Have your prayer intentions remembered in our daily masses and communal prayers.

MIT – Father Richard Bauer (April 2018)

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Father Richard Bauer: Chaplain on Call

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MARYKNOLL
in Touch

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[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Doctors and nurses do remarkable work. So do social workers and counselors. But the one member of the team that is often overlooked—or altogether absent—is the chaplain.

Before returning to Africa last November to take over a large AIDS mission, I studied to become a board-certified hospital chaplain. It was a life-changing experience.

I completed a residency at the Center for Palliative Care at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and chose to work on the oncology floor. That’s where you come face-to-face with suffering and death every day. Sometimes the pain is physical. Sometimes it’s the pain of regret or loneliness. That’s when the role of spirituality in meeting patient needs became ever more clear to me.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1530629747795{margin-top: 0px !important;}”]During one of my rounds, I met a man baptized Catholic but no longer a churchgoer. We started talking about his family, the annual ski trips with the kids to Aspen, and how much those experiences meant to him. I visited him over several weeks, and he shared his thoughts about the meaning of life—his life. One day without my urging, he said he wanted to receive Communion. He left this world a reconciled Catholic.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text el_class=”F18 Dred” css=”.vc_custom_1530631714201{margin-right: 15px !important;margin-left: 15px !important;border-top-width: 1px !important;border-right-width: 1px !important;border-bottom-width: 1px !important;border-left-width: 1px !important;padding-top: 25px !important;padding-right: 30px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;padding-left: 40px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;border-left-color: #440000 !important;border-right-color: #440000 !important;border-top-color: #440000 !important;border-bottom-color: #440000 !important;border-radius: 5px !important;}”]“Sometimes the pain is physical. Sometimes it’s the pain of regret or loneliness. That’s when the role of spirituality in meeting patient needs became ever more clear to me.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”16964″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow_3d”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_gallery interval=”5″ images=”16934,16935,16933″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]Palliative care that includes a chaplain is important for another reason: Recovering patients who see a chaplain to address their needs—spiritual or otherwise—spend less time in hospitals and require fewer ancillary services. A colleague of mine once said, “You can’t practice excellent patient care if you don’t practice excellent spiritual care.” She was right.

Now I am head of the Eastern Deanery AIDS Relief Program in Nairobi, Kenya, applying all that I learned about palliative care in the States. Right now we have 25,000 people in treatment in 14 clinics staffed by 370 professionals and aided by over 300 dedicated volunteers.

A cure for AIDS is still in the future. But with more people receiving anti-retroviral treatment, they are living longer. Among the other services we offer are prenatal care, a protocol for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission, well-baby clinics, and counseling.

Before my arrival, integrated spiritual care was not really part of medical care. Now it will be. And I will be able study how spiritual care impacts treatment and outcomes. This will take 18-24 months but I believe the results are going to alter the delivery of healthcare in Kenya, and maybe all of Africa.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]People often ask me, “Father, how do you cope with the ups and downs of caregiving?” It’s my faith—and my absolute belief in the Resurrection—that sees me through. I also know that you are praying for me, and that is a gift I treasure. I could not take on this new mission without your support. God bless you for caring and for making my work in Nairobi a sign of hope for all those who will grace my life.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row content_placement=”top”][vc_column][vc_column_text el_class=”F20″]

~ Father Richard Bauer, M.M.

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ABOUT MARYKNOLL

We are a Catholic Society of priests and brothers based in the United States. We are dedicated to missionary work overseas in over 20 countries. Additionally, we animate Catholics in the United States to follow their own baptismal call to share God’s compassion and love with the poor, the sick, and all those in need.

OUR GENERAL COUNCIL

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Fr. James M. Lynch, Fr. Lam M. Hua, Fr. Lance P. Nadeau, Fr. Timothy O. Kilkelly)

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers is overseen by our General Council, led by Superior General Rev. Lance P. Nadeau, M.M.

OUR FOUNDERS

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Our Co-Founders Father Price and Father Walsh)

PLACES WE SERVE

EVANGELIZATION, PARISHES, AND PROJECTS

USA

STORIES OF MISSION

(Africa) Education and Formation of African Clergy

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Africa Region will provide tuition assistance to African clergy, male and female religious at institutes of higher education or specialized training. Read More

Stories of Our Global Mission

The calling of a lifetime

The life of a Maryknoll missioner is challenging, fulfilling, and deeply rewarding. Follow your baptismal call to mission by sharing God’s compassion with the poor, the sick, and people most in need.

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier
“Go where you are needed but not wanted, and stay until you are wanted but not needed.”
– Bishop James E. Walsh, M.M.
First Maryknoll Bishop

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