With the General Secretary of CPSP

Dr. Raymond Lawrence, General Secretary of CPSP, joined us at the headquarters of CPSP-Philippines, at Bukal Life Care, in Baguio City, October 13-16. On the 14th and 15th, we held our Annual Case Conference. We had approximately 25 people attend, mostly from Baguio, but we were blessed with some attendees from Manila and Bulacan. We had 8 cases presented to the group for review as well as two mini-lectures (one on the history of clinical pastoral care, and the other on the differences between religious pastoral care, and clinical pastoral care).

On the last night, we were able to have a meeting of CPSP-Philippines with Doc Raymond and Charlie Spruell. We have good news from that meeting, but we will save that for another post.

Much thanks to Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary, for providing the Conference Room for our use. Also thanks to a donor who graciously took care of Raymond and Charlie at the Baguio Country Club, as well as the CPSP-Philippines meeting.  Such as nice way to start Pastoral Care Week  (October 16-22)


Annual Case Conference, October 15, 2017


The Annual Case Conference will be held on the 15th of October, starting 8am, at Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary (PBTS). It is facilitated by Dr. Raymond Lawrence.  The charge is P500. Lunch and snacks provided. Attendees should a clinical case with them to present.

It will be held in the Conference Room of PBTS.

Dr. Lawrence is the General Secreatry of the raymond2025th20plenaryCollege of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy.  He is a Certified Clinical Pastoral Supervisor with the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) since 1970, and Certified Diplomate in Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy with the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy since 1990.

Go to the Contact Us page on our site to get more information.


“Pastoral and Spiritual Care Training Center” 2017 Schedule

The following is the 2017 schedule for half-unit CPE courses led by Dr. Cal Sodoy of the Pastoral and Spiritual Care Training Center.

January 9 – February 10:   Romblon Provincial Hospital (Tablas Island)

March 27 – April 28:  Iloilo Mission Hospital (Iloilo City)

June 5 – July 7.  Brent Hospital (Zamboanga City)

 July 17 – August 25:  Brokeshire Memorial Hospital (Davao City)

October 9 – November 17:  Capiz Emmanuel Hospital (Roxas City)

<For more info, you may email:  pastorcalsodoy@hotmail.com



THE PASTORAL AND SPIRITUAL CARE TRAINING CENTER offers a short-term graduate studies** (5 weeks long) for clergy and layworkers in honing their skills in pastoral and spiritual care relationships. Mastering the skills of “therapeutic conversation” with individuals and groups enhances healing of troubled souls.


  1. DAVAO
  4. ROXAS

Three aspects of competence are to be developed:




The goal is to transparent and authentic to oneself and in relationship with others. This experience will lead to a deeper awareness of oneself and discovering our common humanity with each other. Thus, the building of genuine and authentic fellowship of living in community with others is made possible. Therefore, a miniature faith community is bon.


Send inquiries to Rev. Dr. Cal Castro Sodoy D.Min,

Email: pastorcalsodoy@hotmail.com

Cell:  09212288462.

**This training can qualify for advanced CPE training in the USA with stipend of $2,500 dollars (more or less) per month.

July Updates

  1.  Dr. Cal Sodoy is presently holding advanced CPE training in Davao City. This program is especialy intense, being completed in a 5 week period.
  2. Best Wishes to Chaplain Victor Layug as he begins his 1 year residency in CPE at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta Georgia.
  3. Additional best wishes to Dr. Sim Dang-Awan as he assumes the duties of hospital chaplain at Mary Johnston Hospital (Manila) during the absence of Chaplain Victor.
  4. Congratulations to Phanuel Buac for the completion of the first Clinical Pastoral Orientation group (CPO) in Zamboanga, serving as facilitator. CPO is a preparatory practical training for those interested in chaplaincy or pastoral care ministry. It also serves as a way for those working towards SIT to gain some experience in facilitating training. We also wish him well as he will be doing an advanced unit of CPE with Dr. Cal.
  5. Bob and Celia Munson have completed a book “The Art of Pastoral Care.” The book is primarily for the use of Intro to Pastoral Care or CPO courses… especially in the Philippines.
  6. Two new CPE groups will begin in August in Baguio. One is led by Doc Paul and will start in mid-August with weekday meetings. The other is led by Chaplain Celia, and will be a half unit course, meeting the last Monday-Wednesday of each month, August through November.
  7. Dr. Raymond Lawrence will be with us in October… leading trainng at St. Andrews Theological Seminary in Quezon City. We are planning a CPSP-Philippines event during that time, Most likely it will occur during the 13th – 16th of October, in Manila.

