The services of Holy Family Memorial’s Pastoral Care staff are available to all those receiving care within HFM’s health network. Providing spiritual care and emotional support in times of illness, suffering and crisis, the Pastoral Care staff helps people participate more fully in the healing love of Jesus. They minister with compassionate concern, respectful of the dignity of each person and aware of the value of total healthcare.
The Pastoral Care staff consists of both men and women who are trained and certified as chaplains. They work together with community clergy, physicians, nurses and all healthcare employees to meet the needs of patients and their families.
A member of Holy Family Memorial’s Pastoral Care staff is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Please call the Pastoral Care office at (920) 320-2347 or (920) 320-2317 during regular business hours (M-F); on weekends or after hours, please call the main switchboard and ask for the on-call chaplain.
Our Pastoral Care staff is trained to help you learn more about the following:
- Advance directives.
- Pre-hospital Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) and resuscitation.
- Withholding/withdrawal of life sustaining procedures.
- Religious/spiritual issues.
- Sacramental support.
- Dying, death and grief.
- Coping skills.
- Concerns in your life today.
Holy Family Memorial’s chapel is open at all times for private prayer. Access to the chapel, located on the second floor of the Western Avenue campus, can be gained by using the west elevators. Patients are welcome to attend services with the permission of their physician.
- Wednesday, Thursday & Friday: 12:00 p.m. (noon) Mass
Please enjoy the following Lenten Resources
Daily Lenten Relfections
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Sackcloth and ashes – these two Lenten images are familiar. They have been burned
into our minds as a part of our Lenten mythos. Yet, they can be missed as a part of a
greater whole. Why are we called to repentance? By whom are we called?
Friday, February 19, 2021
God called Abram out of obscurity to forge a new path to salvation, a way out of the
broken, dark world left behind by the Fall of Adam and Eve. How has God been calling
you out of brokenness and darkness this season?
Saturday, February 20, 2021
As the Hebrews foresaw the coming of salvation, so too do we long to be released from
darkness. Like them, we also endure the brokenness, hardship and pain that can come
with darkness. Yet, even as we face it, especially because we are facing it, God is with
us. How are you reaching out to God in your pain?
The Covenant with Noah Sunday, February 21, 2021 “Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” Genesis 9:15-16 There is always something exciting about seeing a rainbow. Sometimes stretched across the whole sky, sometimes brief and fleeting. They don’t last long – they live in the liminal space between the storm and the sun. Lent brings us to our own liminal space – a space without definition, where the spiritual and practical meet. A space of invitation and slowness. A space where we can reflect on what has been and might be. Noah and his family were in a liminal space in the Ark. They did not know how long they would spend afloat on floodwaters or what they would find when the water receded. While the instructions for building the Ark had a lot of details, weathering the storm and the rebuilding afterward didn’t come with a handbook. In many ways, the past year feels like its own floating ark. We have gathered the goods we need to survive, limited our circles and activities. We have shared extra work and the endless shifts. We have done our best to keep residents and patients comfortable, looking out through the portholes of our screens. In these months, we have caught glimpses of how Noah’s family must have felt: cooped up, tired of having no place to go, utterly exhausted by the demands of everyday life on a floating zoo. In the end, God gives Noah a rainbow as a promise that the world would never be destroyed again. While rebuilding after devastation is hard and does not come without loss – so too, a rainbow does not exist without rain. Illness and injuries of the body, mind and soul, leave us with scars. The process of healing is rarely a short or a straight path. Even with treatment plans that account for every possible unexpected outcome, how healing actually unfolds will never be fully known. Indeed, sometimes it doesn’t unfold at all. We are limited in the promises that we can make. ©The Catholic Health Association of the United States Reflection for the First Week of Lent The deepened prayer of Lent allows us to bring our fears and challenges to God, who cherishes our most guarded questions and worries. Frustrated and tired, we have so many of them. How long will I work from home? How long will I be furloughed? How soon can we get another nurse on this floor? How can I keep the residents’ spirits up? Will my mother get better? Will I survive this? Will people take the vaccine? Why is God letting this happen? We do not know the answers to most of our questions. However, we do have God’s promise to be with us and the knowledge that God’s promises are not ours. God makes a covenant with Noah, but also with his descendants. God does not promise there will never be another storm. God does not promise that storms will come without cost. Rather, God promises that all will not be lost; there will always be life after the storm. The existence of a rainbow – born out of sun and storm – has unique beauty. It looks different each time, and it is only visible from that liminal place between sun and storm. No matter hard we may try to chase them, rainbows are elusive. Rather, they come to us when and where we are perhaps least prepared for them.
