Emily Southerton is a member of the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) and recently completed her board certification. She is a chaplain at Phoebe Ministry where she provides spiritually themed small groups, funeral services, and leads monthly worship services for seniors. She has a BA in Theology and Philosophy (Aquinas College) and an MA in Theology and Pastoral Ministry (Villanova University).
Elders living with Dementia are spiritually active. In August 2022, Emily presented a workshop at NACC on the value and importance of using "Montessori like '' methods in spiritual care for individuals living with Dementia. In October 2022, she presented a webinar for NAJC sharing the importance of "Entering Their Story (Dementia Residents): Interacting with Scripture Through Experiential Methods". Emily finds value and meaning in leading Spirit Alive© workshops and offering training for CCRCs (continuing care retirement communities) that partner with Phoebe Ministries to receive Dementia specialized resources and training.
To put it mildly, Emily perceives the imperative need to deepen the conversations relating to lay involvement at all levels of the Catholic church. In 2021, during the height of the pandemic, Emily presented a research paper articulating questions and probing critical thought on "the missed opportunities" for the church to partner with trained Catholic (lay) chaplains present in various medical care context to assist in administering the sacrament of anointing amidst the strict CMS and CDC strict guidelines. She highlighted that (in extenuating circumstances) the sacrament of baptism can be conferred by lay Catholics. And noted that in extenuating circumstances (the pandemic) several if not many patients and residents in hospital settings or continuing care facilities were not offered the sacrament of anointing prior to death due to the potential of exposing clergy to sickness. This paper Emily presented at Notre Dame's fall conference "'I Have Called You by Name:' Human Dignity in a Secular World"
There is a time to stop looking up and to start looking to our left and our right sides.VIEW
So when you are misunderstood just like Jesus in his hometown of Nazareth, and when you are asked, where does your authority come from? What will be your response?VIEW