The Rev. John Raphael, staff chaplain at Ascension Saint Thomas West Hospital, part of Ascension Tennessee, received the Outstanding Guild Chaplain Award from the Catholic Medical Association (CMA), the largest association of Catholic physicians and healthcare professionals in the United States. The organization presented him the award recently at its 88th annual education conference in Nashville. It was the first year the award was presented.

The Nashville Guild and its sister organization, the Society of Saints Cosmas and Damian for medical students at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Meharry Medical College, received the CMA’s Outstanding Guild Award. CMA guilds are organized at the level of a parish, city, or diocese.

In addition to ministering to patients and associates at Ascension Saint Thomas West, Father John counsels medical students, writes articles on cultural issues, and serves on the hospital’s ethics committee.

“Bridging his knowledge of philosophy, theology, humanism and bedside clinical experience as a hospital chaplain and now diocesan priest, Father John is instrumental as a speaker and author in helping guide thinking locally, nationally and internationally on complicated, timely issues,” said Greg Pope, Chief Mission & Ministry Officer, Ascension Saint Thomas.

Father John served in Washington, D.C., Texas and Louisiana before moving to Nashville in 2012. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and two master’s degrees – one from DeSales School of Theology and one from the University of San Francisco.


Photo: From left, Mario Dickerson, Executive Director, Catholic Medical Association; Dr. Marie Boursiquot, former president, CMA; Father John Raphael, Ascension Saint Thomas; and Dr. John Schirger, President, CMA.