The Saint Hermione Lay Pastoral Visitor programme trains and supports Orthodox lay people from participating parishes in the greater Toronto area to make scheduled visits to parishioners who are housebound, or in hospitals, hospices or nursing homes. The programme has been established as a not-for-profit corporation (Ontario Corporation Number 5036248) and is registered with the CRA as a charity (CRA Registration 709156871RR0001). Please contact us if you would like to be involved or kept up to date.
“Lay involvement in this ministry is vitally important. While the presbyter brings the holy mysteries and his pastoral skills to the bedside, the care and concern of the committed lay visitor offers its own authentic assurance of God’s love and mercy. Arrival at the bedside by the lay visitor poignantly expresses and underscores a vital link between the ‘people of God,’ and one of their own who is experiencing pain, sickness, and separation from family and community.” (Fr Arthur Liolin, Ministry to Shut-Ins and Hospital Patients)
Saint Hermione was the daughter of Philip the Deacon (Acts 6). She was born in Caesarea of Palestine early in the first century. Joined by her sister Eukhidia, Saint Hermione bought a house and founded a medical clinic devoted to the treatment of the poor and the homeless. Rooms were added for poor travellers who were ill. In this way, Hermione started the tradition of Christian hospital-hostels or xenodokhia, which would become so much a part of the function of the early Orthodox Christian dioceses.