A companion on the Journey – one chaplain’s lessons at Stanford

This summer, Episcopalian Jakki Flanagan was a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) student here. A Postulant for Holy Orders in the Diocese of Vermont, she hopes one day to be a hospital chaplain. We work with Episcopal CPE students to help them learn about caring for members of our church. We asked Jakki to reflect on her learning here. She writes:

“A key element in my personal and professional exploration in CPE was related to reflections on forgiveness. Despite readings, prayer, and support from others, the path to forgiveness is often an isolated journey, a stripping down to the essence of who we are. I’ve witnessed patients and family members struggling with forgiveness, wrestling with their own and others’ humanity, with understanding, and ultimately, with God.

“These struggles are an ever present reminder of the spiritual anguish that can rise to the surface in the hospital and of the chaplain’s role as companion on the journey.
I am grateful and feel blessed for this chance to walk with, and learn from, a variety of individuals: my supervisors, colleagues, staff, patients, and their friends and families. Now that the first unit of CPE had ended I will begin my second year of seminary at Church Divinity School of the Pacific. I am a Postulant for Holy Orders in the Diocese of Vermont and hope one day to be a hospital chaplain.”

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About The Rev. Thomas C. Jackson

Ordained to the priesthood in December, 2010.
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