Sacred Heart is located in downtown Tampa, a short distance from Tampa General Hospital, the West Central Florida area’s regional trauma and ICU hospital. As you might imagine there are any number of associated medical facilities, offices, and clinics located within a mile or two of the Davis Islands located main facility.
There is a new normal in the hospitals, clinics, and fire rescue stations of the city. For 12+ years I have served as volunteer chaplain at TGH making rounds several times a week to patients in ICUs, ER, transplant units, advanced cardiac care, and various other wings and wards. I know the facility well. I know many of the wonderful health care workers, staff chaplains, aides, technicians, and the amazing variety of people that make up the TGH community – from staff to Board Members. And many, many of them are parishioners: doctors, PAs and Nurse Practitioners, Nurses, Pharmacists, nursing assistants, technicians, patient care specialists, and more. I always quipped that if you had to have a medical emergency, Sunday mass at the parish was as good a place to have it as any outside of the hospital. But I cannot imagine the new rhythms in their life.
We volunteer chaplains are not allowed to enter the facility these days – a wise, prudent but sad reality. And though I am not there to witness the new rhythms, the TGH community is never far from my thoughts or my prayers.
Good and loving God, be with the doctors, nurses, medical professionals, chaplains and staff of TGH and all hospitals. Watch over these servants who seek to heal and help those affected and who put themselves at risk in the process. May they know your protection and peace. May they know the grace of your Hope and perseverance. May they know your infinite blessings. Amen