FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 10, 2012
A non-denominational space intended for people of any faith or belief to seek comfort and peace.
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. This evening, more than 70 community members welcomed a 480 million year old, 1,400-lb stone to its new home, Cooley Dickinson Hospital’s Chapel, and dedicated
The new Gugger Family Memorial Chapel, which overlooks the hospital’s healing garden, is a warm, soothing, natural space. The room’s centerpiece is a Goshen stone that was hand selected by the Chapel planning committee. Tones of grey, brown, and blue create a three-dimensional image that invite viewers to interpret and personalize the scene embedded within the massive rock.
The new Chapel was made possible by Brock Lynch, MD, a retired cancer surgeon, World War 11 veteran, and a tenor in the Young@Heart Chorus, coupled with additional donations from the community.
When given the opportunity to name the Chapel, Lynch chose to honor his brother-in-law, Vincent Daniel Gugger, who Lynch says was a “kind, thoughtful, and a very spiritual man.”
The Goshen stone was donated by Gary Warner of the Goshen Stone Company. He was inspired to make the gift because he “was born at Cooley Dickinson Hospital and wanted to be part of his community hospital.” Not only did Warner donate the stone, he custom-fit the rock by cutting its base and drilling four holes that structural engineers would later use to anchor the rock on a support beam within the Chapel. Warner says the quarry where the stone comes from has been in his family since the 1800s.
Goshen Stone is a metamorphic rock derived from sandy mud sediments deposited on an ancient sea bottom. “The stone dates back to a time when there were no people, no dinosaurs, and no life on earth.”
CDH Chaplain Becky Jones said it was a deliberate choice to use a stone as a symbol of spirituality, rather than a predominant religious icon. “There are a lot of references to stones and rocks in religious literature.”
“This Chapel was designed as a spiritually evocative place, open to all faiths and no faiths. It speaks to everyone, and all are welcome here.”
Cooley Dickinson Hospital • 30 Locust St. (Route 9), Northampton, Mass. • (413) 582-2000