BeFriender Ministry is a parish-based, ecumenical program that trains lay people to respond, in the name of their church community, to the emotional and spiritual needs of individuals. The program helps to meet the growing needs for pastoral care in our parish communities by bringing a caring presence and a living reminder of God's love.
What does a BeFriender do?
BeFrienders listen to the story of the one who is befriended. The purpose is to listen and care, not to preach, teach, judge or advise.
BeFrienders accept people as they are without telling them how they ought to be, listen with compassion without giving advice, allow others to make their own decision without trying to decide for them, admit that life can be burdensome and, when necessary, seek comfort and support from others.
How is BeFriender Ministry structured at St. Cecilia's?
Two BeFriender coordinators working with the Pastoral Associate, receive all referrals and assign individual BeFrienders. BeFriender assignments are kept confidential.
Initial BeFriender training and supervised internship is a 40-hour program designed to develop skills in communication, faith sharing, ministry reflections and other aspects of BeFriender Ministry.
Commissioned BeFrienders meet twice a month to pray, to reflect on their ministry and to receive further training.
BeFrienders often gain a deeper understanding of the image of the Body of Christ by appreciating and valuing each member in our community, and each person's unique spiritual journey.