Support sought for new, larger chapel at OSF HealthCare St. Joseph, Bloomington

An artist's rendering of a new chapel planned for OSF HealthCare St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington. (Provided photo)

BLOOMINGTON — As OSF HealthCare St. Joseph Medical Center marks 50 years at its current location, plans are being finalized for a new, larger, and more prominent chapel to serve the spiritual needs of patients, families, and hospital staff.

A proposed $1.5 million expansion and renovation project would result in a 3,000-square-foot chapel between the main hospital entrance off Washington Street and the emergency department.

“The current chapel is located where our front door once was,” explains Chad Boore, eastern region CEO for OSF HealthCare, in a video introducing plans for the new chapel. “And so for the first 45 years of this building, the chapel was very visible.”

Because of recent expansions and renovations, the chapel is now nearer to the facility’s center and can be difficult to find.

“The new design will make sure everyone knows for sure its location, not only from the exterior of the hospital, but also from the interior,” added Deacon Gayle Cyrulik, manager of chaplaincy services at OSF St. Joseph. “This is just realigning things the way they should be by the original design.”

There will be an illuminated cross outside the chapel, and a garden of remembrance is planned. Moveable seating will accommodate 76 chairs that may be rearranged depending on the physical needs of attendees.

Construction is expected to begin next spring with the new chapel opened in early 2020. A new use for the existing chapel space has yet to be determined.

FUNDRAISING ONGOING

A majority of the funding is coming from OSF HealthCare St. Joseph Foundation’s unrestricted funds; however, more than $425,000 has been raised by the community and OSF St. Joseph employees. Donations are being sought to raise the final $175,000 needed.

“Our mission partners here at St. Joseph have totally engaged this chapel project and done so many fundraisers for it,” said Deb Smith, vice president of nursing and operations. “But we need the community’s help. We can’t do it alone.”

For more information, call Kimberly Scheirer, OSF HealthCare Foundation Eastern Region philanthropy director, at (309) 665-4902; email kimberly.k.scheirer@osfhealthcare.org; or view the video at osf.foundation/chapel.

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