Following the long held tradition of providing complete care for residents at Bishop Davies Nursing Center let us introduce our chaplain, Fr. MacKenzie. He joined the staff in the fall of 2009. He is an energetic, friendly clergyman who most recently pastored a large church in Wichita Falls, Texas and now lives in Fort Worth.
His goal of providing a spiritual lift begins when he arrives as he visits all the residents in the dining room and greets them with enthusiasm as they each start the new day. It also provides a way for him to assess how each resident is doing. He calls each by name and asks each how they are doing and what he can do to help them.
Next, he proceeds to visit every room every day (well almost) in the Center and checks on each resident’s needs, especially their spiritual needs. He likes to spend time with each resident so he can know them better and build a relationship that may be helpful to their lives. You’ll often find him chatting with the residents about all parts of their lives and their health and especially their emotions. Father says that each resident has their own history and relationship with God, as they understand God. And he can communicate better with them as they build a little trust and feel they have a friend.
One of his weekly joys is inviting all those who can to join to Talk Time on Tuesday morning where they discuss the events of the day through music and song. He plays the piano with them and encourages their participation in singing and selecting their favorite music. As Father says, “Each person has their special music memories in which they feel especially comfortable.” Usually he plays music that they may remember from way back. It’s sort of a retro time to check in to their personal remembrances. Music often provides a gentle therapy to connect a person’s body, mind and soul.
Of course he also provides service on Thursdays which involves music (hymn singing), scripture, short sermon and thanksgiving including Holy Communion for those who wish. It is often a time when God’s presence can slip into the community and bring residents, staff and family a little togetherness and peace.
Father is married (he is Anglican-Episcopal) and has a beautiful wife Mary, four children, twelve grandchildren and now a new great grandchild all of whom he treasures. Mary is always with him for Family Nights and supports his ministry well.
So if you are visiting and see a fellow with black suit and white collar, that is probably Father going about his duties as chaplain. He would like to meet each of you so please introduce yourself. He is here to ensure that Bishop Davies Nursing Center meets the needs for spiritual matters which, as we know, assists in a person’s quality of life.