Br. Jhobany Orduz, CSV, came to the Viatorians as a trained civil engineer, with a master’s degree in roads and infrastructure, and a specialization in education administration. Last year, he earned another advanced degree, this time a master’s in financial management.

Br. Jhobany Orduz gives ashes to a student at Saint Viator High School.

At the same time, Br. Jhobany entered his first year at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, studying toward the priesthood. As part of his clinical rotations, Br. Jhobany has gone from serving part time in Campus Ministry last year at Saint Viator High School, to his latest setting: serving a rotation as a hospital chaplain.

Last month, Br. Jhobany began a unit in Clinical Pastoral Education at Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee, under the Rev. Marsha Collins, director of pastoral care. He follows in the footsteps of his confrere, Br. John Eustice, CSV, who completed the unit in June and also is studying toward the priesthood.

Riverside officials describe its Clinical Pastoral Education as a theological education grounded in a person-centered approach to pastoral ministry. As an interdisciplinary healthcare team member, the student’s education experience involves providing pastoral care to patients, families and staff.

After completing initial training, Br. Jhobany started his clinical experience in the hospital late last month. Each week includes classroom work, where he learns the principles of medical ethics in the hospital setting, psychological concepts, family systems theories, and faith development models.

Br. Jhobany entered the Viatorian Community in 2014 and he professed his perpetual vows in 2018.

All of which serve as the foundation for his rounds on different floors of the hospital. Those include rounds in the ICU with the entire interdisciplinary team of nurses, doctors, pharmacists and dieticians.

“Visiting patients, moving with the team in the ICU on daily rounds, and engaging in visits with patients in that and other units, as well as to the families who are present, is part of what we do,” Br. Jhobany explains.

As a native of Colombia who is fluent in English, Br. Jhobany already has had visits with patients and family members, in English and Spanish. He is in class with four other pastors, including a Methodist, two non-denominational Christians, and one Lutheran. Integrating Catholic support into the ministry is gratifying, he says.

“I truly feel blessed with this ministry that, of course, pushes me out of my comfort zone,” he says, “but fills me with gratitude to be able to be there for all the suffering people I have encountered.”