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A thankful remembrance
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Reflecting on my tenure as a clinical pastoral care provider within Monroe's community since November 2003, and preparing for my new chaplaincy assignment at Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center, in Marshall, Minn., these words from a religious poem come to my mind: "Only one life, 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last."

Good-byes are moments of reflection. Accordingly, I'm taking this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to my sisters and brothers, be they my neighbors, friends, colleagues, and patients for allowing me to join them on life's journey by ministering to their emotional/ spiritual needs during their stressful events such as physical suffering and trauma, as well as those joyful events of new births or successful recovery from hospitalization.

My life's journey was enriched by being involved in our community's Relay for Life, Alzheimer's Memory Walk, Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes, Monroe's Area Clergy Fellowship, Parish Nurses, Green County's Food Pantry, CareNet Pregnancy Center of Green County, Gideon's Bible Society, St. Vincent DePaul Society, and Family Promise of Green County.

My chaplaincy was enhanced by ministering with dedicated physicians, nurses, physical therapists, social workers, pharmacists, mailing/printing room staff, bio-technicians, Epic staff members, housekeepers, switchboard operators, maintenance men, and unit/office secretaries, all united as a healthcare team to fulfill the healing Gospel mission of Jesus. Their actions reflected: "Only one life, 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last".

Bob Hope's song, "Thanks for the memories," summarizes my feelings as I recall the past celebrations of Cheese Days, gorgeous pastoral farming landscape, the historic Courthouse and Square, Swiss Singers in Turner Hall, Rock Aqua Jays Ski Shows, CSA's Mission/Values Week, Memorial Day observances, autumn and spring services of Remembrance and Hope, the Apostolate to the Handicapped celebrations under the pastoral supervision of the late Monsignor Campion, Monroe High School's concerts, the 2007 boy's state basketball tournament games, and girls track/field events.

In the words of the Apostle Paul, be assured that I will "thank God on every remembrance of you." Certainly, the Chopp family has been blessed in our relationships within the community of Monroe.

As I bid you farewell: "Pray for me, as I will for you, until we merrily meet in heaven." Remembering during our earthly journey, "Only one life, 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last."

God's abiding peace!