Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital will dedicate a new chapel today, making it the first portion of the hospital completed as part of the ongoing Campus Modernization Project.
Hospital officials say it is only fitting that the chapel is the first finished part of the $247 million project because the Barrington area hospital is part of a faith-based health system. Advocate Health Group is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Church of Christ.
The new space will be named the Francis and Patricia Ann Houlihan Chapel, after a Barrington-area couple who worked thousands of volunteer hours at the hospital and made financial contributions to several Good Shepherd initiatives.
The entire modernization project -- which also includes renovations to make all patient rooms private, increase capacity in the intensive care unit and create operating rooms large enough to accommodate state-of-the-art equipment -- is expected to be completed in 2017.
Fred Rajan, vice president for mission and spiritual care at Good Shepherd, said the new chapel will enhance the work of the hospital's chaplains.
The hospital currently employs three full-time chaplains who Rajan said help patients and their families with the spiritual component of the healing process.
"We provide holistic care," Rajan said. "We want to deal with (our patients') body, mind and spirit."
Rajan, who is a Lutheran minister, said his staff includes a Seventh Day Adventist, a Jewish rabbi, and a Catholic layperson. Along with one-on-one sessions with patients, staff members perform two nondenominational Christian services a week in the chapel.
The introduction of the new chapel coincides with the hospital's new chaplain residency program, which will begin in September. Rajan said the hospital will employ five full-time residents who will work on one-year contracts.
"The residency program will meet the increasing spiritual care needs of our patients," he said.
With the help of the residents, there will be four services weekly in the chapel, Rajan said.
The chapel will feature a separate area for people to pray or meditate. There also will be a healing garden outside that patients and family can access, and a wall of prayer where people can write down their prayers.
Rajan said the chapel was built to allow services to be broadcast via the hospital's internal television channel to patients confined to their beds.
There will be an open house at the chapel from 1 to 3 p.m. today, with a chapel blessing ceremony to follow.