The Church Home at Montgomery Place
Church Home is a ministry of pastoral care and pastoral education located at Montgomery Place. It is a social service agency of Episcopal Charities and Community Services (ECCS) in the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. Church Home was founded in 1888 as a housing facility for aged persons in need. Following the building of Montgomery Place, it became a ministry specializing in pastoral care with seniors and a center for Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). Church Home is accredited with the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). The Center offers Level I, Level II CPE and Supervisory Education.
Presently, it offers four CPE units each year: two extended units (January–June) and two intensive units (June–August) at Montgomery Place and at Jackson Park Hospital on the south side of Chicago. Church Home contracts with Hyde Park Union Church through its Gilead Project and Jackson Park Hospital to offer Level I and Supervisory CPE at Jackson Park Hospital.
There are currently two supervisory education students (SES) training with Church Home: The Rev. Kevin Boyd, director of field education and church relations at The Divinity School, University of Chicago; and The Rev. Wesley Sun, director of spiritual care at Jackson Park Hospital and director of the Gilead Project, Hyde Park Union Church.
What Is Clinical Pastoral Education?
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is interfaith, professional education for ministry. It brings theological students, qualified laypersons and ministers of all faiths (pastors, priests, rabbis, imams and others) into supervised encounters with persons in crisis. Out of an intense involvement with persons in need and the feedback from peers and supervisors, CPE participants develop new awareness of themselves as people and of the needs of those to whom they minister. From theological reflection on specific human situations, they gain a new understanding of ministry. Within the interdisciplinary team process of helping people, they develop skills in interpersonal and inter-professional relationships. For more information, go to ACPE.
The Role of Chaplain
Church Home also offers Montgomery Place residents staff chaplains who are specially trained to minister in communities of religious diversity. Father Petite and the CPE interns provide pastoral support for residents and their families by visiting residents in their apartments, in the Health Care Pavilion and in local hospitals. They conduct spiritual assessments and assist in crisis intervention and counseling on grief and loss. They also assist with the preparing of Advanced Directives, conduct memorial services, lead Bible study and worship services.
The Rev. Dr. Robert Petite
The Rev. Dr. Robert Petite, executive director of Church Home, is the director of the CPE Center and senior chaplain. He has many years of experience in parish ministry and in specialized settings. In addition to serving as a board-certified chaplain of the Association of Professional Chaplains, Father Petite is an Episcopal priest, a certified supervisor of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Eduaction (ACPE) and a clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). He has ministered with the Church Home for 19 years.