Beacons of excellence: Being a trustee in Catholic residential and nursing homes

The second of two articles on Catholic care homes focuses on the trustees and their role in promoting the Catholic ethos of the home. John Deehan is a parish priest in London and trustee of a Catholic care home.

While Catholic schools are a well-known feature of our education system and are popular with parents outside of the Catholic community, Catholic residential and nursing homes have a much lower profile. Nonetheless, they have the tradition and spiritual resources to be beacons of excellence in the care of the elderly and those approaching the end of life. But whereas Catholic schools in general seem to be proud to proclaim their Catholic identity, residential and nursing homes appear, in my limited experience, more reluctant to make their Catholic ethos a prominent feature of what they have to offer. In the previous article, I used the Gospel of Luke as a primary resource to tease out what the Catholic ethos of such a home might look like. Among the New Testament writers, it is Luke, in his Gospel and in its sequel, the Acts of the Apostles, who emphasises the Church as the embodiment of the mission of God to the world, confident of its identity and open to the stranger and the one seeking the fullness of life.

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