Massaging Souls

'Preach always use words if you have to'

By Chaplain David Rapp
St. Anthony Hospital

For 21 years and nearly 1,800 hours, Herta has been massaging the feet of our patients.

I always know it's Thursday when I see Herta walking down the hallway, carrying her kit-box of lotions. I have no idea what her age might be. It's hard to notice anything about her beyond the never-ending smile on her face and the forever sparkle in her eyes.

Herta is a volunteer a faithful, humble volunteer who offers a very special kind of healing touch to patients at St. Clare Hospital. As she massages the soles of their feet, she also touches their souls with peace, comfort, compassion and reverence.

One day I asked Herta if she had ever had a foot massage herself. Her answer was, 'I've never had one. I just give them. That makes me feel good.' As our patron Saint Francis said: 'Preach always. Use words if you have to.'

When I see Herta, I think of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples on Holy Thursday. How fitting that Herta volunteers on Thursdays.

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Dave Rapp
Chaplain David Rapp