Monday, February 22, 2021 Like our experience of the last year, Noah didn’t know how long the storm would last. Indeed, it feels as though we have been waiting for a rainbow for far too long. Where are you seeing flickers of rainbows?
Tuesday, February 23, 2021 Life after a storm is rarely what we expect. Getting through something difficult does not come instantaneously or overnight. In what ways have we encountered the unexpected? How can we pivot our perspective this Lenten season?
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
The covenant is made not just with Noah but with all living beings. God’s promise is longer, wider and broader than we can ever imagine. Where have you experienced the promises of God’s covenant in your own life?
Thursday, February 25, 2021
Like Noah after the flood, many of us have been left reeling, wondering when we might finally enter the calm after the storm. We wonder how long it will take to heal. How can we build toward something that feels normal, knowing it cannot possibly be the same?
Friday, February 26, 2021
The elusive nature of rainbows can make it seem as though all hope is lost. Yet, if nothing else, rainbows are our reminder of God’s promise to show up. How is God showing up for you?
Saturday, February 27, 2021
The sign God chooses to mark the covenant also reminds us that there is a necessary period of waiting. It will not be immediate and requires both the sun and the rain. We do not know what the sun will shine light upon, but we do know of its necessity. How have you experienced light in unexpected places this Lenten season?
The Covenant with Abraham
Sunday, February 28, 2021
“I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as
numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.”
“God put Abraham to the test.” The idea of God testing us can be jarring. It jumps out at you a little—what kind of loving God is that? Yet, all of us have turned to God at some point and asked, Why? Why is this happening to me? Why is this happening to someone I love? What do you want from me right now? What are you trying to tell me? God’s ask of Abraham is unthinkable. God asks for Abraham’s only child, Isaac. Isaac, the only son of a long barren couple. Isaac, child of laughter and God’s promise. Isaac, the child whose ancestry is destined to become a great nation. Why would God go back on that promise in such a heartbreaking way? The horror it brings to us and must have brought Abraham is enough for anyone to question their commitment to God. If this is the cost of God’s covenant, is it worth it?
The odd truth that peaks out from the corners of this traumatic story is that God wants all of us. Everything. That which we love dearly, the wounds we hide, the struggles we hold. There is nothing in us or of us that God does not desire. And God withholds nothing from us. It is all there for us. In this covenant, we are invited to share the same
kind of love that God pours out onto us. We must love with hands open to giving all that we have. The love of one’s child is not lost on God. In the Baptism of Jesus, we hear God’s voice clearly stating, “This is my beloved Son.” The message may have been less so for Jesus and more so for the watchers. In other words, “I love you all so much that I have
given you my very self, as you are, in your humanity.” God gives up the very thing asked of Abraham – God’s own beloved Son. To be with us in our losses, in our
tragedies, in our sufferings, and in our sacrifices. God sees and holds that which we give up, whether we are willing, reticent, or resistant.
The other part of the truth, though, is that God does not want to take away the gifts and the joys in our life. An angel saves Isaac, and a lamb is sacrificed instead. God’s test for
Abraham was to be open and willing, to trust fully and completely. It is the same test that faces each of us today. It is simple and yet simultaneously difficult. How far does
our love and trust in God extend? Do we trust God with our path, with our families, with our deepest selves, or do we seek to control and protect, do we limit out of fear?
