Healthcare is a fundamental component of improving life for any of us. The Claretians’ commitment to healthcare is not as a provider or a hospital, but as resources to inform and guide people in our parishes to better healthcare for themselves and their families. Although in the cause of their ministry Claretians routinely visit the sick, some Claretians have specifically chosen the important service of hospital chaplaincy as their primary ministry, while other Claretians have devoted themselves to caring for our senior members.
Claret Center for Spiritual and Psychological Counseling
The Claretians have built an outreach into healthcare that provides wellness services, focusing primarily on spiritual direction, psychotherapy, workshops, and retreats. This is the Claret Center, located in Chicago. The center was founded in 1979 to address the needs of religious formation communities—as well as the short supply of spiritual directors trained in sound psychological principles and of professional psychotherapists. The center focuses on healing and healthy practices to enrich life for those who are struggling, and now serves adults and children needing counseling. The center also provides group supervision in spiritual direction for formation and vocation ministry personnel across a variety of religious communities.
Villa Guadalupe is a senior services housing development of the Claretians located on the south side of Chicago in a high-poverty community. This neighborhood is also one of the Claretians’ parishes. The mission here is to enhance the quality of life of the local seniors by providing affordable housing and support services within a secure environment. The staff provides a path of access for the seniors to healthcare referrals, case management advisors, access to treatment, and follow-up on health regimens. The Villa has been in operation for a little over 20 years, and has had the added benefit of stabilizing part of the community.
Our hospital chaplains are present with patients and sensitive to the needs of doctors, nurses, and extended medical staff while also offering religious services and sacraments to those in need. Claretian chaplains comfort families in their time of greatest need and see that no one dies alone without spiritual support and compassion. They also share in the joys of recovery and healing. Some Claretians serve in military medical centers where they face unique ministry challenges in helping service members and their families cope with injury and loss.
Caring for Senior Claretians
Claretians who care for our senior members take on a variety of responsibilities. They plan outings to add special interest and activity to each week, and they plan in-house programs, including exercise, concerts, social functions, and informative visits from doctors.