time Catholic Chaplaincy Team
Randwick Campus of Hospitals.
© 2011 Our Lady of Sacred Heart | St Margaret Mary's