Staff and volunteers at Christus Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler were shown extra appreciation this week.
As part of National Hospital Week, the hospital conducted a “Blessing of the Hands” ritual throughout the week to caregivers, nurses, doctors, staff and volunteers.
During the week, chaplains go around Christus Trinity Mother Frances Health System facilities and units in the hospital to pray and honor the hands of caregivers who work with patients. The special moment includes intimate prayer through physical touch of the hands to express gratitude and pray for healing, strength and more.
Christus Trinity Mother Frances Chaplain Sister Malgorzata Majszczyk, also known as Sister Margo, united hands with a group on Thursday afternoon to pray for their daily work and also bless their continued work.
Christus, the only faith-based health care system in the region, takes part in this ceremony each year. Sister Margo said it is always something she looks forward to, especially this year since the pandemic did not allow the personal touch to be part of the experience last year.
“By this blessing we express our gratitude and we want to let people know that this is a healing ministry and it is holy. We need to be reminded about this, that this touch is powerful, it’s very meaningful. I feel very blessed to be a part of the team and to be able to bless,” she said, noting she feels blessed as well. “Especially after the COVID situation, we couldn’t touch. Right now it’s so important for us to feel this tangible presence.”
Sister Margo said the experience is sentimental and a reminder of how powerful touch is.
“I want to cry of happiness to be able to do it. As a chaplain I remind myself and others that we are here as a tangible presence of God because is touching people through us,” she said. “It is (prayer) so powerful through the touch and through the hug, we can touch those people. Not only patients and their loved ones, but of course each other. Our staff, nurses, supporting staff, doctors, they’ve had such a strong time. To embrace them, love them and to say how much they mean to us, I think it’s very powerful, precious and priceless.”
She added that some of the associates get emotional and tear up during the experience, especially those who have never been part of it before.