The End of A Wretched Week (Thoughts on Pastoral Care)

This past week will officially go into the books as one of the worst in recent memory.

Early in the week, my parents-in-law’s next door neighbor’s son (was that complicated enough for you) was killed in a car wreck. He was the passenger in a car driving the wrong way which hit the car of an off-duty police officer, killing the police officer and the neigbor’s son. I don’t know much about Officer Hoefler, but the neighbor’s son was only 32.

Of course, his father is hanging on by the skin of his teeth; the loss of his son has really rocked him.

So here I am, as the pastoral intern for a church 18 miles to the north, spending my entire week trying to provide Andy with pastoral support. Andy is nominally Catholic at best, and as he has made a credible profession of faith in Christ, I must take him at his word.

I’ve always wondered what the right thing to say would be in this sort of situation. I learned the answer to that this week.

You don’t say anything.

Just weep with the family.


"I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naïve." (Romans 16:17-18) Please read "The Comments Policy."

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