My name is Fiona Galligan. I am a Sister of Mercy and began considering working in chaplaincy when meeting with Adults with Intellectual Difficulties and Adults with Dementia, recognising in people a need for a space to be heard especially when they were experiencing, what some call soul pain.
So began my journey into Healthcare Chaplaincy... I believe people who are living with sickness, even if it arrives suddenly, those living with a short term illness or those living with a more serious diagnosis need support, space and presence as they seek to understand, navigate, mend or live or die with a diagnosis. They also need suitably trained people who can support them with their spiritual questions or pains. I completed three units of Clinical Pastoral Education in Tralee General Hospital and the Mater Hospital in Dublin, receiving my accreditation in Healthcare Chaplaincy in 2006 and later going on to complete a fourth unit of CPE at advanced level. I have also completed a Diploma in the Sacred Art of Living and Dying which enables me to explore with people "why did sickness visit?" and "how can one live well within sickness?".
I currently work full time in chaplaincy between two sites Craigavon Area Hospital and Southern Area Hospice. I am particularly interested in the area of palliative care supporting those who are living with a life limiting illness and their families, my role being one of support as they explore and live with the reality of a palliative diagnosis and for some supporting those on their journey to death. I really enjoy my work and marvel everyday how people invite me into the sacredness of their lives. As a chaplain, I really do believe , when a patient invites us in, we are walking on "holy ground".
Other areas of interest that sustain me are: meeting with family and friends, listening to music and walking and I love going for coffee and chat with friends!