Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera, California, is filled with volunteers from all walks of life and one of them happens to be our very own Bishop Emeritus Armando Ochoa, former bishop of the diocese of Fresno. Bishop Ochoa volunteers at Valley Children’s at least twice a week, providing Spiritual Care for families.
“One of the reasons I went to Children’s Hospital was because we didn’t have a Catholic presence [in the spiritual care department],” Bishop Ochoa states. After retirement, Bishop was looking for a ministry he could step into and Valley Children’s was the lucky recipient of his dedicated ministry.
Valley Children’s represents the demographics of the Central Valley in that a good portion of the hospital’s patients, families and visitors are Hispanic Catholics, with a large portion of them being farmworkers. The Catholic Community is strongly represented throughout the Valley Children’s staff. Many of the staff members know Bishop Ochoa and a few were even confirmed by him.
“Some of the special and rewarding moments are when they find out you’re a Catholic priest and you’re praying with them, connecting with them… connecting them to the Catholic faith in a non-threatening way,” Bishop Ochoa describes.
Due to the Catholic population at Valley Children’s, Bishop Ochoa was asked to provide a regularly scheduled Mass for families at the hospital. He celebrates Mass every Friday at 2pm for the families of Valley Children’s and it is livestreamed for the families who cannot attend in person due to health concerns….
From diocese of Fresno.