Caring Community

This section of our website was created to bring together our Members in times of celebration and in times of challenge.
If you would like our CASC/ACSS Community to know of your achievements, new job or retirement announcements, condolences, or you would like our Membership to pray for your health and healing, please send this information to

2021 Messages

A Personal Reflection on Cultivating a Culture of Compassion

Firstly, I affirm my Eden Health Care Services’ colleagues & all healthcare providers for all the care & compassion that you are providing for the physical, mental & spiritual health needs of patients, residents & clients.Your presence & care reassures them that they are not alone on their healthcare journey.

As chaplain within the Eden Health Care Services (Eden Mental Health Centre) organization, I provide spiritual & emotional support to in-patients on their mental health journey, as well as supporting staff within a faith-based mental health context. I count it a privilege to walk with others on their spiritual journey.

Over the course of the past 25 years in hospital/institutional ministry, I have had the most profound experiences. The experiences that have touched me the most, are those connections with patients or staff who have a different faith & cultural perspective than my own. These experiences have challenged me,and they have helped me to grow in understanding of others & myself.

My ministry, as a chaplain, is about building bridges of understanding; about listening, hearing others’ stories & exploring where God is in the midst of their story. It is not about trying to convince patients, staff, or anyone, to believe what I believe. Most often, it is about hearing their hurt, their sense of abandonment, sometimes their experience of abandonment by God & their search for meaning. I am here to listen without judgement.

The past 22 months of COVID have certainly been challenging, overwhelming, frightening, exhausting, heart-breaking, or other emotions may come to your mind. We each have our own story. We each have our way of understanding the challenges of COVID.

Recently, I had the incredible privilege to hear a colleague’s story. My colleague shared of an experience of pain, sadness & hurt from many years ago. I was humbled by this person’s vulnerability in sharing their experience. When I went home, I thought about what was shared and I began to understand my colleague’s perspective. This colleague has a differing view of COVID, the restrictions & vaccine than my own view. Hearing their story has helped me to understand. Now I understand.

I may not agree with another person’s perspective on COVID, on faith/religion, or anything else, but I still can understand their perspective.The only way for me to understand their perspective is to listen and to be compassionate; to stop for a moment & listen.

Do I fail at this? Yes. Miserably, at times. But over and over, I/we are called to stop & listen; and care for one another. Our colleagues, our friends, our neighbors & our community need to stop & listen to one another. We each need to do our part in cultivating a culture of compassion.

So, I wonder;

•How do we (as individuals, as an organization, as a community, as a health region) move forward in a way that is life-giving; in a way that respects each person’s point of view?

•How do we share our point of view in ways that invite others to sharetheir views?

•How do we move forward in a way that listens & hears another person’s COVID perspective?

•How can each one of us cultivate compassion within our own context?

Respectfully submitted, Rev. Ron Falk, Certified Spiritual Care Practitioner (CASC/ACSS) Director of Spiritual Health, Eden Mental Health Centre (EHCS)

Recognizing the Role of Chaplaincy in Healthcare







Recognizing the Role of Chaplaincy in Healthcare : Perspectives on the COVID-19 Pandemic
By Olamma Otisi

I had just finished a phone conversation with a client whose mother passed because of COVID-19. Her deepest pain was that her mother died alone in a distant country. Glancing at the number of calls on hold, which had increased to twenty-four, I allowed only two minutes of wrap up time and picked my next call.
“I need someone to talk to,” a woman said, preferring to remain anonymous.
“I am 63-years old, and I live alone. For a year and four months since the pandemic started, there’s no one to talk to,” she said, sobbing.
She went on to say she had endured waves of negative emotions, sometimes weeping through dreary hours.
She lamented the closure of religious gatherings and a lack of connection to her faith community, which had aggravated her situation.
I listened.
She had lost her sibling to COVID-19. Grief and loneliness are an unpalatable mix.
I spent twenty-five minutes with her. Her heart was so full of self-pity, depression, anxiety, fears, and tears. I listened patiently as she let it all out. When she was done, I got to work by offering emotional care, spiritual care, and other care resources.
“Thanks for being here and for what you do,” she said.

