Care for the Whole Person Ministry

The end of life’s journey can be many things.  It is often a time of sorrow but it is also a time to celebrate the passage of a loved one into eternal life and remember a life well lived.  Creating an environment where the ill and dying feel loved, worthy and cared for is the effort of an initiative jointly developed by the Catholic Bishops of California and the state’s Catholic health care systems.
Known as the Whole Person Care Initiative, the partnership has begun building capacity among dioceses, parishes and Catholic health care ministries by offering training, promoting successful ministries, and raising the standards of palliative care in Catholic hospitals and health care ministries.  The Initiative will also encourage people to discuss their desires through the end of life before they are ill and will promote a thorough understanding of Catholic teachings and traditions. 

“Palliative care is an expression of the truly human attitude of taking care of one another, especially of those who suffer. It is a testimony that the human person is always precious, even if marked by illness and old age. Indeed, the person, under any circumstances, is an asset to him/herself and to others and is loved by God. This is why, when their life becomes very fragile and the end of their earthly existence approaches, we feel the responsibility to assist and accompany them in the best way.”
Pope Francis, Address to participants in the Plenary of the Pontifical Academy for Life 2015

Parishes with Care for the Whole Person Ministries

Church of the Nativity – Menlo Park
Holy Name of Jesus Church – San Francisco
Most Holy Redeemer Church – San Francisco
Our Lady of Angels Church – Burlingame
St. Anthony of Padua Church – Menlo Park
St. Bartholomew Church – San Mateo
St. Bruno Church – San Bruno
St. Charles Church – San Carlos
St. Dominic Church – San Francisco
St. Gabriel Church – San Francisco
St. Hilary Church – Tiburon
St. John of God Church – San Francisco
St. Mark Church – Belmont
St. Raphael Church – San Rafael
St. Stephen Church – San Francisco
St. Timothy Church – San Mateo
St. Veronica Church – South San Francisco

The Archdiocese of San Francisco has partnered with the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC)

The benefits of this collaboration is to help pastors and their parishioners navigate ethical issues associated with health care, end of life care, abortion, contraception, gender ideology, physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia, and other topics. The NCBC provides reliable references, thorough explanations, and case-based guidance to form consciences with Catholic teaching when making health care decisions.

Want to volunteer?

The teachings of the Catholic Church help us understand many of the complex questions related to end-of-life and serious illness decisions, such as hospice and palliative care, tube feeding, pain management, and assistance to those who cannot make their own decisions. The bishops of California have established the Caring for the Whole Person Care Initiative (CWPI) with the goal of giving every Catholic in the state information about what the Church’s teachings are and how to make sure that one’s wishes are followed in medical care. The goal of the Archdiocese of San Francisco is that every parish will have a CWPI Ministry, staffed by trained volunteers, that will be a resource for the pastor, and a help to parishioners and their families.

The Archdiocese of San Francisco is organizing CWPI Trainings. We seek volunteers interested in serving as leaders and helpers for this ministry within their respective parishes. If you have professional experience or simply a personal interest in being on a parish team that performs this exceptionally important work, please contact Deacon Fred Totah at 415-614-5504  or  [email protected]

Have questions?

The staff of the Office of Pastoral Ministry is here to serve you.

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