As part of his clinical rotations before ordination, Br. Jhobany Orduz, CSV, served as a chaplain at Riverside Memorial Medical Center in Kankakee. However, the experience turned out to be more powerful than he expected.
Like Br. John Eustice, CSV, before him, Br. Jhobany served under the Rev. Marsha Collins, Director of Pastoral Care. Br. Jhobany completed the clinical pastoral unit with three other Christian pastors from different denominations, and all while continuing to take classes at Catholic Theological Union.
“It was an ecumenical and spiritually enriching process for all of us,” Br. Jhobany says.
As part of the unit, they learned the principles of medical ethics in the hospital setting, psychological concepts, family systems theories, and faith development models. Their classroom work served as excellent background for his rounds on different floors of the hospital, including rounds in the ICU with the entire interdisciplinary team of nurses, doctors, pharmacists and dieticians.
“The process was a wonderful experience. It was a blessing to be a bilingual chaplain in a place where people feel more vulnerable and need a close voice that can bring them a sense of peace and love of God,” Br. Jhobany says. “Chaplaincy in a hospital is not the common ministry we have as Viatorians, but after living through this learning process I can say that this experience changes lives, of those in hospital rooms and also our lives as chaplains.”
Br. Jhobany is a native of Colombia. He 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.
His hospital rotation came after Br. Jhobany had served in a completely different clinical unit, working part time in Campus Ministry at Saint Viator High School.
Now that he has completed his time as a hospital intern, Br. Jhobany has been invited to stay on as a part time associate chaplain, something he is excited to do.
“There is no better way to describe this ministry in a hospital than going to the margin where people are suffering physically, emotionally, spiritually, and several times even mentally, day by day,” Br. Jhobany says. “And as Pope Francis invites us to do, the chaplain immerses in that reality to be with the patients and their families. Sometimes to bring faith and hope in healing, sometimes to support the grieving of survivors. Or sometimes to just be there, present for what they need. In any case, it is not ours, it is the action and love of the Holy Spirit present for those in suffering.”