At the end of our call, I broke down and cried. I was not crying for her or the other callers, and it was not a case of transference. Here’s the reason: I too was dealing with loneliness due to separation from family. In September 2015, I came to Canada as an international student without my husband to pursue a masters degree in counselling and spiritual care (chaplaincy). After which, I began working as a community spiritual care practitioner and corporate chaplain.

In October 2018, after following due process, I submitted an application for Permanent Residence of Canada. My application was categorized as a religious work, non-essential, and therefore a non-express entry. My application has been in process since then, and checking my emails for the positive notice of decision from Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has become a daily ritual.
In March 2020, my husband had planned to come to Canada to visit, but the unforeseen happened. Two days before he could board the flight, Canada shut its borders to non permanent residents due to COVID-19. Canada was shut down; my country of origin was shut down; my husband was shut in and alone, so I cried. Ironically I was caring for clients who suffered deeply from the pandemic induced social isolation and loneliness, while I bore the brunt of same.

We have had three waves of corona virus in the last seventeen months. As a chaplain, I have answered close to 15,000 calls from people longing for spiritual care and support: people who lost their jobs and financial income; front line health care workers who were too scared to go to work the next day; women and men struggling with broken marital relationships. I journeyed with people whose mental health challenges were aggravated by the pandemic uncertainties of addictions, depression, trauma, loneliness, anxiety and more. Some had health issues that were considered not to be an emergency, so they suffered and called daily for healing prayers and spiritual support while they waited for doctors’ appointments and medical procedures.

In May 2021, I stumbled on a news release from IRCC about a new pathway for permanent residence in Canada. Two out of the six categories of workers to benefit from this opportunity are health care workers and essential but non-health care workers. I read through the list, and to my disappointment, there was no mention of chaplains. I scrutinized the list over and over again, and was disheartened to learn that chaplains were not considered. The National Occupation Classification (NOC) 3144, 3414, and 4212 included in the list seemed like they could comprise chaplaincy, but they did not. The list was so meticulously compiled that it seemed like there was no stone left unturned in health and community services except for chaplaincy.

Lessons arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the findings of an international survey by Austen Snowden, suggest that recognition and incorporation of chaplaincy as an essential component of healthcare is still far-flung.

There are research findings and publications on the essential role of spiritual care in patients healing process and mental wellbeing. Some health institutions acknowledge this by engaging chaplain care for their patients, yet, when the chips were down during the COVID pandemic, the opposite was the response. There is no doubt that chaplaincy is beginning to have a voice but it seems as though we chaplains have been mostly speaking to ourselves. My take is that we need an advocacy type of communication from an organized professional body of spiritual care practitioners to effectively highlight the essential role of chaplaincy in healthcare. We need a strong, unified, persistent communication geared towards audiences outside this circle; such as Health care systems administrators and government healthcare policy makers.

Any thoughts?

A Reflection on Virtual Connections






All the “In-between-ness”

You know, they say,
when you’re going to a virtual interview,
“Dress up!” “Smile!” “It will help you connect!”
So I dressed up, and smiled,
and went to my virtual conference.
And I peered in the windows of all my colleagues
– well, not all the windows, because there were too many.
But I looked in the windows of my colleagues and friends
and I smiled
and I tried to connect.
I sent notes… “good to be sharing this space with you”
and they greeted me back…
but we couldn’t connect…
we missed all the in-between-ness.

You’d think, after a year
of practising virtual connection,
that I’d have my expectations in check..
I’d know you can’t really connect.
We try… we say hello in the “Chat”,
we acknowledge that we are “sharing a space” together,
but we have lost so, so much
of the nuance and depth and richness of real in-person connectivity
in our work and lives.

