A day in a life of a hospital chaplain

47574762_10215777411619948_2460588675138846720_nMany of our Ordinariate priests work as hospital chaplains for their local dioceses, perhaps because their new Ordinariate communities cannot fully support them financially or for other reasons.  One of our priests in Ottawa is a full time hospital chaplain, and so is our priest in Toronto.  It is demanding but meaningful work.

Fr. Christopher Stainbrook, pastor of St. John Vianney Ordinariate parish in Cleburne, Texas, posted the following reflection, with the photo above on Facebook and I asked if I could share them on this blog.  Thank God for hospital chaplains!

My “On Call” Monday yesterday made me a bit reflective this morning. Three calls: First an 81 year old lady in the ICU. Two adult daughters weeping quietly, and a respectful cleaner who paused in her duties and softly joined in the responses.

Then (at the County Hospital) a 18 year old girl who was in a terrible automobile accident. Large family in the ICU waiting room. Mother and her daughter’s boyfriend, (who was in the same accident, and also a patient at the hospital as well), in a hospital gown and wheelchair, waiting for me in the girl’s room. Three nurses/aides by the door who joined in the responses. 

And the third Hospital Call, an unconscious (sedated) man in the Hospice Unit (at yet another hospital) alone in his room with soft music on the radio. No one present but me, him, and the host of heaven looking on.

The old, the young, the forgotten – each receiving the full and ancient rites and sacraments for the dying which Holy Mother Church provides for all her children. Deo Gratias!

 

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