We can’t always know where God is leading us. We can’t see what’s on the other end of the sacrifice or what will happen after the storm has passed. Our call is not to see but to
open to God, to withhold nothing from God. In this, we may be able to see where we are being led. Indeed, we might see what we weren’t looking for and come to a different
understanding of the things we do not expect.
Monday, March 1, 2021
The idea of God testing us can be unsettling, but we have all asked, “Why?” at some point. Have you experienced God testing you in this Lenten season? How did you respond?
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Isaac, the son of Abraham and Sarah, was especially longed for after Sarah is deemed barren. Anyone who has struggled with infertility and subsequently had a child knows well the deep longing and sheer awe after having lost hope. What are you deeply longing for? In your longing, how have you pinned your hope on God?
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
When push comes to shove, the difficult truth is that God asks Abraham to sacrifice that which he holds most dear because God desires our whole selves: even that which is difficult to share, that which might not be pretty, even that which we don’t want to share. God desires us wholly. What are we withholding from God? How can we share with God even that which is difficult?
Thursday, March 4, 2021
In the same way, God hopes for our whole selves; God offers God’s own self in the gift of Jesus. Indeed, God sacrifices God’s self in the gift of Jesus, also. How can you offer yourself in service as Jesus does this Lenten season?
Friday, March 5, 2021
How far does your love and trust of God extend? Like Abraham who is willing to offer his own flesh and blood in service of God, where are the places in your own life where you can deepen and extend your dependence on God?
Saturday, March 6, 2021
Abraham is prepared to lay down the life of Isaac, in the Paschal Mystery Jesus lays down his own life for others. What is God asking you to lay down this Lenten season?
The Covenant with Moses
Sunday, March 7, 2021
“So Moses took the staff from the LORD’s presence, just as he commanded him.
Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff.
Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.”
Numbers 20: 9, 11
Hope does not disappoint. Really, even this year? Hope does not disappoint? Wildfires scorch the earth. A virus disrupts the world. Friends reject us. Families fall apart. It can be hard to hear the words, ‘Hope does not disappoint.’ Bad things happen that can’t be stopped or reversed. How does hope not disappoint? What kind of promise is this?
The Israelites are not overly enthused with the results of the promises that have led them out of slavery. Surely, they were not expecting to wander thirsty, hungry and tired in a wasteland for years on end. Similarly, in this endless pandemic season, we have been called to let go of our expectations: we settle for more screen time, more faces disguised by masks in hallways, more changed holidays and traditions. Perhaps like our own, Moses’ frustration is clear: “What shall I do with these people?” What are we supposed to do with this reality? When the next step makes no sense or the solution is murky at best, it is only reasonable to feel disappointed, abandoned. Moses struggles with a people who expect their exodus from slavery to look different, too: to have less wandering and, to simply have water to drink. How does one find water, sustenance when there simply isn’t any? How can you trust you won’t die of thirst if you don’t even know where to find what you seek?
Except, we don’t always know everything God has placed in front of us. Truthfully, who in a million years would expect water to flow from a rock? Perhaps Moses hoped for a roadmap to a well or a spring. Instead, he is told to strike the rock and, sure enough, water. In the Gospel, we see Jesus and the Samaritan woman at a reliable source of water. Jesus says to the woman at the well, “If you knew the gift of God” — if only you knew what God knows. The conversation is nothing she expected, and like her, God gives us what we need, whether we know it or not. Be it water to nourish our bodies for a journey for which we don’t know the end, or perhaps not water at all, but Living Water — hope for eternal life. God finds ways to provide us what we need to nourish our hope, always, and hope has a longer view than sometimes only one person can hold. Moses never made it. Hope is not always just ours to hold. It is always bigger than us as individuals. Indeed, hope is a shared load – held collectively by families, communities and care teams. We share in it, and we take turns holding it for one another in times when real hope seems lost. Moses carried hope for the Israelites that eventually got them to the Promised Land, even if he never made it himself. Even as we hand hope to another in the depth of our despair, we might still find within ourselves a dull glimmer of it in spite of ourselves. Hope for hope’s sake: this, too, serves a purpose. This, too, points us toward eternal life — our promised land. Do we know when the gift of God is right in front of us? Who can hold your hope when you can’t see it for yourself?
