Upstate News

July 26, 2004
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Catholic priest, who offered spiritual support and care to University Hospital patients, retires after 18 years

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Rev. Alfred J. Bebel will say good-bye to University Hospital after 18 years of providing spiritual comfort and care to patients and staff members alike when he retires Saturday, July 31.

A reception for Bebel will be held Tuesday, July 27, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in the small dining room located in University Hospital’s cafeteria. You are invited to cover the reception. If you plan to cover, contact Darryl Geddes at 464-4828.

Bebel was appointed to the hospital’s pastoral staff by Frank Harrison, bishop of the Syracuse Diocese, in 1986.

“University Hospital has been an extremely gratifying place to work,” said Bebel, who was ordained in 1958.

Bebel believes the greatest support he provided patients was his ability to listen. “You can show great compassion toward someone by offering them a sympathetic ear,” he said. “You must be able to acknowledge one’s fears, wishes, desires and anger to help the healing process begin and to put someone at peace with their surroundings and situation.”

In addition to counseling patients and staff, Bebel was active in numerous hospital committees, include the ethics committee and the Cooperative Campus Ministry Committee, which offers a forum on faith and values annually. Bebel also participated in the hospital’s Clergy Day program.

Outside of his hospital responsibilities, Bebel was active in a diocesan task force on AIDS and HIV and the Eastern Farmworkers Association, based in Syracuse, which provides food and clothing for migrant farm workers in Central New York.

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