We have lost the ability to engage the room in four dimensions
and express the gratitudes, and interact with the ideas.
We have lost the “in-betweens”,
the connections that happen as we enter and leave these spaces,
the hallway chats, the handshakes,
the follow-ups, the perching over coffee… oh my, so much is lost.
A quick question of clarification is now a technical interruption.
We have lost the subtle head nods of affirmation,
the smiles that let us know we are connecting with our audience,
the gentle wave of laughter,
or the pregnant silence when the room feels the weight of something deep.

I miss the in-between-ness,
the oil that makes things move among us and between us,
I miss the sparks, the exchange in all dimensions,
the sense of holy ground and sacred space,
that is created when we sit together
and feel the sacredness of each other
and of a time and place.

© Sheila Atkinson, CASC/ACSS Conference, April 2021

CASC/ACSS Member Interviewed for New Documentary

David Maginley, CACS/ACSS member from Halifax,  is part of a wonderful new documentary on End of Life experiences and the nature of consciousness.

“In the Realm of Death and Dreaming” is available as a private screening just until Sunday, April 11th, 2021. Thank you to David for permission to share the film for this limited time. 

Click here to watch  

Memorial Service for Pamela Lucas Weds March 3 at 2:30pm EST

There will be an on-line Memorial for Pamela Lucas on Wednesday, March 3rd at 2:30 pm. EST

All who wish to celebrate her life are welcome to join and find support in our common grief.




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2020 Messages

July 22, 2020 Turning Inwards Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic by Darlene Pranke

Turning Inwards Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

Darlene Pranke, Chaplain and Supervisor-Educator at Misericordia Hospital in Edmonton has recorded this reflective video to help others cope with COVID-19.  “Turning Inward Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic.




June 10, 2020 Taking a Knee, by Ciaran McKenna

Taking a Knee

Taking a knee

When done on the football field

it speaks to the injustices of police brutality in the United States.

When it’s done in a relationship

It’s an invitation to be my life partner.

When coaches take a knee to speak to their young charges

it speaks of the need for respect in sport.

When it’s placed on my neck because of my skin color,

it’s murder.

When it’s done in a place of worship

it’s a sign of faith.

When it’s done by a parent at a playground,

it’s to soothe the sobs of their child who fell.

When it’s done in the garden

it says I want to be close to the earth I love.

When it’s done to my neck because of my indigenous heritage,

it’s murder.

When it’s done on the beach it says

I am having fun in the sun building sandcastles.

When it’s done at The Cenotaph on Remembrance Day,

It says, we remember you.

When it’s done at the grave side

it says I will always love you.

When it’s done on my neck because I am different in any way,

it’s always murder.

©Ciaran Mc Kenna, written on a bench in Victoria park London Ontario on Sunday June 7th, the day after The Black Lives Matter event

June 8, 2020 Covid Reflection by Phil Murray

A COVID Prayer

A COVID Prayer – June 7, 2020

We believe that you are in all and through all,
that your love is present, and that you are with us on our journey through life.
And as such, you know that we are deeply grieving.
A new coronavirus is spreading throughout the land, people are getting sick, and many are dying.
People are fearful, there is great uncertainty among us, and we grieve the loss.
We grieve the loss of life to this illness.
We grieve the loss of social gatherings.
We grieve the loss of being able to experience the spirit of community in-person.
We grieve the loss of connection and the ability to share an embrace with those we love.
We grieve the loss of stability, of security, of feeling safe to use the Skytrain,
     share a meal with friends, or even walk outside.
We grieve the loss of work, the loss of certainty, the loss of the world as it was.
As much as we grieve at this time, we are also grateful.
We are grateful that so many have discovered how important friends, family and love are.
We are grateful to have tools and technology available to us
     that help us connect while maintaining a safe distance.
We are grateful that the earth is now beginning to heal and recover
     from the damage that has been caused by our actions and economies.
We are grateful for the scientists and teams around the world currently searching
     for a vaccine and pray that a Spirit of creativity and understanding will inform their work.
We are grateful for front line workers in health care, police and the fire department,
     for paramedics, grocery store workers, farmers,
          for everyone who put themselves at risk so that we can remain safe and healthy.
We are grateful for the spirit of community that inspires people to go outside,
     on balconies and in doorways to express their thanks night after night.
And we are grateful for the guidance of our political and public health leadership.
Send your Spirit of wisdom and discernment to all who hold positions of responsibility
     in our cities, our province, our country, and around the world.
May our political, business and social leaders understand the truth of what is needed,
     and may they provide responsible and wise direction in these uncertain times.
Send us all your Spirit of strength, of hope, of perseverance, of trust, of healing, of love.
     Let Your light shine in our darkness and be the lamp unto our feet.
Guide us on the paths of righteousness and help us not to fear
     as we face these trying and challenging times together, and yet apart.

