Bishop consecrates heart hospital chapel

TYLER (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - The religious heart of the Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital was blessed in a traditional consecration ceremony Wednesday evening.

The new heart hospital at Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics in Tyler was constructed through a contribution from Louis and Peaches Owen, and the money to build the chapel inside was donated by the Owens' daughter Celeste Rekieta and her husband.

Mrs. Rekieta said her and her husband's families are strong in their faith, and the donation for the space was in honor of them and the Sisters of The Holy Family of Nazareth, who she said make the hospital special.
"It's a place of hope, it's a place of faith," Mrs. Rekieta said.

The oval-shaped chapel inside the hospital is a striking centerpiece to the right of the main entrance of the heart hospital. It features an intricate stained glass mosaic depicting Christ the Healer and people traveling from far away to greet their Savior. The inside is cozy with an altar and six pews.

In a consecration ceremony, a building or area within a building is dedicated from common use to a sacred use and is dedicated to the service and ownership of God, said Andy Navarro, senior vice president of mission, ministry and general counsel at the hospital.

The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Joseph E. Strickland JCL, who was ordained as the Bishop of the Diocese of Tyler last week. Wednesday was his first public ministry as bishop. The ceremony was performed inside the chapel with the family and Sisters. A camera projected the service on a screen to onlookers inside the hospital lobby.

Strickland thanked Louis and Peaches for saying yes to the Lord's calling and helping the hospital become a reality.
"Louis and Peaches said yes we want to share the healing of the Lord, and really it's all the healing of the Lord," he said. "The doctors know the wonder, the marvelous science of medicine. All the medications and the wondrous technology that this place is filled with, it all really comes from the Lord because the Lord created those temples of a spirit who made the microchip that makes all this happen … all the wondrous things that happen, it all comes from the Lord and that is what we are here to celebrate."

The celebration started with a hymn and the blessing and sprinkling of Holy Water.

"The first thing we do in our Christian life is we are baptized, we are washed in water," Strickland said. "So we are going to take that and baptize this building and (I hope) all the people that are here they are reminded of our baptism so we can always live that baptismal call."

After the chapel was blessed, hymns were sang, scripture was read and the saints names were called out.

Following the blessing of the chapel came the blessing of the altar. It was anointed with oil, prayed over and dressed.

Strickland asked the audience to remember the people who may pray there and the power of the Lord to uplift them.

"It is important for Trinity Mother Frances to remember where the heart is," he said. "I know you (Louis and Peaches Owen and family) very specifically chose to support this work in this place for this community … and it flows from the heart — from heart to heart. The sacred heart is a beautiful image in this place."

Incense was burned, candles were lit, and the family partook in the first communion in the holy place.

After the chapel, the hospital was then blessed with Holy Water.

"It creates a spiritual healing while the physical healing is going on," Darin Szilagyi, senior vice president of marketing, said of the chapel and the ceremony.


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