Pastoral care and chaplaincy service 

 One of our chaplains supporting a traveller child suffering with cancer  

One of our chaplains supporting a traveller child suffering with cancer  

The Travelling communities we work with benefit from the availability of the general pastoral care that MCT offers, not least because their marginalisation from society can limit access to conventional support. MCT’s programmes include support for families who have seriously ill and disabled children, as well as listening spaces for young Traveller men given the high prevalence of suicide in this group. We also use our pastoral programmes as a means to identify need and make referrals to other departments and organisations. Care is delivered by our team, which includes Chaplains and Family Workers, and is offered regardless of faith affiliation. 

In addition, many of the Travelling communities we work in have a faith-based tradition that has lasted hundreds of years. Because of this rich history, an increasing lack of access to conventional church ministry has had a detrimental impact on cultural expression and social issues within communities. Thus MCT provides Chaplains for communities where faith is a longstanding tradition in order to enable various longstanding Traveller customs to continue, as well as to ensure access to the sacraments.

MCT also assists in this effort by delivering training and/or reintegration programmes for Dioceses and Parishes who would like to be able to cater better for Travellers in their locality.

The cultural and pastoral needs of Travellers illustrate why faith based provision is not just a luxury for Travellers, but vital to maintaining the identity and social cohesion of these communities
— MCT Senior Chaplain
10% of Irish traveller deaths are as a result of suicide
— Brook and Monaghan, 2007