What are members of the Chaplaincy team 'called' to do?
Our Chaplaincy Team (CT) have been called to serve as both disciples, trained in the teachings of Christ, and apostles, delivering and spreading his teachings to others. They are special in their being and how they live as well as in their doing, as are all pupils. For this reason, it is imperative not to create a ‘them’ and ‘us’ environment where members of the CT are seen as an elite group who do everything to the exclusion of others as this can lead to a feeling of resentment or apathy from other pupils. This is contrary to the vision for both the Church and the Chaplaincy Team. As Pope Francis stated:
‘You too, dear young people, can be joyful witnesses of his love, courageous witnesses of his Gospel, carrying to this world a ray of light’.
It is not merely the role of clergy, teachers and members of the CT to evangelise and share the Good News and to ‘love and serve the Lord’. Every pupil in our Catholic schools is called to do the same, as encouraged in the dismissal at Mass (Missa). The CT should fundamentally plan/lead initiatives in which others can be involved as well as facilitate and empower them to take an active role in various aspects of Catholic Life, through prayer, action and witness.
What is a Chaplaincy Team?
Chaplaincy requires time, energy and space as well as faith. Developing spirituality through prayer, worship and liturgy is a natural part of this role and it is increasingly more common place for pupils to take a more active role in planning and leading worship in school. Whilst pupils are not trained mentors or counsellors, they do have the ability to be there for others, listening to them and showing that they care. These are skills that can be fostered and developed in all settings.
A CT is one in which a group or groups of selected pupils and adults work together to reveal Christ to the school through their faith and action. Pupils will be involved in developing the Catholic Life and mission of the school in a number of ways chosen by the team, depending on the needs and charism of their setting.
Every CT is unique because each school is unique and so is each child, therefore the tasks they choose and the way in which they implement them may also be unique. There is no ‘one size fits all’, although all CTs will be involved to some extent with prayer, worship and spirituality.