There are times when being a compassionate presence who can keep their head is all that happens within a patient visit or family encounter and that action can be a very effective chaplain encounter. At the same time, the chaplain is trained to assess and bring forth whatever has given that person or family hope, meaning and strength in the past. To say it another way, the chaplain journeys and encourages the person or family to access within themselves whatever it is that has given their lives hope, meaning and strength. Finally, and for some this is the hardest part, the chaplain must be open and respectful to how that person or family answers that question.
November 28, 2021
When I first went on retreat at my beloved Episcopal, Benedictine monastery, Holy Cross, in West Park, New York, to find out something about the place was a chore. I actually didn’t know anything about the Divine Office or monastic spirituality until I got there. Oh, they sent me a brochure. But it didn’t tell me much.
Today, Brother Google to the rescue! To find out about your retreat center or monastery, well, just google it. All of them will tell you about the rhythm in the house, the services provided, the schedule of each day. You need not fly blind, like I did, back in 1978.