Retired hospital chaplain Fr Michael Stack has written a new book reflecting on his experiences, including his own battle with Covid-19.
Now retired to Norfolk Fr Michael was a hospital chaplain for 25 years at the George Elliot in Nuneaton, New Cross in Wolverhampton, the Queen Elizabeth in Birmingham and the University Hospital in Coventry.
He ministered for many years at Christ the King Parish in Coventry.
It is not the Healthy who need a Doctor but the Sick costs just £5 with all proceeds going to the Association of Catholic Nurses of England and Wales, of which Fr Michael is the National Chaplain.
The book’s foreword is written by Archbishop Bernard Longley, who writes: “The twelve episodes from Fr Michael’s own extensive experience of ministering to the sick, including his own encounter with Covid-19, help us to realise how much we rely on the care of others at such moments when we are unable to look after ourselves and the importance of prayer.”
In the book Fr Michael features twelve short episodes about patients in hospital including his own episode. At the start of Covid-19 he himself was in hospital for eleven weeks with 36 days in critical care.
He writes: “Twenty-five years as a Hospital Chaplain did not prepare me for an eleven-week in hospital episode….The day of discharge was memorable …I was wheelchaired off the ward to the applause of all the nursing staff. It was emotional, very emotional.. What have I learned from my episode in Hospital? And my close encounter with death? I have become aware again that we rely on others. It’s the prayers offered. It’s the support offered to my family. It is the nurses and doctors in our National Health Service who by their care, save lives, many lives. My gratitude is to many life savers and nursing staff who used their gifts to help me. Thank you all.”
Fr Michael now lives in Norfolk and continues to help in parish ministry.
To order a copy of the book please email Fr Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photograph: Fr Michael Stack with his new book at the entrance to University Hospital where he was hospital chaplain.
Story courtesy Archdiocese of Birmingham