Holy Creator,        Hear our prayer.

Philip Murray, Certified Spiritual Care Practitioner – Providence Health Care, Vancouver, BC

April 27, 2020 Poem by Ciaran McKenna

Mother Earth took a Breath

April 20, 2020 Free Press articles by Doug Koop

Weathering the Gathering Storm

Doug Koop, a certified Member working as a Spiritual Health Practitioner at Health Sciences Centre has had several recent articles published in the Winnipeg Free Press. You can read his April 7th story on “Weathering the Gathering Storm“, his April 9th article on “Headgear and Heartache: How Hospital Workers are Coping with COVID-19 (so far)”, or his April 23rd piece, “They Also Serve who Only Stand and Wait“.  


April 17, 2020 Contagion by Chris Salstrom



Creeping stealthily,
Icy cold tendrils wraps
Our hearts and minds.
Sneaking into corners
Infecting thoughts and words;
Contaminating actions and reactions.
Dirty and invisible,
A changeling and a catalyst.
Willing destruction;
planting seeds that take root
blooming when least expected;
Spreading evil pollen.
This rampant contagion,
the dastardly disease named

C.A. Salstrom, Winnipeg, MB
April 17, 2020

April 11, 2020 This is a Holy Week by Philip Murray

This is a Holy Week

This is a Holy Week.

Many religions are celebrating sacred days and observances this week:

  • Christians celebrated Palm Sunday and are moving towards Good Friday and Easter.
  • Theravada Buddhists marked the New Year on Tuesday and the birth of the Buddha.
  • Hindus celebrated the birth of the God Hanuman
  • Hindus and Sikhs tradition will celebrate Vaisakhi next week.
  • Muslims marked Laylat al Bara’at, a day of repentance and forgiveness in preparation for Ramadan.
  • And Jewish people around the world are celebrating Pesach – Passover.

Passover marks the time when God’s enslaved people received direction from their leaders on how to avoid a pending disaster. Following this direction blood was put on doorposts and families self-isolated at home, protected as death swept through the nation –literally “passing over” them. As a result of their adherence to this direction they were saved from death, released from slavery to start their journey into the wilderness and toward the Promised Land.

There are parallels between Passover and our current experience with COVID-19.

We too are a people who have received direction from our leaders on how to avoid a pending disaster – we are self-isolating, washing our hands and trying to stay two meters from others.

While this time of self-isolation is lasting longer than one night, we know that it is working for as we do this the rate of infection and death is reducing.

Thanks to our adherence to this direction, we too will someday find ourselves released from this isolation and beginning our journey into the wilderness towards the Promised Land.

This is not an enjoyable experience.

Self-isolation to avoid illness and death is a scary reality.
Journeying into the wilderness is also a very unpleasant thought.

But if we are faithful, faithful to our leaders, faithful to our loved ones, faithful to ourselves and faithful to our God, I believe that we will find our way to the promised land – a time and place where fear of COVID-19 becomes a memory; a time and place where we can look back with pride at what we have accomplished together; a time and place where we might just have a deeper appreciation for those we love and the beautiful Earth of which we are a part.

