On Tuesday, January 17, 2012, the faithful of Holy Trinity Cathedral gathered to celebrate a Service of Prayer during which Jessica D’Angio and Larisa Waya were commissioned as Orthodox hospital chaplains.
A graduate of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Jessica serves at Beth Israel Hospital. Larisa, a graduate of Boston University, serves at Dana Farber and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals.
For several years, both men and women — the other women being Elaine Mayol and Sarah Byrne — have been endorsed to pursue hospital chaplaincies, but it was not until last year that the Orthodox Church in America’s Department of Chaplaincies develped the actual prayer service of commissioning. Since then, one endorsed priest has been officially commissioned for his chaplaincy position. Starting with Jessica and Larisa, all new chaplains — clergy or lay — must be commissioned prior to endorsement.
Addressing those present at the service, Archpriest Robert M. Arida, cathedral dean, stressed that “the work of a hospital chaplain is demanding on every front. The spiritual, physical and emotional demands of a hospital chaplain are relentless. Contact with the sick and dying on a daily basis requires us as a Christian community to prayerfully support the ministries of these two women who have dedicated themselves to offering the love of Christ to the suffering, who often are alone and afraid as they face their illness and mortality.”
- Photos of the service are posted at http://holytrinityorthodox.org/photos/Commissioning_service/Commissioning_service.html.
- Father Robert’s homily may be found at http://holytrinityorthodox.org/Podcasts/1_17_12.mp3.