Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 3, 2003
Chapel called hospital's heart
Edmonton General Continuing Care rededicates its newly renovated hospital chapel
By RENATO GANDIA
WCR Staff Writer
Edmonton Caritas officials, hospital officials and staff, residents and supporters listened as Father Greg Bittman told them, "The chapel should be the heart of the hospital."
Bittman made his comments as the Edmonton General Continuing Care Centre (EGCCC) rededicated its newly renovated chapel Jan. 23.
In a brief reflection during the celebration, Bittman, who presided in the liturgy, outlined the importance of the chapel to a Catholic continuing care facility.
Joe MacGillivray, VP for continuing care and support services, agrees and remembers how they could not fit all the resident mothers at this chapel during last year's Mothers' Day celebration.
This will not happen again because they have enough space to accommodate more than a hundred people in the chapel.
They moved the altar back more than two metres, laid new carpet, and tore down the sacristy to make space for the blessed sacrament and opened up more windows for natural lighting.
The sacristy is now located on the right side of the chapel entrance.
Renovations cost $35,000 and EGCCC still needs $15,000 to cover the expenses.
"Our mission is not only to take care of the physical body. We also have to provide spiritual care. And this chapel is one of the fundamental elements in delivering that kind of care," MacGillivray told the WCR.
Holy Cross Br. Tom Maddix, VP for Organizations and Advancement and head of the spiritual care, said, "In a (facility) like this, (the chapel) is a place of comfort. "They come here to pray: Often when a family member dies, they come and gather."
Services for the people throughout the week are held in this chapel. There is an ecumenical service every Friday, while on Saturdays there is a Catholic Mass and Ukrainian Catholic services are periodically held.
"It's really a quiet place for people to pray and to reflect. During the day you will often see people praying in a corner," said Maddix.
"In fact we use it for a variety of purposes because it's a sacred space."
Co-chair of the residents' council Dr. Anne Burrows said, "I think having renovated and rededicated the chapel is a wonderful act of faith, considering our complicated life right at the moment."
She believes residents in facilities like this need a chapel. "This chapel has a very good atmosphere, especially when it's quiet."