Philip Murray
Certified Spiritual Care Practitioner
Providence Health Care, Vancouver, BC

April 9, 2020 “Behind the Mask” by Ciaran McKenna

Behind the Mask









Behind the mask I am……

Scared, secure, safe, solitary
in solidarity.
Behind the mask I am…
vulnerable, valuable, undervalued
Behind the mask I am…
woman, man, boy, girl, adult , child,
LGBTQ . non-binary
Behind the mask I am…
Insulated, isolated, insecure insured, intolerable
Behind the mask I am…
A mother, father, brother, sister, lover, hater
a lonely leader.
Behind the mask I am…
A nurse, doctor, carpenter, farmer, a house keeper,
a home maker.
Behind the mask I am …
Everyone and no-one, someone and something, future faced
and anchored in the past.
Behind the mask I am…
Unknown, unknowing
dreaming and scheming,
wondering and worrying.
Behind the mask I am…
I am…
Behind the mask I am .. Me. Remember me behind the mask

(©Ciaran Mc Kenna. Reflecting on life behind the mask 4/7/2020)

Image by London ON artist Emma Richard. 

Her instagam is @itsemmarichard

April 9, 2020 A Reflection on Caring Staff by Steve Robertson

A Story About Caring Staff

“You Five” a reflection on Caring Staff as Observed by Steve a Chaplain

It’s fall time in Long term Care, people are sitting in a loved one’s room wearing lightweight hand-made jackets with hats and toques in hand. A little while before, family members left after staff tended and cared for their soon to be loss as they visit and leave, offering condolences and hugs.

The resident will soon die, they’re a friendly person, much appreciated and loved by family and staff. The resident was quick to smile and offer thanks when interacting with co-residents and staff alike. Their spouse as well, had been a pleasure to interact with and support as they fielded questions of care and support. This would be a tough loss for the spouse and the staff as well; the resident had endeared themselves to all who served them in care. The staff had again, dared to become close knowing how this ultimately results in their own sense of loss and hurt. Someone has said, I forget now that “The creation of love necessitates the creation of grief.”

The resident’s end–of-life journey was longer than expected. Still though, Long Term Care staff offered care, family visited, and staff discussed best care practice as usual…late one afternoon, with a reluctant sense of relief, staff received word that their resident had died. Spouse and close family lingered. As Chaplain I was called for support and prayers, I had also felt the global care home loss.

It was just before suppertime and staff still came one by one and in pairs. Some timid, some bravely offering wide open-armed hugs. Everyone offered hugs, tears, kind words of support to the grieving family and spouse and also to each other. You could feel that with the constant stream of staff coming to pay their respects this was to be a tough death for many. I witnessed tears of the spouse after receiving kind hugs from staff and each hug with an awaiting staff-mourner brought on the welling up of even more tears for the spouse and as well, for the caring staff.

The five Long Term Care staff who would offer the final care, preparation and cleaning of the body arrived with kind smiles and certain presence of wisdom. The family and myself talked in the hallway as staff completed their special and sacred work before the funeral home director would arrive.

When the body was safely encased within the funeral home’s burgundy shroud, the team thoughtfully let the Dignity Quilt settle over top and they then escorted the body to the awaiting funeral van. Five staff accompanied the body. I stayed back at the nursing desk and shared with staff unable to attend the family.

Standing facing the dining area, offered view of a sight I will never forget and offered and poignant awareness. The 5 staff who accompanied the body of the resident to the back door for a moment of respect and a friendly wave formed a striking presence as they came back to their floor and exited the elevator…

These folk had just cleaned and shrouded the form of a recently deceased resident they had cared for, talked with, joked with; now hugged and cried with family…now they escorted the deceased to a funeral van and offered their final goodbyes.

Then … the sound of elevator doors opening…
I see…
Five Dedicated humans respectfully and thoughtfully march across my nursing desk view as they return back for mealtime support; regular duties once again. They walked from the elevator to the dining hall as if they were the image of “The Beatles” walking the crosswalk on that famous album cover. They walked silently, in thought and in transition to the dining hall spaced exactly even to each other in line as if in some army formation. It was a momentary and often completed emotional progression, a shift in their soul and emotions…from serving within the quiet hush of death to serving sometimes demanding residents at mealtime in a busy dining hall full of hungry living residents oblivious to the five’s emotional space.

