Diocesan News

Bishop rededicates renovated hospital chapel

Story by S.L. Hansen

LINCOLN (SNR) - Bishop James D. Conley rededicated the recently renovated chapel at Saint Elizabeth Medical Center in Lincoln on Thursday, Dec. 5, with a special Mass.

Father Christopher Kubat was a concelebrant and handled many details in preparing for the Mass. Approximately 100 people were in attendance.

“It was such a special celebration. We were honored to have Bishop Conley there,” said Donna K. Hammack, MS, CFRE. Mrs. Hammock is chief development officer of the Saint Elizabeth Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises funds to support the medical center.

With $300,000 raised through donations, grants and a variety of creative fundraisers, the chapel now has new carpeting and flooring, new paint, newly refinished pews, and more. Stained glass windows are lit from behind to showcase their beauty, day or night. Other windows were overhauled with a cross motif and frosted finish.

Possibly the most impressive new feature of all is the wooden ceiling that replaced water-damaged tiles.

“We have had many comments about the wooden arched ceiling that frames the dropped light fixtures,” Mrs. Hammock reported. “It is fitting for a chapel, giving it an ethereal air.”

Mass is held daily at the chapel — twice on Sundays — and broadcast into each patient’s room should they want to tune in. Four times a year, there is also a memorial service for families who have lost loved ones.

“I love to see the joy that the renovation brings to all those who care deeply about this place that provides inspiration and comfort to all who enter,” Mrs. Hammack said.

 She’s grateful to the 750 donors who contributed to the chapel renovation project, which was completed on budget.

“This project had such a broad base of support; it was truly gratifying how people all came together to make it happen,” said Mrs. Hammack.

Now the foundation has more time to dedicate to two other fundraising projects that are currently in progress.

The first is a $78,000 fund to replace the Neonatal Transporter, which allows critically ill infants to be safely transferred to St. Elizabeth Medical Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit from other hospitals. To date, the foundation has raised only about a third of the total.

The foundation’s other project is a chemotherapy system that will allow interventional radiologists to treat liver cancer in a new way.  The price tag is $1.5 million and, they have just over $900,000 in hand.

Anyone who wishes to help fund either project can send a donation to Saint Elizabeth Foundation, 6900 L St., Lincoln, NE 68510.

Saint Elizabeth Medical Center’s chapel is available to visit 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at the campus on 70th and L streets in Lincoln.

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