CLINICAL PASTORAL CARE (ministry).
I hereby share with you my “Thomist Copernican Revolution.”. I must say that the shift I (Thomas) made from clinical medical practice to apostolic pastoral ministry was a real Copernican revolution. In short, it was a shift from a Uganda Clinical Guideline- U.C.G (‘a ‘bible’ for all clinicians in practice for any case management references’) to a Breviary (a book with daily prayers for the religious). I must acknowledge that such a decision was and is not anyhow easy to make.
In October 2017, I crowned my clinical services as a Medical Clinical Officer for Formation. A journey- long and very rough- as a certain singer mentions; focusing at the Altar of God; to serve Christ- our Lord and Savior, hence eternity as our telos- the final end.
This was the toughest decision I have ever made in my life. The termination of a job contracts with a renowned and recognized institution; Kyamulibwa Health Center IV (HCIV)- the only HCIV in the diocese of Masaka; to a life full of uncertainty of the destiny. This was not a joke or a piece of cake for me to partake.
I affirm “with God, all things are possible.”. Our God is unchangeable. He actually never contradicts himself. God has a plan for each one of us, and what is beautiful is that this plan is of prosperity. Simply submit and put yourself at the Lord’s Care, He is willing to do it for you.
Dear reader, the Lord welcomes you into His Ministry, simply the way you are. Basically, make yourself ready and available for His Ministry, and trust me, you will never regret. I am a testimony, for this, my life has a story to prove the base of my testimony.
Since 2017, I have not lacked basic needs or even extra needs for a comfortable standard of living. In fact, I have found positive developments done in my own family, more that I could ever imagine. This is a God’s providential hand according to me. God has actually filled my family position better than I could have done.
I might seem; materially incapacitated in as far as rendering any contributions to my family is concerned; but I must assure you that the daily prayers offered to my family aren’t in vain. I can agree with a common dictum by Fr. Oswald Malya (M’afra), “the best gift you can offer to your families is to pray for them.”. He mentions this as he addresses the seminarians. This is evident in my life; my family has tremendously changed with effect from the day I joined formation. I ensure that per Eucharistic celebration, I offer my family and its developmental changes occurring.
In whatever my family does, plans and develops, it puts into consideration that we have a seminarian in the home, so they do much better programs by that very fact, their aim is that a seminarian (who is myself) can be comfortable during holidays. This fosters quick developments in our home. I am sincerely grateful for God’s presence in my family. In line with the Latin saying, ‘ex abundantia os vorbis’, I don’t regret my decision to formation from the bottom of my heart.
Voila, during my apostolate mission, the Lord reveals to me the real ministry for which he invites me to do on a daily basis. I realize that, it is the ample time to meet Jesus in the sick, unprivileged and the ‘Pauvre de Dieu’ (poor ones of God). I visit bedridden patients in their homes, the ones without any hopes for being hospitalized. I also meet in the apostolate, patients who are innocent of any modern therapy, and are desperately on traditional therapies. I always take such an opportunity to see God in these people. I realize how much God is using me as his instrument; to touch his people medically and spiritually, hereafter offering possible remedies and proper technical advices, henceforth promoting life in the apostolate.
I remember, a 56-year-old woman in Ivunamba (where I ministered in October 2019), who presented with signs and symptoms stigmata of disseminated hepatitis. I was invited by her neighbors to offer spiritual services, that is, taking the holy Eucharist for her. Upon reaching at the sick bed, I spotty diagnosed the chronic illness due to my clinical acumen. I requested for her previous medical documentary. I was surprised to discover that the woman was only on herbal therapies; merely on nutritive foods (expensively bought from the Green World Company.). In short, the woman was on no curative care for her medical condition.
Moved by the Professional Code of Conduct as a Medical Clinical Officer, I made a quick intervention, re- awakened the caretakers to rush her to Jinja Regional Referral Hospital for dialysis (or abdominal tap) and further management. I strictly gave them one day’s period to have reached the health care point. Fortunately, they responded positively.
During the next visit, I found happy and smiling faces at her home. Interacting with them, they joyfully shared with me that the life was resuscitated. They attributed all the efforts to resurrect the life to me. Inquiring why attribute the efforts to me, they said “the doctors told them that the woman would have died, if she was not admitted to hospital within two days’ period.”. My pastoral colleague and I were hosted warmly in the home. I sincerely felt that this was the best apostate moments ever my life story.
In a word, dear reader, the Lord is calling you day by day, he needs you in his vineyard; to continue his divine ministry. The Lord is inviting you the way you are; even with your potentials, your talents, your qualifications and also your imperfections. God is our porter and we are simply clay. All we have is from God and for him. My prayer is that may the Lord Almighty enable you to realize the vocation, which God is willing to use you as his instrument of peace, joy and love for humanity. I encourage and welcome the ‘late vocations’ for the highest Glory of God. I assure you that the decision is tough to make, there are so many fears and expectations. However, our God is faithful and he won’t allow you regret after accepting to serve him despite your qualifications.
Blessings and Peace
By Mugisha Thomas Missionaries of Africa:2nd Year-2019/2020. firstname.lastname@example.org