March 20, 2009
New Chapel Enhances Hospital’s Spiritual Care Program
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – There is a new place of spiritual healing at St. Mark’s Hospital. The Chapel of the Good Shepherd provides a place of meditation, solitude and peace, while serving the spiritual needs of all who come to St. Mark’s Hospital. The newly completed sanctuary is open to patients and their families as well as caregivers and supporting staff.
“The spiritual traditions at St. Mark’s Hospital run deep and are nearly as old as the hospital itself,” explains Father Lincoln Ure. “Compassionate care for the body and the spirit has flourished here for 137 years – and continues to do so.”
The pastoral care team at St. Mark’s conducts weekly multi-faith services in the new chapel. However, the hospital’s commitment to spirituality in the healing process goes beyond the chapel walls. Every day of the week, the chaplains reach out to patients, families, physicians and employees throughout the hospital. Like doctors, they are on call nights and weekends.
St. Mark’s Hospital is also home to the only hospital-based Pastoral Care education program in Utah that is accredited by the national Association of Clinical Pastoral Education. Through this comprehensive program, Father Ure educates spiritual caregivers of all faiths about how to minister to people in the sometimes challenging hospital environment.
The Chapel of the Good Shepherd is 580 square feet in size, and many of its features are one-of-a-kind. For example, the curved panels leading into the chapel and the interior walls were all milled from a single maple tree log. Red sandstone from Torrey, Utah was hand chiseled to create the nearly impossible to duplicate water fountain and altar. A distinctive stained glass depicts the loyal Shepherd who watches out for his entire flock.
“On behalf of St. Mark’s Hospital, I would like to express my appreciation to everyone who made this new chapel possible,” says Steve Bateman, hospital CEO. “We are especially grateful to Father Ure for his vision and foresight, to the Episcopal Diocese of Utah for its contribution to and support of the new chapel, as well as to Nancy Nunn and the St. Mark’s Auxiliary for bestowing the stained glass rendering of the Good Shepherd.”
The Episcopal Diocese of Utah generously donated to the construction of the new chapel. The church’s Bishop of Utah, Rt. Reverend Carolyn Tanner Irish, led a multi-faith consecration of the Chapel of the Good Shepherd in late January. The service celebrated the chapel’s completion and St. Mark’s continued commitment to the role of spirituality in healing and healthcare.
Various local congregations and groups expressed support and presented gifts during the consecration. This included Congregation Kol Ami, Prophet Elias Church, Calvary Baptist Church, St. Vincent’s Catholic Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. An exquisite wooden cross and two matching candlesticks were handcrafted and donated by Thomas Kurrus, M.D., who represented the medical staff at St. Mark’s Hospital.