Chaplains’ gift of presence brings faith, hope and love

Many of us are blessed to experience the joy, expectation, and love that Christmas brings. However, it can also be a lonely and distressing time, especially if you’re in hospital.

This was the case for one young patient, Lucy*, and her family, who received news that she had been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. They felt helpless not knowing if this would be their last Christmas together.

During their time in The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Lucy and her family were visited by Catholic Care chaplain Abraham George who eased the family’s distress by organising for Lucy to be baptised, and praying with her and her family.

“Hospitals can be very lonely, and fear and anxiety often really trouble people while they’re here. As chaplains, we journey with them as God’s representative, so in those moments of darkness, they know they’re not alone,” he said.

Abraham’s presence was a beacon of love, light, and faith for Lucy and her family, his companionship a reminder that they were not alone in their battle.

Catholic Care hospital chaplain Abraham George. Image: Diocese of Parramatta

“Remarkably, Lucy recovered, and they later visited with a handmade card that said, ’Thank you for praying for me and supporting me and my family. Thank you for your visit and the spirit in which you organised my christening. We will never forget you. Miracles do happen’,” said Abraham, who has been a lay chaplain for more than a decade.

“We are making sure that the Catholic faith and God’s presence is being represented in every hospital and prison,” sa Abraham. “And every day miracles are happening.”

Parramatta Catholic Foundation’s Bishop’s Christmas Appeal is raising funds to help the 15 Catholic Care chaplains in our Diocese who provide care, comfort, and support to people who are suffering. They minister to the sick in public hospitals and also visit people in prisons in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains. They listen, connect, and endeavour to understand and comfort those who might otherwise feel abandoned. 

Yvonne Turner is another chaplain ministering at Cumberland Hospital.  

“Chaplaincy offers me the ability to use my faith to help others for the glory of God, with a human connection. I find it a great blessing to connect with somebody quite deeply. 

Catholic Care hospital chaplains Abraham George (left) and Yvonne Turner. Image: Diocese of Parramatta

“I’ve seen hope in the struggle in searching for God, and in the experiences of, ‘Why me?’ I’ve seen reframing, reconnection, and returning to one’s spiritual core. I’ve seen Jesus in these encounters, and I’m so grateful that He’s invited me and uses me in this ministry.” 

You can help our Catholic Care chaplains, like Yvonne and Abraham, to give comfort, faith and hope to people suffering, with a gift to the Bishop’s Christmas Appeal today by calling (02) 8838 3482 or visiting