Monday, March 8, 2021
“Hope does not disappoint”, can be a difficult phrase to take to heart, because disappointment can sometimes feel like a constant these days. Reflect on the ways in which hope might be a struggle for you in this season.
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
It can be difficult to be present when every day feels the same: more screen time, more sick patients, more overtime, or more time furloughed. When have you felt like the Israelites this Lenten season, wandering aimlessly in the desert?
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Even still, God provides, as God does for the Israelites when water comes from the
rock. When has God given you what you needed, whether you realized it or not?
Thursday, March 11, 2021
In the depths of despair, it can be difficult to hold onto hope, when have you had to
hand hope off to another to hold for a while? What did you discover about yourself?
About your relationships?
Friday, March 12, 2021
Hope is held collectively by communities, families, and care teams—it is and should be
a shared load. Who has been a gift of hope and of God for you?
Saturday, March 13, 2021
Hope for hope’s own sake: sometimes even when it seems that all hope should be lost,
we find within ourselves a dull glimmer of it. This, too, points us toward eternal life. Have
you experienced hope for hope’s own sake?
The Covenant with David
Sunday, March 14, 2021
“Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.
The LORD does not look at the things people look at.
People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
While many countless books and research has been written on birth order, have you considered the ways it plays out in scripture? In our own families, siblings are aware of how expectations fall differently on each individual. Older children are expected to set a good example for the younger ones, and the younger ones are left to either live up to those examples or learn from the mistakes. It’s what you might expect with any family of multiple kids.
We expect that of Jesse’s many sons, of course the oldest should be crowned king. Like Samuel, everything we know of families and birth order and birthrights leads us to this conclusion. But this is not just any king. This king is chosen by God, who favors the lowly, the youngest, the very last one that any of them, Samuel included, thought would be chosen. Time and again, God surprises us all, and we are reminded that making a covenant with God will not look anything like what we expect. The youngest son who tends the sheep. The man who is born blind. So little is expected of them; yet God chooses them to reveal God’s self.
God reminds Samuel that humans judge by outward appearance, by that which we see. God, instead, judges by our hearts, inwardly — by that which we cannot see. Even with the most intentional process of discernment, with pro/con lists, and thoughtful, rational conversation partners, our decision making will always be limited because there will always be an element of unknown, of mystery. In prayer and our Lenten journey, God invites us to look deeper into that mystery and see past what is right in front of us. God is patient with us and with Samuel, pushing us further, gently. God waits for all of Jesse’s sons to be presented, and then asks, ‘Is this all the sons you have?’ At God’s prompting, Samuel looks for more and digs a little deeper. In doing so, he finds the next king in an unexpected and not so glamourous place – with the sheep. The sheep, the lowly animal who not only need a lot of attention, but are also smelly, dirty and would be lost were it not for the shepherd who cares for them. God chooses the one who isn’t even around to be seen, who is engaged in a role that, while important, is lowly, and kept out of the spotlight. Samuel is blind to God’s desire for David to serve as King, because he is making assumptions based on human expectations. We all have our blind spots. It is easy to make assumptions about why someone is unkind, unhappy, poor, homeless or sick, and sometimes, those assumptions are not without cause. But they do not invite us to look deeper into the hearts of those we encounter. They do not invite us to see where God is waiting to surprise us. They do not allow us to see the surprising expectations God may have in store for us. What does the world look like through our eyes? What does the world look like through God’s eyes? How can we adjust our vision toward God’s way of seeing things?
Monday, March 15, 2021
Jesse is astonished when God chooses his youngest child. David is the least expected choice; it goes against how he expects his children’s birth order to play out. As a child, how did your upbringing influence how you came to understand and operate in the world?
