By SAMANTHA SMITH, Staff Writer | Published December 9, 2021
ATLANTA—New art and stained glass windows will welcome visitors, volunteers and staff who visit the chapel at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital.
Bishop Joel M. Konzen, SM, alongside Father Patrick Scully, the hospital chaplain, blessed the updated chapel and participated in the tree lighting on Dec. 3.
The new features of the chapel are in memory of Sylvia Fallon, a longtime volunteer at the Atlanta hospital, who died in 2016. Born and raised in London with the habit of enjoying tea each day, she would bring tea to cancer patients at the hospital. She visited the hospital chapel frequently to pray and attend Mass, occasionally joined by her son, Steve Fallon.
Sylvia received the Mother Catherine McAuley Award, which recognizes “those who embody the Mission of the Sisters of Mercy through compassion and excellent service.” She was a longtime member of Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Atlanta.
“She lived her entire life serving others,” said Steve. “Everything that she did every day was for other people.”
Because the hospital, its volunteers, patients and the close friendships she made were such an important part of her life, Steve felt it was fitting to honor her with a contribution to the hospital.
Steve connected with Mike Garrido, vice president of mission integration at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital. Garrido oversees the Catholic identity of the hospital and continues the mission of the Sisters of Mercy, who opened the first hospital in Atlanta in 1880. Garrido is a parishioner at St. Thomas More Church in Decatur.
The clear glass windows in the chapel were replaced with colorful glass windows designed by Stephanie Farrow.
“She captured what we were looking for—beautiful color that shines through and yet ecumenical, so that all faiths enjoy the space,” said Garrido.
Stained glass windows were also added to the doors of the chapel, making it easier to see from the outside.
Artwork of the “Last Supper” and “Washing of the Feet” by Catholic artist John August Swanson were also added to the chapel. The beautiful artwork presents the opportunity for prayer and meditation, said Garrido.
The framed prints sit at the rear of the chapel, completing a vision of color complemented by the stained glass windows. The five-month project has “enhanced the participation” of regular attendees, physicians and staff who visit the chapel, Garrido explained.
A special dedication for the Fallon family will be on Feb. 4, close to Sylvia’s birthday on Feb. 5. Steve looks forward to the family seeing all of the chapel upgrades in honor of his mother.
“It’s going to be a place that I can go and feel close to her,” he said.