Roman Catholic nun offers love, support at Texas hospital
TYLER, Texas (AP) — Smiling broadly while wearing her nun’s habit, veil, ring and cross, Sister Margo strolled up to a tiny newborn baby girl sleeping peacefully in the neonatal intensive care unit at Christus Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler.
The Tyler Morning Telegraph reports she visited with the mother. Then she prayed in thanksgiving for the new life and for God’s blessing that the infant will be well and go home as soon as possible. She also prayed for the whole family to grow in love every day. She made the sign of the cross on the baby’s forehead and hugged the mother.
Alison Collins, whose new daughter was six days old and named Lucy after St. Lucy, said it was a blessing that Sister Margo came at the right time.
“It’s one of those God things,” she said. “It’s been a beautiful experience to be here.”
Later, Sister Margo approached staff, visited with and hugged them.
A chaplain originally from Poland, she is called Sister Margo because her real name — Malgorzata Majszczyk — is difficult to pronounce. She has been at Christus Mother Frances Hospital almost 13 years, but has been in this country over 25 years.
Sister Margo, a member of the community of Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, is one of eight nuns who live in a convent on the hospital grounds, serve Christus Mother Frances Hospital and were honored in recent observance of National Catholic Sisters Week.
Sister Margo’s primary ministry here is to serve the neonatal intensive care unit, where she prays for infants and supports expectant mothers and mothers who have already had babies as well as their families.
Often Sister Margo also is on call for the whole hospital.
“It is a beautiful, profound, amazing experience because God allows me to be with people at a time when they are really in a tough spot because when you come to the hospital, most of the time — even if you come for tests — it’s scary,” she said.
Her days begin early with prayers and Mass before she heads out to serve patients and hospital staff.
Sister Margo strives to be a witness of God’s love to people as she assists the hospital in carrying out its mission to expand the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.
She said, “All I want is to bring a ray of light that people know that there is a ray of hope because God loves them.”
In all circumstances, Sister Margo gives big hugs, even to strangers she has just met.
When Sister Margo enters a hospital room or unit, she introduces herself to the patient and family and tells them she is there to support them in any way that she can. Many times, she just listens to what they want to share about what is happening in their life.
Almost every day, Sister Margo sees babies being born. “Witnessing a new life is always awesome,” she said.
Sister Margo rejoices with parents when a baby is born and prays with them in thanksgiving.
However, from time to time, she said, it is a sad experience because there are mothers who lose their baby because of different circumstances. That is a crushing, devastating experience for those parents, Sister Margo said, and she tries to bring them comfort, to just be with them and pray for them.
Seeing somebody go home from the hospital makes Sister Margo happy and she prays for him or her. “I find myself praying in thanksgiving many, many times when something beautiful happens,” she said.
Even when somebody is dying, Sister Margo prays in thanksgiving for his or her life. “I always pray thanksgiving for the blessings they have received throughout their life, just asking God to bring them peace and serenity if He is calling them home so that they will feel his love and not be afraid,” she said.
Sometimes in grief, there are no words to say, but Sister Margo may offer comfort by holding the hands of those involved. “Many cry on my shoulder,” she said.
Besides offering support to families in a time of death, Sister Margo occasionally conducts a debriefing session for the medical staff after a particularly traumatic death of a patient.
Sister Margo said, “It is overwhelming how some people will respond. Not only do I pray for them, but they pray for me to continue this ministry because they know it’s not easy.”
She said her main purpose is to be a witness of God’s love to people. And in that process, she said, she has received countless blessings.
Information from: Tyler Morning Telegraph, http://www.tylerpaper.com