FOP chaplain blesses Jefferson Torresdale healthcare workers

About two dozen staff members at Jefferson Torresdale gathered for a blessing from Rev. Steven Wetzel and FOP5.

Rev. Steve Wetzel of FOP5 reads a blessing to healthcare workers at Jefferson Torresdale Hospital. LOGAN KRUM/TIMES PHOTO

Amidst caring for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers at Jefferson Torresdale Hospital were blessed by a reverend for their efforts. Members of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, police and hospital staff gathered outside last Thursday for a blessing led by the Rev. Steven Wetzel of the FOP’s Michael the Archangel Ministry Program.

“Blessed are the hands that are raw from scrubbing and sanitizing,” he said as part of the blessing. “Blessed are the shoulders that carry the weight of life and death.”

Wetzel is chaplain at the FOP and plans to orchestrate more blessings for local healthcare workers.

“We have some of the best healthcare workers in the country working inside some of our local hospitals and now more than ever, they need our love, support and prayers,” he said.

The event was organized by FOP5 as a way of showing appreciation for the frontline workers.

“Our medical community has been working tirelessly to fight this pandemic,” said FOP5 President John McNesby. “The least we can do is pay our respects and give blessings to those fighting courageously on the frontlines.”

Healthcare workers at Jefferson Torresdale Hospital listen to the blessing. LOGAN KRUM/TIMES PHOTO

It’s moments like these that offer reassurance to employees like Beth Thornton, thoracic oncology nurse navigator at Jefferson. Thornton may not be coming in direct contact with patients herself, but during shutdown she’s been working with patients while bringing in new ones via telehealth.

“It’s tense, but everybody is trying to come together and you can see a bigger sense of camaraderie,” Thornton said.

“Everybody’s there to support each other, as always,” she said. ••