Congratulations Baguio Summer 2016


Congratulations to the 14 trainees who completed CPE during the Summer of 2014 in Baguio. All were done through the partnership between Bukal Life Care and Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary. Some did it as part of the PBTS Summer Intership or PBTS SEE.

The picture above from left to right:

Bob Munson:  (Administrator, Bukal Life Care),  Jehny Pedazo (SIT), Celia Munson (SIT), Sesano Neikha (CPE in progress), Violeta Canoy (CPE graduate— completing her 4th unit), German Ramboyong Jr (CPE graduate— completing his 3rd unit), Edgar Chan (CPE graduate— completing his 3rd unit), Marcelina Maslian (CPE graduate— completing her 3rd unit), Rosemarie Estipular (with apo, CPE graduate— completing her 3rd unit), Winter Langpaoen (CPE graduate— completing his 2nd unit, Zam Tunglut (CPE graduate— completing his 2nd unit), Joel Munson (CPE graduate, completing his 2nd unit), Roberto Sables (CPE graduate), Dexter Bugalin (CPE graduate), Jhon Carlo Balajadia (CPE graduate), Naw Sayra Lwe Min (CPE graduate), Naw Mu Htoo Paw (CPE graduate), Paul Tabon (SIT)

All graduates have completed 400 hours of didactic training, group work relations, individual supervision, case studies, and practical ministry. The training meets the standards of the College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy (CPSP), as well as CPSP-Philippines.

The next training is Baguio will start in August.  Doc Paul’s group will start in mid-August, while Chaplain Celia’s will start at the end of August.





Pastoral Care Reflections

Pastoral Care Week is coming. This October 16-22, 2016

With this in mind, here is an article that is from the webpage of Pastoral Care Week.

Home Page of Pastoral Care Week345_PCW_Round_300

Page of Article

The article below addresses the argument (particularly in the West) as to whether chaplaincy is better defined as carrying out Spiritual Care or Pastoral Care. We at CPSP-Philippines accept both terms. However, each have their own nuances. Pastoral suggests a broader range of ministry than Spiritual. On the other hand, it also points to a long history that would then suggest a more narrow range regarding faith. That is, the term “pastoral” has deep roots in Judaism and Christianity. Metaphorically, it can also resonate with Islam, Hinduism and some other faiths as well. But for those who seek to disconnect spirituality from religion, or to disconnect chaplaincy work from the roots of historical pastoral care, the term spiritual care may seem more appropriate.

Ultimately, it is a matter of personal conviction which one is better… at least until a third option comes along.


And the Nominees Are . . . Spiritual Care – Pastoral Care

Father Joseph J. Driscoll
President and Chief Executive Officer
National Association of Catholic Chaplains

Heads turned at the sound of the raspy voice of the old man as he began speaking while he glared at me on the dais from his place dead center in the packed auditorium.

You say that the language is changing from pastoral care to spiritual care because it better defines who we are and what we do as chaplains. Well, let me tell you, I was around 30 years ago when we changed from spiritual care to pastoral care for precisely the same reason!

Spiritual care was too confining; it seems to connote religious concerns, but chaplains did more than that. We provided support and comfort to religious and non-religious people alike. Pastoral care came from a tradition that reflected this broad-based professional care at times of healing and opportunities of reconciling.

I remember thanking him for the history of which I had no knowledge. I went on to indicate that I think language needs to be contoured to the time and situation and what might best express the reality as it needs defining now. I noted that I believe this is one of those times for a change in language just as he and his colleagues did some 30 years before.

I then returned to my argument that spiritual care better focuses on the dimension of a person’s being that the chaplain’s skills are uniquely intended to address. Spiritual care may or may not include religious care. At a time in society where spirituality and spiritual issues are at the fore, it seemed to me that spiritual was the word we need to claim for our profession.

Actually it was not my thinking alone. In the early 1990s, the Catholic Health Association, through Father Joe Kukura and Larry Seidl, had convened a “summit” of pastoral care leaders a few months before the above incident wherein we spent hours arguing the merits of both expressions. It was quite a representative group and the dialogue was lively. We went home from that Chicago meeting pretty much in agreement that—to use a timely metaphor—when our colleagues opened the sealed envelope the declared winner would be . . . spiritual care.

And so a lot of us began writing and speaking about spiritual care, and many of you locally would change the name of your institutional departments from pastoral care to spiritual care.  I am smiling now almost a decade later. Do you know why? I think we should return to pastoral care.

