ight. In many of the world's major religions, light is a symbol of hope. In times of crisis,
people often seek a place where they can find solace and peace. In times of joy, many look for a place were they can give thanks. Winthrop has recognized the need for this special space, and is now planning for the construction of a multi-faith chapel.
Plans for the new chapel, to be located in the heart
of the Hospital just off of the main lobby, will be
centered on the spirit of hope. A giant stained glass
window will engulf the room in flecks of multicolored light, providing visitors with warmth and peace as they pray, reflect or just enter for a moment of silence and calm. The new chapel will also hold close to 30 seats.
"We are in great need for a central place to meet the spiritual and religious needs of our patients, families and Hospital staff," stated Reverend Winfried Hess, Director
of Winthrop's Pastoral Care and Education Program. "The new chapel will help people of all faiths by providing them with a sacred space where they can go to find strength or just to escape the stress of the Hospital setting, a place where they can pray and find peace in their times of crisis."
As Winthrop continues to grow as a regional healthcare resource and a Level 1 Regional Trauma Center, the Hospital is treating more traumatic injuries and is seeing an increased need for chaplaincy and inter-faith counseling. Winthrop's Pastoral Care and Education Program was
created more than two years ago to help the patients
and families in the Hospital through difficult or traumatic times. Chaplains and Pastoral Care students provide
emotional and spiritual guidance to individuals in need. Additionally, in 2001, Pastoral Care received a grant to start a support program at Winthrop for women and
families in crisis due to high-risk pregnancies and birth related traumas.
"The new chapel will help people
of all faiths by providing them with
a place where they can find peace
in their time of crisis."
- Rev. Hess
"Pastoral Care is a great service that helps the state-of-mind of the patients and families," added Rev. Hess, who expects that the addition of the multi-faith chapel will be a source of further comfort and support.
The new chapel, coupled with the tremendous support of the local clergy, will undoubtedly help Winthrop's program continue to flourish and offer spiritual support from all religious traditions. Approximately 15 leaders of religious congregations throughout the community are currently involved in Winthrop's on-call team, ensuring that someone is available to provide spiritual care in the Hospital 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
"The religious leaders in our community have been wonderful," said Rev. Hess. "They have shown great
support and interest in our program and in the care of our patients."
Participants in the Pastoral Care Program are looking forward to the addition of the special multi-faith chapel at Winthrop so that they can continue to provide spiritual care and guidance to the growing number of visitors to the Hospital. Plans are currently underway for a fall 2003 start to construction on the Chapel while the fundraising for the Chapel and ever-expanding program continues.
For more information on supporting the spirit of
the Chapel project and Winthrop's Pastoral Care and Education Program, contact the Office of Development
at Winthrop at 516-663-3398.