For nearly 20 years, Father Richard Sitzmann has specialized in spiritual healing. What he and many others consider as part of the many tiers of quality patient care.
Father Richard Sitzmann presides over the chapel and daily mass at Mercy Medical Center 5 days a week. But most of his time each day is spent in patient rooms. "Doctors do medicine. Nurses do care. Chaplains do prayer," said Father Richard Sitzmann.
Father Sitzmann is a proponent of spiritual healing and the care that goes along with it, no matter your faith base or religion. "Spiritual healing is not just prayer, as I mentioned, but giving them hope, approaching their illness with a bit of a positive spin, trying to point out the cure levels that we have over many years with lots of patients with different diseases, trying to lift their spirits and not let them be too negative about their illness," said Father Sitzmann. That means lending a listening ear, and sometimes interjecting a little wit or humor. But mostly it's helping them come to grips with the situation they're currently in whether it be recovery, or death from a sudden or long-term illness. "Try to make sense out of life as its being tested," said Father Sitzmann. It's a component of care that many people, not just chaplains, contend is key in promoting a healing environment for patients. "There have been studies I've been exposed to that say that people who value prayer, or accept prayer, get well quicker," said Father Sitzmann.
At age 77, Father Sitzmann is marking 50 years in the ministry. Mercy Medical Center held a celebration for him Thursday. Father Sitzmann has worked in high schools, parishes, and the hospital over the years. If you'd like to hear him talk more about his five decades in the ministry, we've put a web exclusive with excerpts from his interview on our website. Just look under the Health tab.
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