In 2019, His Grace, Anthony Fisher OP, the Archbishop of Sydney, expressed his concern about the level of appropriate support being offered to people with serious and life-limiting illnesses in parishes. His Grace requested CatholicCare Sydney investigate how the Catholic Church could address this, inclusive of an increase in the use of community palliative care.
In response to this call to action, three Roundtables of Catholic organisations with experience in pastoral and palliative care met to seek advice/direction and identified two key objectives:
- The need to start a conversation to remove the stigma around, and normalise death and dying, as a natural part of the cycle of life.
- The establishment in parishes, ideally as ‘communities of care’, pastoral support for people with serious and life-limiting illness, and the provision of compassionate accompaniment for people/their families/friends through to the end of life.
A Steering Group was formed, led by CatholicCare Sydney, which identified three elements critical to addressing the two key objectives:
- Creation of a website, providing quality information for people with serious and life-limiting illness, their families/carers and extended community.
- Development of an ‘Army of Volunteers’ for Volunteer Accompaniment of those people with serious and life-limiting illness, their families/carers.
- Delivery of workshop presentations in parishes/other collaborator agencies, encouraging conversation about death and dying, outlining the services of Living Well Dying Well, and inviting referrals to volunteer or to be accompanied.
Find out more
Watch the recording of the Living Well Dying Well webinar launch below and visit livingwelldyingwell.org to find out more about this exciting new collaboration.