“We need a Chapel in this building” were the cries of various patients during a resident council meeting a few years back at BROOKWOD GARDENS. Though the administrator and many of the Department Heads at that time knew it was a need, the problem was where. But in all things related to the Divine, God always hears the prayers of His people and never ceases to provide.
Such was the humble beginnings of the facility’s birth of a chapel. That provision occurred when it was announced that the new wing that was added onto the structure was going to be opened and inaugurated. Once the patient got wind of that news they started requesting from the chaplain that he please beg the administrator to allow one of those new rooms to be used as a chapel.
Many others in the facility joined in recognizing the need for a place and space for prayer. These included Department Heads, nurses, CNA’s, kitchen and housekeeping staff. The Regional O.P. at the time heard of the cries and admitting that SIGNATURE is a company that does indeed want to provide the patients with the best of care, including Spiritual care and well-being, he allowed the administrator to grant the chaplain a room to be used as his office and the facility’s chapel. Again the question was where. The answer was a no brainer.
As the Lord himself always reminds us, the last shall be first, and so it was decided that the chapel would be the last room in the building, Room 601. This room is perfectly situated in a quiet far off corner of the new wing, where those who come into the chapel or feel the need to speak to the chaplain, can find a space of quietness and tranquility from the hustle and bustles of the main and busy area of the building.
Once chosen the chaplain announced to the staff and patients that it was their job to decide how they wanted to decorate it since he wanted the space to speak to them. With the help of nurses, CNA’s and patients, curtains were bought, chairs donated, messages placed on its walls and symbols of God’s loving presence were hung in a spirit of recognizing that this room was a room where everyone could feel the Divine presence of love, warmth and peace.
Placed outside the chapel, in its entrance, a list of those patients who have passed away during the year was hung, and is continually updated as a tribute and memorial of their lives spent wit us. After a month of preparation the chapel was finally inaugurated with the blessing of the Chaplain and one of the priest members of the Chaplain Advisory Board thus fulfilling and answering the dreams of those who knew that one day God would answer their prayers for an oasis of prayer, thought and contemplation.
Eddie Santos, Director of Spirituality
Signature HealthCARE of Brookwood Gardens