Monastery, hospital chaplain named
In an unabashed plug for himself and grinning widely, Fr. Hal Weidner, new chaplain at the Monastery of St. Gertrude and St. Mary's Hospital quipped, "If people want to get to know me better, they might start by purchasing one of my books, Grief, Loss and Death: The Shadow Side of Ministry or Praying with John Cardinal Newman."
Fr. Hal, from the Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Rock Hill, SC, began working at the Monastery in September.
"I told a friend that, ideally, during my sabbatical years, I would like to be a chaplain at a motherhouse," Fr. Hal recalled. "She sent me a notice that St. Gertrude's was looking for a chaplain, I applied, and here I am."
Fr. Hal lived in Hawaii for the last 16 years. While there he worked at founding an Oratory and served as pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Honolulu.
"Compared to Hawaii, this area seems like a desert," Fr. Hal said. "However, I am in absolute awe of St. Mary's Hospital and the staff there. To find a high-quality Catholic hospital in a rural area is nothing short of miraculous.
"And the sisters at the monastery are wonderful, too," he smiled.
Fr. Hal expects to spend a lot of his free time working on two new books, keeping his virtual Oratory up to date (www.TheVirtualOratory.com), and scouting out a place for a new Oratory.
Fr. Hal has a rich and varied background. He served as the Major Superior of his Oratory in South Carolina and studied and has traveled throughout the world including Japan, India, Israel and Europe. Fr. Hal holds a doctoral degree from Oxford University in Oxford, England, and has published numerous books, articles, essays and reviews in publications such as Catholic Digest, International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church and The Catechist, to name just a few.