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The power of healing through pastoral care

After his wife’s death, Howard Romer became increasingly despondent. His longtime Flower Mound neighbors were moving away. The church he and his family attended for more than 40 years was sold. His life outside his home shrank to grocery trips and doctor appointments. He developed a sense of acute isolation.

To ease this pain, Baylor Scott & White Health chaplain Paul Chacko began visiting Howard regularly and praying with him.

As encouragement to meet new people, Rev. Chacko suggested Howard attend a Wednesday night dinner program for seniors at a local church. He started attending regularly and joined a new circle of friends who made his life more meaningful. When he could no longer drive himself, a church van provided transportation.

Howard, now 86, continued to miss the communion ritual from his previous church. When Rev. Chacko was able to serve him communion at home through Baylor Scott & White’s “House Calls” program, it brought tears of joy to the retiree. Rev. Chacko still visits him in a Dallas retirement community seven years since their first meeting.

Filling a Void

Howard’s experience is an example of the estimated 3,000 visits to seniors by the system’s chaplains. Their visits and phone calls ensure patients feel honored and supported in their elder years.

Along with Baylor Scott & White clinicians and social workers, the chaplains regularly visit homebound Baylor Senior Health Center patients and seniors recently discharged from the hospital.

Fully funded by Baylor Health Care System Foundation, “House Calls” recognizes the role that faith plays in community health and the healing process.

Rev. Chacko also visited Howard when he was in the hospital in Plano a few years ago. Howard’s son, John, said his father “really enjoyed the visits. They filled quite a void.”

To learn more about spiritual care services provided by Baylor Scott & White Health, visit the Office of Mission and Ministry website.  

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The power of healing through pastoral care