I was struck by two things, their love and care of a resident, how their heart-strings were touched and stretched as they are daily… and as well, the huge mental emotional shift it would have been to return to the world of the living to offer quality dinning assistance as raw emotional grief and loss still churned within their being. I was deeply moved by this moment. I will always respect staff who do such work and are faced with the need to offer such vast internal emotional shifts to offer their highly sought after considered one to one care care throughout the day within a sometimes challenged environment and resident population.

Your care and dedication you offer often causes me to think and reflect deeply and to the deeply held and raw awareness you work with every day. This moment offered by staff, mainly PSW’s will live in my memory for some long time…until you walk me out to awaiting van on my last day. I hope it is you five.

Steve Robertson BTH MA RP
Spiritual Care Associate

Thunder Bay, ON

April 9, 2020 A Musical COVID-19 Ditty by Tim Frymire

Sound of Being Alone

Webmaster Tim Frymire has a little too much time and not enough talent on his hands as he offers apologies to Simon and Garfunkle for his version of “The Sound of Being Alone”.

As his singing renders comprehension of the actual words impossible here are the verses below:

Sound of Being Alone  (With apologies to Simon and Garfunkel)

Hello COVID, not my Friend
I’ve come to talk with you again.
Bout the way your body count was rising
Cause I couldn’t stop my socializing
And the virus that was spreading cross the land
went hand to hand
so take a stand, be alone

Experts say please stay at home
In groups of ten you may not roam
Hunker down and try to isolate
Those family gatherings will just have to wait
stay indoors, time to work on that list of chores.
We do implore to face your fears, of being alone.

In restless dreams I walked alone
Shopping malls now danger zones.
In empty stores I searched for friends to greet
No more handshakes, just stay back 6 feet
I grew lonely, trying to touch those I knew well
Use Purell, get used to being – alone.

Our elders risked their lives in wars
While we just have to stay indoors
They served bravely far across the seas.
We watch reruns on HD TVs.
We can do this thing, Its easy if you try,
So less will die
If you face your fears, of being alone.

March 27, 2020 A COVID Reflection by Philip Murray


These are scary times and fear is all around us.
People are hoarding and our political leaders demand that we stay home.
And for good reason – COVID is scary and we know that it can be devastating.
Some are scared of not knowing the right information as what we know changes day to day.
Some are scared of their colleagues not coming to work and having to do everything alone.
Some are scared of going outside or being on public transit and getting infected.
Some are scared of being infected and infecting those they love and/or care for.
Some are scared of not meeting the expectations of others.
Some are scared of the “what ifs”.
Some are scared of dying.

Fear is a core experience of life. It is a response to something that threatens our physical, emotional, mental or spiritual well-being. When we sense danger we experience fear. And COVID is dangerous – it is natural for us to be afraid.

Fear can protect us. It triggers our fight, flight or freeze response. It can keep us safe.

Fear can also get in our way, especially if we dwell on it or allow it to take over. As Master Yoda said, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”

In times such as this, it can be easy to let fear to take over.
We get angry at the person standing too close to us in line, at pictures of people on the beaches, when we learn that others aren’t coming into work when we have to.

But the fear does not need to take over. We have a choice.

In times such as this, let us not give into our fear.
Let us remember that our fear is a normal response to a scary situation.
Let us remember that there are others around us who are also scared.
Let us remember that we can choose a different path –
a path of patience, kindness, compassion, forgiveness.
Let us remember that we are not alone.

