The Upper Room Priests On Call Program
Dr. Terry Smith
Or Call 1-630-988-7495
What this program is all about:
The Priests’ on Call Program is a valued component of The Upper Room Ministry. The Upper Room Crisis Hotline began in 2008 as a hotline for those Priests and Clergy to call who had need of help at the time of the abuse scandal. The Hotline has since turned out that people find us on google looking for priests and religious counsel or just someone to talk/pray with. As far as we know, we are the only Catholic Hotline and we are international. We have close to 50 scheduled phone volunteers who take phone calls from all over the country. There are a number of priests assigned on particular days and times (of their chosing) each week for those who call the Upper room Crisis Hotline who needs to speak to a priest.
Priests will receive a wide range of calls about faith, the position of the Church on many issues, guilt related to sin, perceived occult influences, coping with mental and physical illness, family concerns etc.
These individuals who call are often coping with isolation/loneliness and excessive worry. The Upper Room Crisis Hotline Mission is to emulate Christ through the guidance of the Holy Spirit by demonstrating focused and reflective listening, compassion, empathy and nonjudgment. We have found that providing our callers who are coping with many challenges in their lives with this emotional support, spiritual support and prayer provides relief from their perceived issues or problems. Those callers of the Catholic faith are particularly thankful to have the opportunity to speak to and pray with a Catholic Priest.
Priests volunteering for the Upper Room Crisis Hotline are required to be Mandated Reporters when there is reasonable cause to believe that a child younger than 18 years old may be abused or neglected by a caller. The Upper Room will provide contact information for child protection agencies in each of the 50 states for reporting child abuse or neglect.
The phone counselor will ask the caller for her/his first name and telephone number. The phone counselor will then call the priest scheduled for that day and time to share the caller’s contact information and the phone counselor’s cell number. The priest will then place a call to the caller that requested the priest call. After the priest speaks to the caller, he then calls the phone counselor’s cell phone to report that he has completed his call. The phone counselor will document the priest contact with the caller on a data sheet document to be submitted for the Upper Room records.
How this Program Works
DETAILS: A caller from The Upper Room Crisis Hotline would ask to speak to a priest, the phone counselor would then take their name and phone number and call the priest who is taking that particular time slot. The Priest answers the calls anonymously with a code name like "Fr. Ted" and calls the caller back by using *67 to keep the priests phone number private. Sometimes we have one or two requests for priests on-call or sometimes there won't be any at all. When a call comes into a priest and the priest is busy at that time....these calls can be put on voicemail and the priests can them back at their convenience. There is some flexibility in returning the callback. If a priest takes a time during a day shift...it typically would be from 9-9 pm. Priests can also choose just any time slot during that 9-9 PM time period, whether it be a 2,4,6 hour time shift. The priest then calls the hotline back verifying they took care of the call and the phone counselor will then document it. If a call comes in after 9 PM the phone counselors would hold the call and call the priest on call for the next morning.
We would be honored to have you join our Priests On Call program.
To sign up for our Ministry, you can all Dr. Terry Smith at 1-630-988-7495 to arrange the times that would work for you. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your consideration in becoming part of our "Priests On Call Minsitry"!