At least one of the derivations of the word “chaplain” goes back to the 14th century when a soldier was carrying the cloak of St. Martin into battle. He encountered another soldier who was shivering and cold and the word cloak, capella or cappa, in Italian, is the origin of the word chaplain, and in encountering this soldier, to shelter him he cut the cloak in half, and gave him half. So, what evolved as a usage or meaning is, in a sense, a kind of sacred cloak that one wears, that is offered by someone. A chaplain is someone who offers that cloak. And that resonates with what I’ve experienced in chaplaincy. I think that the core principles are just being present, just being able to show up in the room or a space, with someone, meeting someone who is in need. In that encounter, without making too much of it, we can create a kind of sacred space.
– Sensei Alan Senauke, Core Faculty, Upaya Chaplaincy Program
May you be free from suffering and the causes of suffering!
All my best,