Patients’ questions, mentor encouraged him to reflect on own spiritual path
Name: Ed Horvat, MA, BCC
Work: Coordinator, Pastoral & Spiritual Care Department at Monongalia General Hospital in Morgantown, WV
Member since: 1998
Volunteer service: WV state liaison, contributor to Vision, certification interviewer, renewal of certification peer reviewer
Books on your nightstand: “Love & Fatigue in America” by Roger King; and “The 500” by Matthew Quirk
Book you recommend most often: “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron
Favorite spiritual resource: The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. I connect to the Universal Hum/Om and forget my “self” at times during this weekly worship service. I like the part of the liturgy that encourages us to “set aside our earthly cares” and just “be” in the presence of the Divine.
Favorite fun self-care activity: Scheduled 60-minute massage one to two times a month. When I hang my clothes on the hook, I symbolically let go of my “self” and my roles. I receive.
Favorite movie: “Harold & Maude” is very life-affirming!
Favorite retreat spot: Mount Saint Macrina House of Prayer, Uniontown, PA. It is close by. The staff, grounds and environment are restorative and nourishing.
Personal mentor or role model: Rosella Nolan, MSN
Historic role model: St. Francis of Assisi
Why did you become a chaplain? I became aware of the importance of spirituality in healthcare when I worked as a counselor with hospice for 15 years. My master’s degree in counseling did not prepare me for this dimension. Rosella Nolan, MSN, encouraged me to take a look at my own spiritual life because patients were asking me questions about God or wanting me to pray with them, and this made me uncomfortable. “They are seeing something in you that you are not seeing in yourself. You should take a look.” Rosella woke me up to the spiritual path that I was on. St. Francis helped too. I took additional courses in religion and theology, along with CPE, to mature into my role as a board certified chaplain.
What do you get from NACC? I am a one-person department within my work setting. NACC helps me connect with information and with colleagues around the world.
Why do you stay in the NACC? The organization works to advance our profession. They collaborate with other related organizations.
Why do/did you volunteer? I volunteer to be active and involved in my professional organization.
What volunteer activity has been most rewarding? I have enjoyed each of my volunteer roles, but being a certification interviewer was very rewarding. Reading the materials and meeting the candidates was humbling. The process was very intense, but fun! Excellent support was provided by experienced volunteers. It was a thrill being on the interviewer side of the process in a different way than the thrill of being interviewed.
What have you learned from volunteering? Volunteering is an opportunity to stretch, grow, meet new people and try new things.