Each volunteer receives basic formation to learn the skills of “how to be” and “how to do” that are specific to SASMAD/PHC in order to be able to offer accompaniment that is appropriate to the beneficiaries’ needs. This kind of service requires not only the value of charity on the part of the volunteer, but also theoretical and technical skills that help to shape to volunteer’s approach to each visit. After completing the training, those who choose to become involved as SASMAD/PHC volunteers agree in writing to follow the Service’s Code of Ethics as presented during the course. A special ceremony is held, generally, with the blessing of a priest, before the beginning of the Mission, recognizing the dedication to the community that is involved in providing spiritual accompaniment on behalf of the Catholic Church of Montreal and as part of the Diocesan service SASMAD/PHC. A certificate is awarded to each volunteer who completes the training.
Mandatory basic formation of 20 hours is a prerequisite to becoming a volunteer.
Throughout their involvement, volunteers are members of a team which is supervised by a coordinator. The coordinator answers your questions, supports you, coaches you, and makes sure that your pastoral activities are in accordance with SASMAD/PHC standards.
On-going formation is also offered through events such as retreats and conferences which are adapted to volunteers’ needs and in accordance with SASMAD/PHC standards.
At the same time, each sector’s team helps support and inspire their volunteers, sharing their respective experiences in accompaniment and providing tools to deepen their knowledge and enhance their skills.