Philip Murray
Certified Spiritual Care Practitioner
Providence Health Care, Vancouver, BC

March 27, 2020 A Reflection by Ciaran McKenna

A Response to/Reflection on COVID-19 Precautions






Silence crept
An eerie silence
has entered our place of being
of knowing
and it’s web spans the land
with suffocating precision
raising diaphragms
into breathless regions
causing synapses to occur
in our collective craniums
as we crane our necks and minds
to understand,
          to defend,
                    maybe befriend
this new lauded guest
plaything of our conscience
tightrope walking on our nerves
reveling in our balanced
as silence crept.

©Ciaran Mc Kenna March 18th 2020 

March 26, 2020 A COVID Reflection by Philip Murray

We are Living Through Scary and Uncertain Times

We are living through scary and uncertain times.

Never before in our living memory has humanity dealt with a crisis such as COVID-19. Warnings on the news keep most people at home as businesses shut down. We see the footage from China, Iran and Italy and know how bad things can get. Things are bad now, and we know it will get worse before it gets better – but we don’t know how bad it will be for us.

We are living through scary and uncertain times.

In times like this I find it helpful to lean on my faith, a faith which is grounded in the belief that light is more powerful than darkness, that hope is more powerful than fear, and that Love ultimately conquers all.

We are living through scary and uncertain times – a time when it seems as if we are surrounded by a growing darkness and a palpable fear. Where is the light, the hope, the Love?

I witness the light, hope and Love every evening at 7pm when people living throughout the Lower Mainland stand on their balconies banging pots and making noise to say “thank you” to the health care workers who are putting their lives at risk.

I witness the light, hope and Love each day the leaders of our care facilities, province and country are proactive in protecting patients and residents – even if it means they are separated from their families.

I witness the light, hope and Love every day as health care workers leave their families to work in the hospitals and care homes because of their love and compassion for people in need of care.

We are living through scary and uncertain times, and chances are it will become scarier and more uncertain as the days progress.

But we are not alone. We are surrounded by colleagues who are dedicated to serving with love and compassion. We are surrounded by a community who is grateful for the work we do. And we are surrounded by light, hope and Love.

We are not alone.

Philip Murray

March 23, Vancouver, BC

March 21, 2020 Moment of Self Care Amid COVID-19 by Jacob George

Moment of Self Care Amid COVID-19

During an on-call night at his Oklahoma hospital Chaplain Jacob George sat down and had a few moments of self care. He shared this instrumental on his Facebook page and with his Canadian colleagues in the hopes that all who are weary and worn as we face the COVID-19 virus can find a moment of calm and peace. Jacob says “Please take good care & be safe”.

2019 Messages

March 15, 2019 CASC/ACSS Member Publishes Book

Book Death Did Us Part by Florence A. Juma

Supervisor-Educator Florence A. Juma is celebrating the launch of her new book, Death Did Us Part, March 30, 2019 at the Waterloo Public Library. Congratulations Florence!





2018 Messages

November 15, 2018 A Poem by Ciaran McKenna

Atonement, Not Yet

Atonement, Not Yet

Naked in body, mind and soul

we gathered,



hopeful for new life,

new beginnings,

with blessings and offerings,

yet we received neither,

rather more hate,

more judgment,

more injustice,

more and more of the same

really ugly,



inflictions on our personhood,

our tradition,

our beliefs.


not yet.

©Ciaran Mc Kenna, Oct 28th in response to the murders at the Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday morning Oct 27th

October 26, 2018 Fund Raising with Tim Frymire

Webmaster Raises Funds For Autism

Webmaster Tim Frymire was busy raising funds for his grandson Sawyer, who lives on the autism spectrum.  Tim walked more than 100 kilometres in one day and raised over $4,000.00 for Sawyer’s autism program. Read news article here.

October 5,  2018 A Poem by Ciaran McKenna

Scorn Scars

Most CASC members know Ciaran McKenna as the informal poet laureate of the organization having enjoyed his eloquent and moving words when ever world events stir the hearts of caring folk. This summer Ciaran also published a book of poems entitled “The Face of the Boy and Other Poems of Love, Life and Loss.”  Congratulations Ciaran!  Below is Ciaran’s latest poem, “Scorn Scars.” Available from



Scorn Scars.

