The Art of Healing 2017

The Art of Healing 2017


The Art of Healing 2017

Chicago Cultural Center

May 7, 2017, 5 to 8 p.m.

“Advancing the well-being of individuals and communities where healthcare meets the human spirit.”


A Glimpse into Chaplaincy

A Glimpse into Chaplaincy

Recently we were honored to give our partners at Project Connect a space of peace for their grief and stress as they care for folks living, and dying, with HIV/AIDS at the CORE Center.  Chaplain Jim read this lovely reflection about chaplaincy at a memorial service held in our comforting office space.

During the early hours of the morning, I attended to the needs of a terminally ill gentleman and mentioned to him that it hard started to snow. In a very weak voice he said, “I would so like to touch the snow once more.”

The snow continued to fall through the night. At 4:30 a.m., I took a tray outside, collected a mound of snow and took it to his room. He was awake and when I told him I had brought him snow to touch, he smiled. I covered the bed linen and placed the tray on his bed. He reached into the snow, picked up a handful and slowly rubbed it across his face, neck, forehead and lips. He then closed his hand and held the snow until it melted.

I stood and watched; there was such a sense of peace about him. I felt very happy that I was able to fulfill his wish.

Less than two days later, he passed away. I believe that in the future, whenever it snows, the memory of him holding snow in his hand will come to me.

Sandra Greggo, Chaplain in Hockessin, DE

From Sacred Stories


Annual BAH 2016 Newsletter

Annual BAH 2016 Newsletter

december-2016-newsletter-pg-1The Annual Newsletter is here! 2016 has been a busy year for the staff of Bishop Anderson House, and our programs have thrived, and so the theme of our newsletter is “Gratitude.” We have notes and stories from all our staff, updates from our Board of Trustees, and a few alumni spotlights from our Spiritual Care Visitor Alumn!

If you would like to receive a copy, please let us know by calling the office at (312)563-4825, or by emailing Director of Development, Becky Duggan here.


Click here to read the 2016 BAH Newsletter

#HurricaneMatthew–providing spiritual care in face of disaster

#HurricaneMatthew–providing spiritual care in face of disaster

jimBishop Anderson House Chaplain Jim Croegaert is also a volunteer with the Red Cross Disaster Spiritual Care team. He just returned from a 2-week mission of mercy to Greenville, NC, comforting residents whose lives have been upended in the flooding after Hurricane Matthew. Bishop Anderson House sent over 100 Teddy Bears and a full box of prayer shawls to assist in his spiritual care efforts.

From Jim’s posts:

“Last Tuesday evening I was asked to depart on Wednesday, Oct. 12, to be part of the early Red Cross Disaster Spiritual Care effort. I am in Greenville, NC, about midway through, coming home Saturday. Staying in a staff shelter, which is rugged going for this body, and am pretty weary. But have had some wonderful experiences that I think make some difference for people. One thing worth noting in this disaster, is that the people who were especially vulnerable to the loss, were poor people, choosing housing that was less costly, in part *because* it was on the flood plain. Disproportionately African American and Mexican immigrants, both legal and illegal, the latter by definition less likely to request help through traditional channels. Had a wonderful visit with Pastor Moses Perez and his Iglesia Pentecostal Unida church. Pastor Perez and his congregation did an amazing job setting up and running a shelter that the displaced Hispanics felt safe going to, where their language was the language and they could get help without fear of consequences – 80 people found food and shelter there for days, the numbers going down now but people still in need of assistance in various ways. Anyway, one little story, among so many. I had a wonderful time at their Sunday worship, even contributing a bit to the service. That is all for now, and this is my first FB visit since deployment and may be my last till home. Peace, all, and pray for these folks, and those trying to assist.

I arrived back home Saturday from #HurricaneMatthew Red Cross Disaster Spiritual Care service. Last night I enjoyed my first good night’s sleep in some time, and in an actual bed – mine!  I read all the comments made to my post, many of which had come to me in the form of emails but which I could not take time to respond to, as well as the “likes”. I am so very grateful, and felt very much upheld. The weariness will take some time to get through but I am on my way. I am also aware that our news cycle allows for 2-3 days of attention on these types of events and then moves along. But the lives of people who suffered loss of homes, belongings, pets, even loved ones, go on. In fact, some of the rivers in the affected areas only crested a few days ago. Hundreds of people are still in shelters, where their deprivations are considerably greater than anything I went through, and are ongoing. Please pray for those folks, and for the many who are working to try to help them through this.

