The Humanist Chaplaincy continues to be engaged with the HSE through its ‘Multi-Faith Healthcare Chaplaincy Council’. Although the name of this Council refers to Multi-Faith, we have made our case that those of no religion or of secular beliefs be equally accommodated. The Council’s first task was to establish a subgroup to arrive at the terms of reference for its work. Willie Collins and Nic Johnson participated in that subgroup.
Norma McElligott, Humanist Chaplain, and Nic Johnson attended the second of the HSE Chaplaincy Council meetings where the terms of reference were reviewed. One of the topics discussed was the definition of a chaplain. Seems each group has their own way of looking at what the chaplain does with respect to ‘spiritual health’. The HSE has now undertaken to work on a definition.
The Chaplaincy is also addressing the role of state-paid chaplains in the education system as well as in the defence forces. Members who have an interest or would like to help out in these areas as well as in the HSE may contact Nic Johnson at email@example.com
Paddy McDermott, a member of the Chaplaincy committee, made a written submission to
the Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Defence.
The submission outlined what humanism is and how it operates.The main aim of the submission was to seek recognition in providing a chaplaincy service to the Garda Siochána and Defence Forces. This chaplaincy service would be on a par with that provided by the faith organisations.The submission has been acknowledged by the secretary of the Dail Committee and she indicated that the submission would be brought to the attention of the Committee.
Norma McElligott in her capacity as Humanist Chaplain had a meeting with Dr. Ian Pickup, Head of Student Engagement at UCC. She was cordially received and is hopeful of progressing the issue in January 2015.
The meeting concerned the possibility of including a Humanist Chaplain on the list of chaplains available to students in UCC. The purpose is to assure that students who are non-religious have the option of accessing a non-religious chaplain. This is fundamental to Humanist philosophy, offering choice in a spirit of tolerance and inclusion.
Report by Nic Johnson, Director of Chaplaincy Services