Palliative Care NSW Volunteer Support Services Programme

Spiritual Care

Anna Bloemhard (2008) Spiritual Care for Self and Others – This publication was produced as part of the Spiritual Care Project that  focused on raising competency in a language of spirituality that is non-religious through educational workshops and seminars. The text can be used to familiarise health care workers with the concepts, to look further into the issue of spiritual care and, finally, to maintain an awareness of the importance of the role of spirituality in holistic health care.


Maxxine Rattner and Joan Berzoff (2016) Rethinking Suffering – In this article Social Workers Maxxine Rattner and Joan Berzoff discuss suffering and raise the question of whether palliative care can realistically ‘relieve and prevent’ all suffering at end of life.


Frank Ostaseki (2017) 5 things death can teach us about living life to the full – a short poignant article on lessons learnt during life with people who were dying.

Over the past thirty years, I have sat on the precipice of death with a few thousand people. Some came to their deaths full of disappointment. Others blossomed and stepped through that door full of wonder. What made the difference was the willingness to gradually live into the deeper dimensions of what it means to be human.


Kate Englebrecht facilitated a number of forums for us in 2018 around NSW on the topic of Spirituality and Palliative Care. Here is a recording of one event (if you would like to download this mp3 file to listen to later, hover over the file title, right click and then ‘save target as’). She draws on her extensive experience in pastoral care and education to share her wisdom on being human and being present for people in their suffering.

There are only two profound spiritual questions: What’s happening? And what matters? You and I aren’t there to give them answers…but we can be there for them in their moment of enlightenment.