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
God reminds Samuel that, whereas humans judge by appearances, God judges by that which we cannot see. Have you fallen victim to judging by appearances? How? What do you tend to see first in those who you encounter?
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Discernment requires that, in conversation with God, we work to see as God sees. Indeed, this is how Samuel comes to see David not as a lowly shepherd boy, but as the king he will grow up to be. Where has discernment changed your views in this Lenten season?
Thursday, March 18, 2021
To say the least, David is a surprising choice for a king and prophet. How have you been surprised by God?
Friday, March 19, 2021
Our commitment to Catholic health care means that we are committed to the poor, marginalized, and forgotten. God’s choice of David is just one biblical illustration of that commitment, in what other ways or instances do we see God choosing the lowly or forgotten?
The Prophet Jeremiah
Sunday, March 21, 2021
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel,” declares the LORD.
“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
Perhaps the biggest trope of the Hebrew Scriptures is that the story is always the same:
People make a covenant with God.
People break the covenant.
God makes a new covenant.
Rinse and repeat.
Have you heard this joke made before? Joke or not, there is an invaluable nugget of truth hidden within it that merits reminding: God continues (and will continue) to make new covenants with us — every time we break them. Every time. Make no mistake, we will break the covenant: with God, with a spouse or family member, with a friend, with a coworker, doctor or teammate, and even with our children. It may be just a small little break. It may be a very large one. It is our human condition: we are imperfect, and we will sin, and we will choose other-than-God in our lives. Even still, God will always love us. God will send Jeremiah as in the Hebrew Scriptures or find some other way to remind us that there is always room for a new covenant, to start fresh.
The vision of Jeremiah is one of hope, blessing and the faithfulness of God even in the face of despair and destruction. Jeremiah reminds us that God’s love for us is utterly relentless. God’s fidelity is so deep and desirous, it is written on our very hearts. Jesus tells us that at the end He will draw everyone to him. While we will break, we will fall, we will struggle, still, God will want us back. God will want to draw us close, to hold us in our human frailty and imperfection. Our humanity, our imperfection and our sins do not keep us from being worthy of love. We are always wanted.
That kind of love can be hard for us as human beings. We suffer and are hurt often by broken promises with the very people we care for most. Indeed, as broken people who exist with other broken people, sometimes boundaries need to be set. We have limits. People suffer at the hands of others. We are rude, unkind and at times, knowingly or not, instruments of evil. Nevertheless, the kind of love that renews and always brings new life, while sometimes unimaginable, persists. With forgiveness, compassion and empathy, we build resilience, even if the path toward it is rocky, difficult or awkward terrain.
Surely, we will break the covenant, but the beauty of our story as God’s people is that there are also always places where we can begin to bind it back together. Where we can edge out our own blindness, our expectations of one another, and offer the compassion and forgiveness that God always, always offers us. If we stay open to what God asks of us, to what God wants us to see, we can begin again; we can find a new start, to try once more to love each other a little better than before.
Monday, March 22, 2021
Without question, we have broken covenants: with a spouse, a coworker, a child. Reflect for a moment on the feeling of disappointment, what was it like for you to respond to the break?
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Jeremiah’s vision is one of the unfailing love and faithfulness of God in the face of the people’s faithlessness. While this kind of love and hope can be trying, especially in difficult times, how can you work to make Jeremiah’s vision your own?
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Consider a time in your life when you had to set a limit for yourself or a relationship, thereby breaking a covenant you had made. Maybe you had to say “no” to a project at work or decline a gathering with friends. What was it like to say, “no”? How did the choice contribute to your well-being?
Thursday, March 25, 2021
Consider a time when a limit was placed on you, when someone broke a covenant they had made. What was it like? How did you demonstrate resiliency in the face of the boundary?
