William Folprecht is a retired pastor who lives in East Northport, New York.
"I've been in three or four hospitals, but this is the first time a minister has visited me!"
That was the comment made by a woman recently to one of the thirty-four local ministers engaged in our community hospital chaplaincy program. It's only one of many remarks we've received indicating the need for hospital visitation.
Some hospitals maintain a full-time chaplain on the premises. Ours has a Roman Catholic priest, assigned by a large congregation in our town, who gives all of his time to visiting the patients of his faith. But there was no provision on the part of the hospital for ministers to call on out-of-town or locally unchurched Protestants. I had been part of such a chaplaincy years before in Schenectady, New York, so another minister and I decided to challenge our local pastors to implement this needed visitation.
John Durokovich, secretary of the Huntington Clergy Association, and I discussed the matter. ...1