In observance of National Hospital Week, staff and patients at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood jointly celebrated a special Miracle Tree ceremony and “Blessing of the Hands” event on May 12 to honor any and all miracles — small, large or in between — experienced or sought by those throughout the medical facility.

For several weeks prior to the ceremony, hospital personnel, patients and family had the opportunity to fill out colorful star- or flower-shaped tribute cards briefly describing an unforgettable moment at St. Francis, a special wish for a patient or for the hospital, or a remembrance to honor a patient.

Hundreds of beautiful sentiments were collected and then carefully hung outside on the “Miracle Tree.”  

Sister Alicia Martin, DC, senior vice president of Mission Integration at St. Francis, and Brother Richard Hirbe, FSP, director of spiritual care and ethics for the hospital, along with members of the spiritual care team, led participants in prayer as the group held hands and formed a circle surrounding the Miracle Tree.

In addition, health care providers received a “Blessing of the Hands” in commemoration of their healing work.

New messages can be shared throughout the year and added to the tree, which is intended to symbolize the medical center’s “70 years of service and its continued commitment” to the local community.