Pastoral Care

support for all

Pastoral care has a long and rich history in the Catholic tradition. In pastoral care, we bring the church to the individual, whether one is sick, grieving, or otherwise in need of support.

Those who cannot join us within these four walls are no less important and are not forgotten in our community. In these transitions in life, St. Thomas the Apostle offers a range of support options for all.

Because of privacy laws, hospitals no longer inform us if a parishioner is in their care. Please contact or have a family member or friend contact Barbara Staats in the parish office at 612-922-0041 or via email at [email protected].

Visiting Those In Need

If you know someone who is ill and would like a visit from the Pastoral Care Minister or a parish volunteer, contact Barbara Staats. We will visit parishioners in their homes, senior residences, nursing homes, and in the hospital.

Hospital visits

Hospitalization can be a lonely or difficult experience. When we are notified that a parishioner is hospitalized, our pastoral care minister will visit, bring Communion, and provide spiritual and emotional support. Due to privacy regulations, we are unable to know if you are at the hospital unless you inform us. If you, or a family member, are to be hospitalized, please let us know.

Anointing of the sick

In the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, the priest anoints the seriously ill, injured, or the elderly with the oil of the sick. The oil of the sick is a special oil used for the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. It is blessed by the bishop at the Chrism Mass during Holy Week. In addition to anointing, the person is often offered Eucharist. For a dying person, the sacrament is preparation for passing over to eternal life. If you or someone close to you desires anointing, please contact Barbara Staats.

Communion to the sick or homebound

Specially trained lay ministers bring Communion to parishioners who are unable to attend Mass, but wish to receive the Eucharist. The pastoral care minister will arrange frequency with the parishioner. Parishioners may receive Communion at home for short-term recovery from surgery or on a long-term basis. If you would like to have Communion brought to you, please contact Barbara Staats.

Parish Prayer Line

Call or email your requests, and members of our St. Thomas the Apostle prayer line will pray for you: 612-922-0041 or [email protected].

Prayer Shawls

Prayer shawls, knitted/crocheted by parish members, are available for anyone who is seriously ill, have suffered the death of a family member or who are in the midst of a life crisis. If you or someone you know would like a prayer shawl, please contact Barbara Staats.

Grief & Loss

Grief is a natural process after a death or a loss. It hurts when someone dies or when we lose something important to us, like a marriage, or a job or a dream, but allowing time to grieve does eventually help ease the pain.  

For resources on grief and loss, please contact Barbara Staats at 612-922-0041 or at [email protected]

Funeral Planning

For Christians, the Rite of Christian Burial brings hope and consolation to the living. While proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ and witnessing to the Christian hope in the resurrection, the funeral rites remind us of God’s mercy and love.

Please contact Barbara Staats to receive a copy of our planning booklet.

Community Resources

St. Thomas the Apostle participates in TRUST (Toward Renewed Unity and Service Together) which is a South Minneapolis ecumenical coalition of churches that join in a common effort of service to others, especially families, youth and seniors.

TRUST provides a variety of support services that are often needed by its member churches. This includes the following services:

Chore Program
This program helps with jobs such as housecleaning, snow removal, yard work and miscellaneous repairs so that people can continue living in their own homes.

Parish Nurse
The parish nurse provides educational/screening sessions, serves on our Pastoral Care Commission, serves as a resource & referral provider, and assists individuals with health advocacy issues.

Trusty Salers Estate Sales
This trained and experienced volunteer group manages estate sales for people in transition. Their skills are called upon when the families of elderly persons need help in closing out the family residence due to a move to a care facility of death. Sales are organized and run for a donation to TRUST.

Trust Builders
This group works with Urban Homeworks to provide affordable housing in Minneapolis.

CoAm-Cooperative Adult Ministry
• Life Enrichment Series – a lifelong learning program that is held twice a year at Bethel Lutheran Church. Topics cover the humanities, Bible and faith studies, local and world issues, travelogues, book reviews and health topics.
• Grocery Shopping Transportation – provides vans and trained drivers to take elderly people or those with disabilities grocery shopping.
• Day Tours – Participants attend theater, do tours, visit restaurants and do other fun excursions.

Lyngblomsten-The Gathering
This is a partnership with Lyngblomsten in St. Paul and hosted by Bethlehem Lutheran. It provides a group respite program four times a month for people with early to mid-stage memory loss.

Memory Loss Caregivers Support Group
This group meets on the first Thursday of the month at the same time as The Gathering, at Bethlehem Lutheran.

Starfish Ministry/Caring Network
This is a care fund that assists people requesting financial help.

Pet Food Project
In conjunction with Meals on Wheels, this group provides pet food monthly to clients who live with dogs and cats and need assistance providing enough food for them.

Other helpful resources

Mental Health

Suicide Awareness


Seniors at Home

Interested in being part of our Pastoral Care programs?