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 communities that we work with are often hard to reach and yet have strong religious identities that go back generations and are intrinsic to their culture. Thus it is usually through our pastoral and chaplaincy work that we first make contact with communities, with a view to building trust and offering a wider range of support. 

While we currently work with predominantly Catholic communities as well as other Christian denominations, MCT’s pastoral care and other services are in ethos and in practice open to those of any faith or no faith. At its core, this pastoral service works through Chaplains who regularly visit Traveller sites. 

Our pastoral work has a heavy focus on targeted support around mental health and wellbeing, not least due to the high suicide rates among Travellers. We also give intensive support to families in very high need, such as those with a terminally ill child. 

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