I am attaching two photos: One of our Red Cross headquarters in Greenville (where the “on-the-ground” efforts, such as shelters, feeding, condolence calls and other relief efforts are organized and planned); the other of a gorgeous ash tree that fed my spirit this morning back home here in our lovely Evanston. Both are valuable, but I am grateful to be now where the ash tree is.


Congratulations, Chaplain Paul!

Congratulations, Chaplain Paul!

For the past 12 months, Paul Goodenough has been serving as Bishop Anderson House’s full-time chaplain fellow at Stroger Hospital. Paul’s passion and compassion have earned him the respect of his colleagues in the Trauma unit and throughout the hospital.

After months of patiently working to become fully “badged” in the Cook County Health System, Paul now proudly wears the Stroger badge and will be able to provide an even higher level of care to patients. We share in his delight at being fully incorporated into the Hospital system.

Paul recently completed his 2000th hour of supervised professional chaplaincy, and is almost to the finish line in becoming a Board Certified Chaplain.

Co-leader of the Stroger Trauma Bereavement Group, he uses his chaplaincy skills to help families cope and heal with their losses from gun violence. The group gathers on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at Bishop Anderson House offices, 6:30 p.m.


Walking the Extra Mile for AIDS Walk 2016

Glad to support our friends at Project Connect as they “Walk the Extra Mile” to support their patients at the CORE Center.

Two days a week, Chaplain Jim provides spiritual care to the patients at Stroger Hospital who live with the health complications of AIDS/HIV. Until Bishop Anderson House stepped in, this client population had no chaplain services and Jim has quickly become the “go-to” person for staff seeking to serve patients fully.
We are also active in offering self-care events for the staff at the CORE Center–next on tap is a day of Pause, Relax and Repair workshops presented by Tayonon and Jason from A Balanced You.
The staff at Project Connect’s team would truly appreciate your support for their patients. Here are some examples of services you can help provide:
$249.00  Funding for one person to advocate for HIV services in Springfield.
$151.00  One mental health care session with a therapist.
$70.00    Six HIV tests.

Partnering with Episcopal Charities and Community Services

Partnering with Episcopal Charities and Community Services

For over 50 years, Bishop Anderson House has been affiliated with Episcopal Charities and Community Services in the Diocese of Chicago. In 1957 the first “United Episcopal Charities Appeal” raised $37,000 as a result of a consolidated appeal for funding to support the work of eight partner agencies, and ECCS has been a major supporter of BAH ever since.

Every year since its founding in 1960, Episcopal Charities makes annual grants to ministry partners. These grants are especially valued because they are for general operating support, providing the resources agencies use to ensure excellence in their ministries. The average grant in 2016 was more than $40,000. Over the past ten years, Episcopal Charities has granted nearly $7,000,000 in unrestricted support as the largest single donor of general operating grants for its ministry partners. Without the funds allocated by ECCS, agencies like Bishop Anderson House would be unable to provide and expand valuable transformational services.

We give thanks for the financial and institutional support of ECCS. Through them, we, too, are able to transform lives and provide hope via pastoral care to thousands in Illinois.

Click here to learn more.

Rooted in our History and Faithful to our Values

Rooted in our History and Faithful to our Values

Plotting the course to a vibrant future

As you may have heard by now, Bishop Anderson House will be undertaking a strategic planning process in 2016.   At its January meeting, the board of trustees made the decision to be guided in the strategic planning process by Dr. Richard O’Neill, Professor in the Institute for Decision Excellence and Leadership at SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, NY.  What is distinctive about Dr. O’Neill’s process is that the plan will emerge from the board itself.   We have a very talented board of psychologists, clergy, medical doctors, business professionals, artists, and lay leaders that are committed to the same values that founded Bishop Anderson House 66 years ago.  I am looking forward to great new things emerging from this process that will help us have an even greater impact on the community in the areas of spiritual and emotional care and support.