During my sabbatical while working on a manuscript for an upcoming book on spirituality and medicine, I was delineating a “menu of spiritual care services” so that others on the health care team could understand exactly what we offer to our patients, residents, parishioners, or clients. When I came to choose a term for “patient visitation,” the regular interaction with those to whom we minister (in contrast to more specialized services such as “ethical consultation” or “ministry to staff”), I realized the power of the term pastoral care.

Here’s what I wrote.

 . . . I would like to distinguish pastoral care provided by the professional chaplain from spiritual care provided by all members on the health care
team. Pastoral care is specific in its history, ecclesiastical or congregational authorization, training, skill sets, licensure, and patient focus. Spiritual care is general in that all have some greater or lesser responsibility for the spiritual
dimension of the person’s well being and health. Pastoral care is one specific kind of spiritual care.

I also reference the theological tradition out of which the term pastoral care has grown. Orlo Strunk, the managing editor of The Journal of Pastoral Care, in giving a history of pastoral counseling noted the three-fold dimension of ministry, “poimenics, homiletics and catechetics,” corresponded to the caring, preaching, and teaching dimensions of the Christian mission.* Pastoral care has deep roots in the tradition.

In addition to history and tradition, I have come to realize that if everyone is offering spiritual care, then what defines what the chaplain does that others on the team are neither called nor skilled to perform? For a long time some of us spoke of professional spiritual care in contrast to a general concept of spiritual care. My recent experience, however, particularly with the Harvard program, Spirituality and Medicine, is that the nurses, and now even physicians, will strongly claim that they are doing spiritual care, and further, at times, will not even reference the chaplain, never mind his or her unique competence in the field.

On the other hand, none of these professions can or do lay claim to pastoral care. Pastoral care emerges from the religious traditions, historically Christian, but now clearly interfaith in the ranks of the professional bodies.

Pastoral care is also highly symbolic. It is not simply the tending to the spiritual needs of a person. The pastoral care person, the chaplain, represents the religious tradition before he or she ever says a word or offers a gesture of support. The patient, resident or client (or even parishioner who is inactive or alienated), whether religious or not, knows that the provider is not merely a single individual with listening and responding skills, but the provider is also a whole community with traditions and rituals.

Our departments could still remain spiritual care departments for pastoral care is one specific mode of offering spiritual care, albeit at the level of the professional chaplain. We still oversee the spiritual care resources for the institutions in which we serve, that is, volunteers, Eucharistic ministers, and so forth. Certainly all of this needs ongoing discussion at this time in our history.

Our departments could still remain spiritual care departments, for pastoral care is one specific mode of offering spiritual care, albeit at the level of the professional chaplain. We still oversee the spiritual care resources for the institutions in which we serve, that is, volunteers, Eucharistic ministers, and so forth. Certainly all of this needs ongoing discussion at this time in our history.

So perhaps we need not wait the 30 years for the next change. Perhaps we need to realize that the ongoing challenge is to keep our minds and hearts open and lively in thinking, reflecting, and dialogue.

I indicated above that I smiled as I found change happening in my own thinking, reflecting, and dialogue. Though I don’t want to admit it, I think I was a bit smug when I was responding to the old man. I felt quite self-assured. After all I was a participant in this “summit” and we thought we had the answer. I also thought I handled his comment well—unspoken—that was good then, time to move on.

But I didn’t realize my own words would boomerang a few years later. The answer then may not be the answer now. And perhaps the term should remain spiritual care, though I am no longer of that opinion. Living in the optimism of the 1960s of great change and great hope in the Church and in society, many of us struggled with those that refused to change. A shadowy fear in my life has been that one day I could be that resister to change. I have always marveled at older men and women whose hearts and minds are still having visions and dreaming dreams. Men and women whose hands never cling and claw back to a rock-solid golden time, but rather whose hands let the waters of innovation and creativity flow over them and wash them anew

One of our priests in the association is that kind of person. Now in his late 70s, he has probably been a part of the fight for spiritual care, then pastoral care, then back to spiritual care. But he will read this and probably say, “You know, it is time to change again.” Do you know why? He’s a man who in his retirement contracted for spiritual direction with a lay woman, something unheard of in his earlier formation and priesthood. His enthusiasm and enjoyment are evident as he shares how rich the gift of insight and inspiration he feels he receives from the perspective of a woman guiding him and his life of prayer.

And perhaps 30 years hence—or even 10—that old man on the dais may be me standing there telling the same story as the next generation puts forth spiritual care with confidence and conviction.

And the envelope, please.