...a busy hospital, I dropped in to the chapel. It is part of a general area where there is also a Moslem prayer-room and a general prayer-room: I didn't visit either of those so do not know what they are like. The chapel is mostly used by Catholics, and has the Blessed Sacrament reserved, a statue of Our Lady, and an altar and Cross. And it was in use - a group was gathered for prayer, and were just finishing. It was good to be able to join them for a rousing rendition of "Sweet sacrament Divine".
It is very important that people - or their relatives - notify the Chaplain when they go into hospital. It should never be assumed that he will be notified by the authorities: that doesn't happen.
It is also important that we all make use of hospital chapels - whether as visitors or as patients.
Sadly, in too many places, it is the Moslems - staff and patients and families - who seek to make use of facilities for prayer, rather than the Christians. This is true at airports as well as hospitals - and in correspondence following my recent feature in the Catholic Herald, I have discovered that too often chaplaincy facilities in a prison can become Moslem-dominated too.
And we must pray for more priests - and more religious sisters. The chaplain in this particular hospital is ably assisted by some excellent Sisters, and spoke powerfully of the good that they do.