Catholic Church Symbols
Plus A Favorite Catholic Prayer
Produced A Miracle of Grace

Catholic church symbols, used with a Catholic prayer, helps me minister to those we define with the designation of religion church Catholic, resulting in spiritual reconciliation.

Catholic Church Symbols
As a Hospice Chaplain, Catholic church symbols are an indicator of faith that I look for in the rooms of our patients.

Usually the patient has already indicated what faith group he or she is a part of. On this particular hospice pastoral care visit, my paperwork indicated - religion church catholic.

But if no faith affiliation is indicated on the hospice patient intake form, Catholic church symbols give me a clue if the patient is Catholic.

Catholic Church Supplies
Preparing for ministry to those we define as "Religion Church Catholic" on our hospice health care forms means a shopping trip to purchase Catholic church supplies, so that I can minister effectively.

An easier way is to locate Catholic Church Symbols on the internet. Check out Symbols of Faith at for easy, internet shopping.

When I was Chaplain at Polinsky Children's Center, I often bought a collection of Catholic Church symbols, such as crucifixes or Catholic Bibles, and other Catholic church supplies, in order to minister to Catholic children using spiritual items familiar to them.

Now that I am ministering as a hospice chaplain at the other end of the age spectrum, end of life issues are the primary focus of concern.

Whenever there is a crucifix or some other Catholic Church sympbol in the room, I provide pastoral care that is based on the faith of the patient.

Combining Prayer with Catholic church symbols

Catholic Prayer
I also use a Catholic prayer, which are usually very familiar to the patients classified as "religion church Catholic". Even those patients with dementia or Alzheimer's will often say a Catholic prayer familiar to them.

These Catholic prayers, learned at an early age, are often the only words spoken when they won't communicate at any other time.

I try to place the patient's crucifix (or other Catholic Church symbol) in close proximity in order to effectively minister using that which is special to them.

Recently, while visiting a patient, I noticed a crucifix pinned to a bulletin board -- behind the patient's bed. I removed it from the bulletin board and placed this special Catholic Church symbol within the patients line of sight.

Catholic Church Symbols Revealed His Religion or Church Was Catholic

Afterlife Concerns
In providing pastoral care to this dying patient, I could barely hear him voice his spiritual concerns.

But as he spoke, a forgiveness theme began to emerge -- afterlife concerns, reconciliation issues with God and his family, and remorse over broken relationships and past sins.

I took the crucifix and asked if he knew what this special Catholic church symbol represented. He replied,"Jesus dying on the cross".

Now a chaplain learns, in preparing for chaplain certification, to not impose his or her belief onto the patient, but to draw out of patients their beliefs, their hopes, their fears, or their regrets.

So I asked him "Who do you think Jesus died for?" His answer: "For the whole world!"

I continued, "Doesn't that include you?"

His reply was an amazing "Aha" moment of spiritual discovery when he said "Yes! I knew Jesus died for the world, but I never realized that Jesus died for me!"

So that illustrates what religious symbols are all about -- to represent spiritual realities and to point people to God. In this case, a simple cruxifix, a Catholic Church symbol, guided my pastoral care visit to a moment of spiritual awakening for a fearful patient, not ready to die.

As I concluded that pastoral care visit, I prayed with the patient, and I did what I always attempt to do in my role as a hospice chaplain -- give opportunity for the patient to pray.

A Favorite Catholic Prayer Flowed From His Favorite of All Catholic church symbols,

As I concluded that pastoral care visit, I prayed with the patient, and I did what I always attempt to do in my role as a hospice chaplain -- give opportunity for the patient to pray.

I have discovered that most of my Catholic patients can voice their favorite Catholic prayer, the "Our Father" (The Lord's Prayer).

Through my time with this patient, I witnessed an amazing transformation spiritually, all because Catholic Church symbols, combined with a Catholic prayer, helped a patient address his afterlife concerns --

  • his fears,
  • his need for reconciliation with God and family,
  • and his need for God's forgiveness.