Meet Joel Alonso, Chaplain

“The Lord God has given me the tongue of a disciple so that I know how to support the weary with a word. Morning after morning I wake up, my ear awakens to listen like the disciples” (Isaiah 50:4). 

Every morning, I wake up before sunrise. It is still dark as I wait for the day to break. During this time, I am in prayer before God preparing for my work as a hospice chaplain.

As a hospice chaplain, I am called to make Easter, or in other words, helping a passing from death to life, from darkness to light. I go from talking to God about our patients and then, talking about God to our patients, family members and colleagues. I hope to reflect the glory of God, just as the people saw God through the face of Moses on Mount Sinai. Whether in our in-patient care centers or in the patient’s home, that place becomes a theological place, a place of prayers… a chapel. Wherever I meet patients, I meet them as I meet any sacred place. After greeting and introducing myself, I enter into dialogue providing a life review, life validation, comforting words and presence, and most importantly, the opportunity for them to share their life’s stories. Through this, a beautiful exchange. We give and receive spiritual growth. 

“Give us bowels of mercy in the face of all human misery, inspire us with the gesture and the appropriate word in front of the lonely and helpless brother; help us to be available to those who feel exploited and depressed” (Eucharistic Prayer VIb).