Friday, March 26, 2021
The beauty of our story as God’s people is that, even when the covenant is broken, there is room to build again. We apologize to a co-worker for dropping the ball, we are gifted a peace offering by a spouse or loved one. Can you think of a time in your own life where you worked for reconciliation?
Saturday, March 27, 2021
How can this season of lent be an opportunity to try once more to love each other better than before? In what ways can you tangibly demonstrate the relentlessness of God’s love to those around you?
March 28, 2021
“My God, my God. Why have you abandoned me?”
Warm sun, shouts of laughter and joy, riding on the back of a donkey. Holy Week begins victoriously on Palm Sunday with Jesus welcomed into Jerusalem as one who “comes in the name of the Lord.” A crowd lines the streets with palms and praise for the teacher and healer they love. A ray of hope and light promising to break the darkness. In contrast, Good Friday is much different, condemned to death, Jesus is sent out from the city with the cross as a burden on his back. The crowds lining the street on that day are not full of praise, but here to watch his gruesome death. We live our faith in this juxtaposition.
Like all our experiences of life, Palm Sunday and Holy Week are a mixed bag of joy and sorrow, intimacy and rejection. It is easy to wonder, as the Son of God, did Jesus know what the darkness growing over him meant? Even as he rode triumphantly into Jerusalem, did he know how he would leave? That he would soon be abandoned by his followers, that his death is at hand?
Did he know what would happen, or did he go forward trusting God’s plan? Does it matter? In his walk through despair and desolation, he walks with us, to be with us, truly as our brother in both joy and sorrow. He walks willingly into a place that feels so devoid of God that he sweats blood in the face of the terrors before him. He feels the abandonment. He knows pain and suffering.
Amidst his deepest, darkest pain, Jesus cries out to God. “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” This passage from Psalm 22, lives deep within Jewish memory from the time of Egyptian slavery, Babylonian exile and in Jesus’ time, Roman occupation. Our own darkness comes from so many places in our lives – unfulfilled dreams, broken relationships, tragedy and disaster. Some we can see before they manifest, while others set upon us without warning. They leave us feeling the same abandonment and loss shared by Christ in his passion and death. We too, know the cry, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Our faith of juxtaposition tells us that it is precisely by entering into this pain, by allowing it to happen and, yes, even by questioning God, that our healing begins. On Thursday evening, just before the joy turns to horror, Jesus himself promises, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.” (John 16.20).
Can we hold onto this promise in the face of what is to come? Can we walk each day in faith trusting in God’s goodness?
Monday, March 29, 2021
On Palm Sunday Jesus enters the gates of the city in triumph, being praised by others. When have you felt the support of friends and loved ones in this challenging season?
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
This week is one of joy and suffering. The elation of Palm Sunday, the intimacy of the Last Supper and the devastation of Jesus’ arrest and death. How does God help you hold these conflicting experiences?
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
The light is just a glimmer. The hope seems still out of
reach. This Lent and last year’s Lent seem to run together, holding us hostage as we
long for release from the pandemic. How can we hold onto the light and joy that are just
glimmers and promises of what is to come?
Thursday, April 1, 2021
Holy Thursday reminds us of another meal where God
promised to be with us, and to go before us. In the Passover before the Exodus, God
pledges to be with God’s people. In ritually remembering this meal, Jesus makes the
same promise to his disciples now and forever. Who needs your steady faithfulness?
Friday, April 2, 2021
It should have never ended this way, but it was the only way.
God promised Abraham that if ever the covenant was broken, God would fulfill it. Where
have you felt God step into your darkest moment and fill them?
Saturday, April 3, 2021
For the last year, many of us have found ourselves feeling
like the disciples on Good Friday and Holy Saturday, huddled with those closest to us in
confusion and heartbreak. Who has been in your upper room? Who have your leaned
on in your darkness?
Holy Communion for Catholic patients is available daily. Communion for Protestant patients can be arranged through the Pastoral Care staff. They will assist in contacting the specific pastor of one’s faith community. Reconciliation (Confession) and Anointing of the Sick is available on request.