Solace for the Soul

A hospital chapel gets a fresh look thanks to the generosity of Good Shepherd associates, and pays quiet tribute to loved ones gone but not forgotten.

Amid the daily hustle and bustle of a busy hospital, one room stands as a place for quiet reflection. Here in the Roberta Raker Hudders Meditation Chapel, residents, patients and visitors come to pray or just sit. Among those who find peace and solace in the cozy chapel with its stained glass windows is Frank Hyland, executive director and administrator of the Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital in Allentown.

When Frank’s mother-in-law Doris Basque died, her passing hit Frank and his wife, Diane, hard. Knowing how much Doris and the chapel meant to Frank, about 100 Good Shepherd associates contributed $2,700 to replace the worn carpet with a gleaming new hardwood floor.

“Many of us wanted to figure out a way to show Frank how much we care,” says Sue Golden, regional director of outpatient rehabilitation, who spearheaded the fund raiser. “We thought the chapel was a place for Frank to go and be near people who were very dear to him. Church, from what I understand, was a very important part of his mother-in-law’s life, so we thought it was fitting to dedicate something to her there. Nobody raised an eyebrow about giving.”

The chapel was in need of more than a new floor though. Chaplain Kelly Brooks and the late Chaplain Paul Xander drew on funds from the chaplains’ budget for a fresh coat of paint, a new prayer table personally chosen by Chaplain Paul before he passed away in April 2018, and new seat cushions on two benches. Two framed inspirational pictures were added; one in memory of Doris Basque and another in memory of the late Dr. Rodney “Rick” Schall, a beloved Good Shepherd psychologist who died in August 2018 and was a close friend of Frank’s. Also new to the chapel is a handcrafted baptismal font by Earl Schaeffer. The beautiful oak font had been used at the former New Jerusalem United Church of Christ in Fleetwood, where the Rev. Corrine Dautrich served prior to coming to Good Shepherd.

The renovations complete, on November 30, 2018, the chapel was blessed in a brief service officiated by Chaplain Kelly and Rev. Corrine. “Diane and I were greatly touched and so grateful for this expression of love,” says Frank. “It means so much to both of us that Diane’s mother will forever be remembered. We were also moved that two of Good Shepherd’s finest, Rick and Chaplain Paul, were also honored. The renovations to the chapel are beautiful.

“I visit the meditation chapel at least twice daily, first thing in the morning and at the end of each day. It is a source of peace, inspiration, and hope for me.”