Newman University Chaplaincy student shares experience as Hospital Chaplain

05/05/2020 by Sinead Staunton

This weekend Fr Robert Sloan, a postgraduate student at Newman University studying towards a Postgraduate Certificate in Chaplaincy, spoke to UTV, ITV’s regional news show in Northern Ireland, about the importance of Chaplains at this current time.

Fr Robert Sloan works as the Catholic Chaplain at the Royal Victoria Hospitals in Belfast. During the current coronavirus pandemic, he has been speaking with patients and their families as well staff members at the hospitals to provide comfort where possible and spoke to UTV about his role.

Fr Robert Sloan commented, “We’re trying to bring, in the midst of this chaos we’re living through, a bit of humanity. It’s very moving, and for the staff that accompany me as well, when they can hear the family talking and praying along with me. I’ve had occasions where families from across the world have been able to phone together at the same time and be there as I’m administering the sacraments.”

It is clear that the role of Chaplains during the pandemic is vitally important as it provides patients and their loved ones with comfort, as well providing support to staff on the front line within the hospitals.

Helen Bardy, Senior Lecturer at Newman University commented, “As we know from our Postgraduate Chaplaincy course, Chaplains are incredibly generous, caring and faith filled people. Fr. Robert and the rest of the chaplains studying with us, and Chaplains everywhere are currently working around the clock, tirelessly, to support people, pastorally and spirituality.

“Part of the role of a Chaplain is to accompany people regardless of religion or none. The current situation limits all of us from being with those we love and care for and whilst nothing can replace that, Chaplains continue to provide vital care for families and individuals. At Newman we are proud of all our Chaplains and all our students who are key workers during this time.”

To view the full interview, visit the ITV website.