Bishop Anderson House is 66 years old and has gone through many transitions:  from an academic club that primarily explored the intersection of medicine and spirituality; to providing child care for children of nursing school and medical school students; to supporting Episcopal patients in the Illinois Medical District at Rush, University of Illinois-Chicago and Stroger Cook County Hospital; to distributing teddy bears to HIV+ and pediatric patients; to training of volunteer lay chaplains; to supporting patients, regardless of their religious background, by professionally trained chaplains.  The planning will lead us into our future as we continue to identify and meet the spiritual and emotional needs of our targeted community.

Bishop Anderson House clearly has transformed and changed over time.  However, it has always maintained continuity with its foundational purpose and mission, whether in Bishop Anderson’s commitment to social justice through the support of the least of these in our midst, or in our advocacy for healthcare reform.  In my previous hospital, I discovered that before the institution would make substantive changes, leadership would go back and read Mr. Johns Hopkins’s will to make sure the hospital would remain connected to the history and principles that it was founded on.  For Johns Hopkins Hospital, that meant ensuring that all patients, regardless of religion, race, or gender, received the best medical care available (something that was progressive at its founding!).  The same is true for us as an organization.  Whatever is next for Bishop Anderson House, it will be deeply rooted in our history and remain faithful to our values.

I hope you will join me in prayer for this undertaking and be on the look out for the initial opportunity to contribute to this process via electronic survey.

Thank you for the love you have for this holy house and the work it does,



Deaf Community Served by our All Angels Guild

Deaf Community Served by our All Angels Guild

The deaf senior citizens of the All Angels Guild celebrated Christmas on Thursday, December 3 with a luncheon at Angelo’s restaurant in Elmhurst.  Fr. Trenton Pitcher opened the luncheon with a prayer and had the pleasure of introducing eight new people attending the event.  Volunteer Toni Sundling and Laura Thompson were presented with poinsettias for their generous support this past year. Laura introduced a deaf volunteer from her agency that is working with her on the All Angels project. Laura also presented a coffee mug loaded with candy treats to everyone attending.  Several people expressed thanks for the day’s activities and for the programs Bishop Anderson House has sponsored this past year.

The All Angels Guild program began over sixty years ago and has continued to reinvent itself as it’s sponsorship transferred from St James Episcopal Cathedral to Bishop Anderson House.  Today our outreach extends itself to people of all faiths throughout the Chicago area.  This is in large part due to our location at the center of the Diocese in Elmhurst as well as our cooperation with The Du Page Center for Independent Living located in Glen Ellyn.  We are the only religious organization in the Chicago area to have an association with another non-profit agency that assists deaf, as well as disabled, people.

Why has Bishop Anderson House chosen to support this ministry?  The answer is that we are the only agency in our diocese that ministers to people living with a disability that handicaps their to access the many services we take for granted such as communication of symptoms, needs and feelings.  Often given the fast pace of modern medicine, doctors may not be able to provide important life saving treatment due to the patient’s inability to successfully communicate his or her symptoms.  Also, deaf individuals are often not adequately informed of their rights to equal treatment because medical staff is unable to talk directly with deaf patients.

Deaf people, more than any other group of people, suffer with loneliness and isolation.  Therefore perhaps the most important thing our ministry provides is an opportunity for them to come together and share their life experiences with one another.

Code Lavender

As hospital staff and caregivers are stretched more and more, some hospitals are initiating a “Code Lavender” to prevent burnout.  Bishop Anderson House has long supported health care workers, from sharing prayer shawls and Teddy Bears with nurses to offering educational opportunities to physicians and students.

Currently, Chaplain Cherryl leads monthly workshops to promote self-care and avoid staff burnout for staff and volunteers at Project Connect, Cook County Hospital System. We are honored to provide a safe and comforting place where health care workers facing the hardest challenges can “unpack” their deepest concerns.

In 2016 we hope to offer several stress busters for staff at the Illinois Medical District, including a day of chair massage during Nurses’ Week and a “puppy party” during medical school finals.

Many hospitals across the nation are initiating Code Lavender to combat hospital worker stress and this article showcases efforts at the Cleveland Clinic.