I wear them not as
badges of honor, no,
rather shame,
rather blame,
rather not to name
the many
who did this to me ,
yet I did,
yet I did,
and again I died,
from scorn scars,
mocked and mimicked
they retold my story
to fit their ego
their standing
my falling.
Scorn scars,
we all wears them
oft afraid to bear them.
Can I trust you,

©Ciaran Mc Kenna

Inspired by Dr Stephanie Dubois’s presentation on “Unconscious Bias”  showing us the Ford, Kavanaugh image and the mimicking Trump, and with some nudging from Cathy Slaa, this piece was created in honor of inspiring women and victims everywhere

March 25, 2018 Tom Kilts

Thom Kilts News

Friends and students of Thom Kilts, A CPE Supervisor-Educator in Brampton ON,  are asking for your prayers, thoughts and expressions of practical support.   Former student Sula Anne writes:

“Thom has lived for many years with Ankylosing Spondylitis. It’s a painful crippling disease and he has worked as long as he could with it. Unfortunately, his meds are no longer able to control the symptoms and the tissue damage and he is no longer able to work until treatments for AS improve.  Sadly, there is a gap of several months during the transition from short term disability to long term disability, and the family is now in crisis.  

Former students who have seen him struggle with this over our years of training are going to step in now, as well as colleagues at William Osler Health System. He gave so much of himself for us, because he loves this work. We want to give back because we gained so much from him.  Hand written cards, visits, bringing a cooked meal, offers to support with rides to the hospital, babysitting … Everything is genuinely helpful and appreciated.”
If you would like to support Thom and his family please contact Rev. Dr. John Karanja who is heading up a fundraising outreach and coordinating volunteers.  His email is

2017 Messages

October 3, 2017 Book by Rick C. Benson

Book Published: My Chaos: Searching for my New Normal

Congratulations to CASC Atlantic member, Rick C. Benson- on the publication of his new book: My Chaos:  Searching For My new Normal

My Chaos book

This wisdom comes from thousands of interactions the author has had with people seeking support. Chaos happens when life experiences happen beyond our control. You are forever changed. Living in sorrow is not the option. This resource will help you find the inner harmony and healing you are searching for. MY CHAOS reflects the importance of not trying to work through our stress and anxiety alone, we journey together.

Reading this book will take you on a journey to peace. It is for anyone who has experienced loss of any kind and wishes to find hope and healing. The human spirit will respond to Rick’s sensitive and gentle leading to find wholeness again.””
– Adrien-David Robichaud (Rev. Dr), Clinical Pastoral Educator Supervisor/Educator,Director of Spiritual and Religious Care
Available on Amazon, Indigo, Kobo, Booklocker, Barnes and Noble in Softcover, Hardcover, E-Book

Read a review     scroll down to get the link.   Rick’s web site:

February 13, 2017 A Poem by Ciaran McKenna

Poem Brittle

As I watched the news coverage …of the shocking events in Quebec with the murders at the Mosque while at prayer I was reminded how brittle our world is.

A few years back I wrote  piece entitled “Brittle” which I offer as a reflection on the brittle state we find ourselves in today’s world.


Delicate and vulnerable,

Attached and detached,

On the edges

Of who

And where we are.


Brittle, adrift,

Alone as

Ice , set free

In an early thaw

Knowing and fearing

Our journey
Brittle conversations

Broken with silences

Half promises

Fearful of what


And might not be.



Like icicles

Or ice too

Close to the edge

Our time is limited

And brittle,

Ciaran McKenna, February 14, 2014

Archives of Past Postings

Click here for Postings from 2015
Louis Casey-Illness

Click here for Postings from 2016
Mary Holmen- memorial mom
Marcel Laffelaar- memorial wife Cora
Norman Berlat-recovery/illness
Nicolas El-Kada-ordination
Marc Pepper-illness
Alida van Dijk-graduation