Bonnie Ussery, director of Pastoral Care at Nativity Catholic Church, has been responsible for relaying the community’s needs to the church and its organizations for almost a decade. Ussery, who will celebrate her 10-year anniversary with Nativity in December, plays a crucial role in working with the people in need and her network of church volunteers. She oversees around 15 justice and mercy ministries at Nativity’s parish.
“I am extraordinarily blessed and honored to be able to do the work that I do here at Nativity,” said Ussery. “It’s something that gives me a great deal of joy.”
Nativity’s Pastoral Care offers counseling, family and justice ministries, such as HOPE. Through counseling programs, Nativity members have access to religious and legal advice for families, partners and individuals struggling with their faith and emotional turmoil. Bereavement and divorce support groups are also available through Pastoral Care.
Ussery said that one of the most important ministries Pastoral Care offers is the Eucharistic ministers, which bring Holy Communion to the homebound, those in assisted living and nursing homes and patients at Brandon Regional Hospital.
“We are literally taking, in the Catholic tradition, the body and blood of Christ to our fellow believers,” said Ussery.
She added that the most important ministry she has the responsibility of organizing is Family Promise of Hillsborough County, a family outreach program that works with families to help them regain stability and control in their lives. Other family outreach programs include Live the Promise Foster Care Support and Home Makers of Hope.
Life ministries promote the protection of life from conception to natural death and support families and individuals dealing with infertility and disabilities. Pastoral Care also offers a transportation ministry which not only brings individuals to church but also to appointments and shopping centers. Nativity supports the elderly and those in nursing homes through its respective ministries as well.
“It’s all in service to our fellow man and to our parishioners and to the community for Christ, doing what He would want us to do,” explained Ussery about the Pastoral Care ministries.
For more information about Nativity Catholic Church’s Pastoral Care programs, visit nativitycatholicchurch.org/pastoralcare.