St. Joseph Medical Center will name its chapel, which is undergoing a renovation, after Cardinal William H. Keeler.
Pat Bosse, vice president for mission and institutional advancement for St. Joseph Medical Center, said that when they approached the cardinal about naming the chapel after him, he had one request: to create an interfaith prayer space.
“That was the very first thing the cardinal spoke to; he wanted to make sure that everyone who entered the chapel and any other spaces we created would find comfort,” Ms. Bosse said. An ecumenical team made up of doctors and staff will offer advice.
“We’re so excited,” said Nancy Conner, director of spiritual care for St. Joseph.
The hospital is undergoing renovations and adding a new patient tower, so it was an ideal time to upgrade the chapel. The chapel will keep the same footprint but an adjoining ecumenical prayer room will be added and the meditation garden will be refurbished.
“The whole space will be a spiritual place,” said Ms. Conner. “We have patients and families in there all day long.”
New carpeting and lighting will also be featured, and the windows will be framed in wood. “We want to make sure the space is consoling,” Ms. Conner said. She added that the chapel is televised to patient rooms; patients can turn on their TV and watch a picture of the chapel while they listen to spiritual music.
“Frequently they’ll turn that on and just listen to the music and feel the presence of God,” Ms. Conner said.
Thanks to an upgraded sound system and new camera, the picture and music will improve, too.
The renovations are expected to be finished by December 2008. The exact name of the chapel has yet to be decided, but it will honor Cardinal Keeler.
“We’re honored and touched that he agreed to do that,” Ms. Conner said.