My Afternoon with a Chaplain

Recently I had the opportunity, and the privilege, of shadowing a chaplain for an afternoon. Having been associated with Chaplain Partnership for over 12 years now, I can’t believe that I hadn’t done this before. Boy, what an experience!

I entered this with no pre-conceived thoughts – eyes wide open, if you will. I only had two questions in my mind as I prepared for this educational couple of hours: What is God doing in this place through the chaplain and, is the Holy Spirit at work in this place? Both questions were answered, and both were answered loud and clear!

The chaplain’s responsibility is to provide a listening presence to the patient, their families, and staff. They help people get in touch with their own respective beliefs and to find meaning and hope in their lives. God accomplishes this by sharing and spreading His love, through the Holy Spirit, and administered by the chaplain. The chaplain, empowered by the Gospel, is actually the delivery system of God’s love, care, and compassion. What an important responsibility! I could feel the ‘mood’ of the room lighten-up as the chaplain started a conversation with the patient and began listening to the patient’s concerns. Even in the midst of imminent death, I believe that I noticed a calmness expressed by the patient and family following the chaplain’s prayer for peace and final elimination of pain.

Having now experienced a chaplain’s day firsthand, all that I can now think of is thanks and gratitude. Thanks and gratitude for the prayers and financial support of Chaplain Partnership’s donors; thanks and gratitude for the compassionate spirit of our chaplains, allowing the Holy Spirit to work through them; and thanks and gratitude for the never-ending love of my God, sent in the person of my Savior, Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God!

Howard Chavalia

Director of Development and Community Relations

Chaplain Partnership

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