Companions on the road to hope

January 31, 2022 in Featured News, News

Chaplains: Ministers of Hope (Messenger Publications) » is a new book that examines a number of theoretical frameworks supporting the inspiring work of chaplains. Contributors present an overview of the range of chaplaincies within the Church’s mission including those working in hospital, prison, hospice, sea-port, army, school, university, migrants, special needs and homeless settings.

Both a call to action and a reflection on the unseen work of the range of chaplaincies within the Church’s mission, the book claims to present a very different measurement of success and engagement than that offered by contemporary culture.

Chaplains walk quietly with those who find themselves at the margins, who suffer, who struggle and who cannot always call for help. Dedicated to living out the utterly gratuitous love of God and embedded in their communities, they embody Pope Francis’s call to social friendship.

Chaplains: Ministers of Hope is edited by Alan Hilliard with a foreword by Bishop Éamonn Walsh, and is divided into three parts. Part One is centred on the late Fr Gerry Byrne, former chaplain at the Blackrock Clinic, Dublin, who inspired the book’s publication. It includes perspectives from a family member and a consultant who were both deeply impressed by Fr Gerry’s ministry.

Part Two offers perspectives of hope from a number of chaplains. It includes the history of chaplaincy down the ages by Ciarán O’Carroll, the encounter at the well as a model for chaplaincy by Eileen O’Connell, and practical theology and the practice of chaplaincy by Thomas G Grenham.

Part Three offers places of hope to include chaplaincy with the homeless by Susan Jones, the secondary school by Gráinne Delaney, the psychiatric hospital by Hugh Gillan, the military by Eoin Thynne, the migrant by John McCarthy and the deaf community by Paddy Boyle.

According to Bishop Éamonn Walsh, the book is ‘compulsory reading for anyone interested in chaplaincy.’

Chaplains: Ministers of Hope is published in Ireland and the UK by Messenger Publications and prices at €19.95/£18.95.

Alan Hilliard is coordinator of the Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy Service at TU Dublin. Previous titles with Messenger Publications include Dipping into Advent, Dipping into Lent and Dipping into Life.